The importance of self-care (plus a few low-cost ways to enjoy self-care)

Finding time for self-care can be challenging, but it’s more than worth the effort. I find that self-care gives me reduced muscle tension, less stress, and a calmer disposition. Even just a few minutes of focused down time can be just the trick for easing jittery nerves. Instead of falling prey to the well-worn Netflix-and-zone-out routine every night, I’m trying to take a few nights each week to decompress a bit more intentionally. This means I focus my time on relaxing, being quiet, slowing my mind, and listening to God. This practice may take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on how much time I have. For me, this time needs to be separate from practices that tend to my physical needs (like yoga, working out, or eating). I find that I look forward to these sessions all day, and truly savor the time. These are a few of my favorite ways to take care of myself in the evenings:
1) Enjoy a cup of tea.

This has become my absolute favorite way to unwind. There is something about sipping a warm cup of herbal tea that calms me every time.

2) Take a hot epsom bath.

A hot bath with Epsom salts can help melt away tension. I love enjoying my bath with yummy-smelling bubbles, a cup of tea, and a good book. If I’m pressed for time, a hot shower can be a good substitute.

3) Use tension with tennis balls.

I seem to hold every ounce of tension in my shoulders and hips, and yoga doesn’t take away the tightness every day. Besides my Dharma Yoga Wheel, tennis balls have become my preferred way to roll out knots.

4) Soften the lights and smell yummy things.

One of my favorite purchases last year was my Now Solutions essential oil diffuser. I’ve enjoyed playing with different aromatic combinations when in need of a little pick-me-up or something soothing. Right now, I’m mostly sniffing the grounding aromas of lavender, clove, and frankincense. When I need something livelier, I toss in a little lemon essential oil.

Whether you try some of these practices or do your own thing, I hope you’ll take a few nights to take care of yourself this week. The rewards can be so great!

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