By definition self care is activities and/or practices we engage in on a regular basis to reduce stress and enhance our well-being. It's things we do to feed our soul and nourish our heart. It's essential for all of us to live, thrive and succeed!
Self care is extremely important to me and absolutely the reason I live each day with a peaceful heart. Giving myself time to feed my soul allows me to be a present wife, mom, friend, sister, daughter, business owner, etc. Prioritizing myself and making my mental, physical and soulful health a priority has impacted my life and those around me in magnificent ways. When I feel good I am able to be better. But unfortunately for many of us it’s one of those things that we put off and put off and sometimes it takes a life changing moment or worse-a wake up call until we understand the power of loving ourselves and making time for you. Here are my five simple ways to self care.
This is a powerful self-care tool we all have. Each of us has this in us already-this natural superpower-but so many of us don’t utilize or embrace it. The power of deep breathing and using your breath to direct your energy and your focus, allows you to be present and to calm your mind and body. You can do the following mindful breathing exercise anywhere. It's a great way to begin your morning but is a lifesaver in the afternoon when daily stresses. To experience my five minute mindful breathing exercise, go here.
THE POWER OF "NO"
This was a hard one to embrace because if you're like me, you like to please and never want to let others down. But sometimes it's not about everyone else. It's about you putting yourself first and prioritizing what fulfills you. Would it really be the end of the world if you skipped a pointless/spontaneous happy hour with your coworkers? Or said no to doing mindless activities? And instead said YES to trying a new workout class or yes to cooking a healthy dinner at home for yourself (with Andrea Bocelli playing in the background in your favorite comfy yoga pants....I digress). Too often we allow our guilt to drive our decision making when in fact we should make decisions with a clear mind and a sincere heart.
Keeping a gratitude journal is an easy way to clear your mind and focus on what you are thankful for. Even when everything seems to be spiraling out of control and your to do lists get longer and longer, and it feels like nothing is going your way-writing down what you are thankful for is an easy way to put things in perspective. This is something you can do every day before you go to bed. It doesn't need to be fancy-you can just jot it down in a notebook. If you enjoy writing, I would suggest writing letters to yourself-this can be very therapeutic and a deeply emotional way to move past personal obstacles you might be facing.
Since becoming a Mama I've started writing letters to Milly. The first letter I wrote her was right after she was born and then I wrote another when turned four months old. My goal is to continue writing her letters at least every quarter or whenever I feel compelled to. It's amazing how powerful putting your thoughts to paper can be.
Unplugging from electronics, taking a social media fast or even setting technology boundaries are powerful ways to reconnect with yourself and those around you. As much as I love social media I rarely post on my social channels while I'm actually experiencing whatever "thing" I'm doing. I typically will take the photos, videos, etc and post later. This allows me to be present and live in the moment. In our home we rarely have the television on. Instead, we enjoy playing music and save media time for designated times in the day.
QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY
I think it's important for each of us to identify the activities that fulfill you and in the same token, identify the people that also do so. A huge component of self care is the influence of others and understanding positive relationships. Having even just a few select people in your life that support your commitment to self-care is imperative-seeking only those people that you can learn from, lean on and laugh with.
Keep reading for some of my favorite ways to practice self care. I invite you to try some of them yourself and when you do, I'd love for you to share your experience with my on instagram @BrandiMilloy or down below in the comments.
Some of My Favorite Ways to Practice Self Care
- Write affirmations and post them somewhere you see everyday.
- Wake up early and go for a walk.
- Go to the beach to meditate or pray.
- Have a homemade picnic in the park.
- Take a long bubble bath.
- Buy a new feel good book or swap one with a friend.
- Listen to an inspirational story/podcast/speech/lecture.
- Declutter a drawer. Keep decluttering and keep things that only "spark joy" via the Kon Mari method.
- Volunteer or give back. Do something good and pay it forward.
- Surprise a friend with a card of small gift.