10 Self Care Tasks for RIGHT NOW.
I grabbed this journal prompt from Courtney Carver the other day as soon as it came into my inbox and thought "YAAASSSS. This is exactly what I need right now." Both in theory (journaling) and in practice!
Here are the ten quick and easy things I came up with that you can do RIGHT NOW to show yourself a little love, all in UNDER 10 MINUTES.
1. Get down on the floor and do some stretching. Move around and do what your body needs. Not sure what your body needs? Get down on the ground or a yoga mat and feel what's stiff.... your body will tell you what it needs. Move around slowly for a few minutes and bend and stretch into positions that feel tight. Breathe through into everything that feels tense. I'm sure this sounds crazy but I promise you will feel refreshed when you stand back up.
2. Sit and meditate. You can sit on the floor or on a meditation seat or in a chair... just make sure you can sit comfortably without straining or compromising your posture. Focus on your breath. Breathe into your belly (not your chest) and fill your belly with air. Keep your shoulders still. Count to 5 as you inhale and again as you exhale. Then extend it to 6. Then 7. See if you can go all the way up to 12 comfortably. Let your mind wander. Acknowledge your thoughts and come back to your breath. Set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes and just breathe.
3. Make yourself a cup of something hot. Take your time. Enjoy the process. Green tea, a matcha latte, a freshly-pressed cup of coffee... whatever you like. Pour it into a fancy mug and just sit and enjoy it. Don't multi-task and drink it. Single-task. Make the process and the enjoyment of your cuppa-self-care the only thing you are doing.
4. Make a list. Open a beautiful journal or pull out your favorite stationary and make yourself a list of beautiful things. Make a list of everything you are thankful for. Make a list of all the people you love. Make a list of all the things that bring you joy. Then read your list out loud to yourself and reflect on each item. How are the items related? How are they different?
5. Wash your face. Use an indulgent face wash. If you don't have one, use a teaspoon of coconut oil with a few drops of a soothing essential oil like lavender or sweet orange. Massage the oil into your face and really look at your skin. Massage your laugh lines and the lines on your forehead. Acknowledge them. Care for them. They are beautiful. When you are finished, run a washcloth under hot water and ring it out... place it on your face and let the steam draw the impurities out of your skin before using the cloth to pull all the oil away from your face. I promise you will GLOW after an oil wash and your skin will feel nourished.
6. Mask. After washing your face, put on a face mask. (Now would be a good time to sit and meditate while your mask works!) Any mask will do, but it's preferable to use one you enjoy. If you don't have a mask, mix some rolled oats with some honey or yogurt and apply to your face. Or mash an avocado and apply to the face. Your skin loves vitamins as much as your tummy! When it's time to rinse, use warm water and follow with a facial oil or moisturizer. So simple yet so rewarding.
7. Soak your feet. When was the last time you showed your tootsies some love? Run a warm bath with just enough water to put your feet into (or use a container) and add some epsom salt and a few drops of essential oil (peppermint is wonderful). Let your feet soak. If you are feeling ambitious you can scrub your feet with epsom salt or sea salt or sugar to really get your blood circulating.
8. Massage your feet. (This would be amazing after a foot soak!) Pay special attention to massage the balls of your feet in a circular motion. In ayurvedic medicine, foot massage is said to balance the bodily humors, or doshas—vata, pitta, and kapha. (Can't reach your feet? See item #1 on this list) You can massage any body part that aches. Amazingly, self-massage feels wonderful and can really relieve tension. Take your time and use an oil or a cream and really focus on giving your feet (or calves or quads or hands or whatever you want to massage) the attention they deserve.
9. Lay on a foam roller. Move around gently. If you are new to foam rolling, go slow and breathe and let the foam roller sink into the muscle. If you are more experienced with rolling out your muscles, make long, slow passes down each side of your back and allow the tension to release from your back and your chest to open. Lay with the foam roller perpendicular to your spin just below your shoulder blades, facing the ceiling, and let your chest and heart open as you breathe.
10. Forest Bathe. Find some greenery and sit with it. A park or the woods or a nearby trail... or if you are fortunate enough to have greenery at your home or in your neighborhood, find a spot and sit. Meditate or simply breathe and take in the beauty of all the chlorophyll that surrounds you. The act of forest-bathing strengthens your immune system and the benefits outlast the time you spend amongst the greenery. The Japanese practice of ‘forest bathing’ is scientifically proven to improve your health.
Anything you'd add to this list? Anything you want to share? Please comment!
Until next time, be well, friends!