Ahead of a heavy week and rounding out an uncertain year, I’m going to go ahead and deem self-care *not optional.* Mentally and physically, I’m exhausted and know I’m not alone. It goes without saying how utterly grateful I am for all that I have, but that does not mean the hurt and heaviness of the year has bypassed me. Here are some ways to check-in and take care of yourself this week/month/year.
Since we just moved to Arkansas, I’m getting reacquainted with seasons. We’re currently basking in the cozy rainy daze and embracing the fall chill that changes the colors of our new riverside backyard. In general and in Ayurvedic terms, Autumn is known to be cold, rough, dry, windy and erratic. Believe it or not, there is a reason all of those warming herbs (talking to you PSLs) are popular in the fall. Warming up from the inside out with soups and teas are an easy and quick way to do so. Take it from someone who enjoyed both today – and got so warm I had to take off a layer! Other personal favorites include a date with a heated blanket, a nice long hot bath with essential oils, and if you can, nothing beats a good old fashion bear hug with someone you love.
It’s really easy to zone out, but when you catch yourself craving a scroll, try to zen IN instead! Pro tip: keep your phone away from your bed at night. Curb your craving with some extra time with your S.O. or yourself and a book. 🙂
- Listen to an inspirational podcast. I’m a long time listener of Rachel Brathen’s Conversation From The Heart, Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations, and Ram Dass’s lectures on Ram Dass Here and Now.
- Try a guided meditation. Currently loving the insight timer app for free guided meditations, a timer, and little reminders to set goals and keep myself accountable.
- Write it out! Get serious with a journal prompt or dapple in creative writing. Don’t know where to start? Write out “today I feel…” as many times as you need to until the words transform to something else. The best way to start journaling is simply committing to keeping the pen to paper for a few consecutive minutes.
The struggle and the beauty of meditation is getting comfortable in the uncomfortable. Set yourself up for success by starting in a comfortable seat. Use a meditation cushion or roll up a yoga blanket to elevate your hips above your knees. If sitting up for an extended period of time is unattainable, lay flat on your back with soles of the feet touching and each knee supported by yoga blocks.
The best way to get out of your head is to get into your body. Bonus points if you can get outside!
- Roll out your mat for some yoga or a HIIT workout. Join our LimitLes Movement community and move with me!
- Get outside! Walk, run, or skip.. mother nature is a guaranteed mood booster.
- Dance. It’s no secret that my fiance and I love a little kitchen dancing. Believe me when I say whatever it looks like, dancing is good for the soul.
- Shake. If I’m feeling stuck, especially when working from my desk, I like to get up, play a song I’m feeling, and shake. Starting with your hands, moving to your shoulders, down each leg and just wiggling anything that feels good. Shaking meditations may look silly but I promise they saturate your body and mind with so much joy. Try it!
This looks different for everyone, but I challenge you to really connect with your inner child!
- Get into nature. Live near the beach or the mountains? Collect shells or pick up the prettiest leaves you can find. Bring a camera and try your hand at photography for fun.
- Craft. Give macrame, DIY bath bombs, or DIY holiday decor a try.
- Blast a playlist of your all time favorite songs. Grab your hairbrush and karaoke or break it down with a loved one.
- Carve out an hour of your day for an at-home mani/pedi with colors that make you happy. Try something a little out-of-the-box if you’re feeling bold and different! Currently crushing on the mani & pedi systems by Olive & June.
Do something that makes you genuinely happy. If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s how precious time really is. Spend wisely and eat the freaking chocolate. Here is a whole list of inspiration that comes to mind!
- Call an old friend or a grandparent.
- Spend a whole day cooking your favorite meal (if, and only if, you enjoy cooking). If you don’t enjoy cooking, permission to order your favorite meal from your favorite restaurant. Breakfast, lunch, brunch, or dinner – dealer’s choice!
- Hang up and hang out. Request a family meal or movie without phones.
- Gift yourself that item from the local boutique that you’ve had your eye on for a long time. Support a small business to fill your cup and someone else’s!
- Date yourself. Head into town and splurge on a coffee paired with alone time in a park.
Be kind to yourself.
Being a hard worker is both a blessing and a curse. I know the feeling of trying to check one more thing off the never ending to-do list while in bed at 1am. Believe it or not, a self-care checklist can feel that way too! So the most important thing to remember is to give yourself grace, just like you would give to your mama, your babies, your lover, and your best friend. Life is not about daily accomplishments. It is about the big picture and we’re all just out here doing our best! Be kind to yourself and one another.