More and more, we are hearing about how important self-care is for living a healthy life. For women, it’s even more important because we tend to live for everyone around us first, before we take care of ourselves.
But, in order to take care of our loved ones we need to take care of ourselves first.
A common complaint when it comes to self-care is, “I just don’t have the time.”
So, to overcome that, here are four simple self-care practices you can weave into your day that won’t take up a ton of time.
#1 – Take time to stretch
One of the nicest things you can do for yourself is stretch your body.
If you take a few minutes to stretch when you first get up in the morning, it can help improve your circulation and flexibility, and reduce pain in your muscles and joints. Do this daily and the results may surprise you.
Try stretching your muscles to incorporate their full range of motion: Shoulder shrugs, neck rolls, wrist and ankle circles and forward/back movements, and so on. After a few weeks of adding this to your daily routine, you will notice you are much more limber and that morning stiffness lessens little more each day.
#2 – Add a morning and evening meditation to your routine
Meditation doesn’t have to mean sitting still on a cushion for hours at a time. It’s easy to add 5 minutes to your morning and evening routines to meditate and quiet your mind.
Meditation is known to help improve mood, deepen sleep, and develop a sense of inner peace and calm. It can reduce stress levels, decrease cortisol, and contribute to an increase in immunity and to relaxation.
Meditation can also help to reduce high blood pressure and even aid concentration. With so many benefits for just a few minutes a day of your time, this is one self-care ritual you don’t want to miss out on.
If you’ve never meditated before, you can use an app like Headspace to help you get started. Many people find that focusing on a guided meditation helps to quiet the mind more easily than simply sitting in silence.
#3 – Stay hydrated
You don’t have to block off time for this self-care practice. Staying hydrated helps to avoid dehydration, and keep your skin healthy.
No one is sure exactly how much water you should drink during the day, although the acceptable standard seems to be 8 eight-ounce glasses. Keeping a glass of water on your desk can help you stay hydrated throughout the day.
Staying hydrated also helps you stave off hunger pangs, which is important because hunger is one of the signs of dehydration. A good habit to get into is drinking a glass of water before you eat, to see how you feel. It could be that you were just feeling thirsty, not hungry at all.
#4 – Put a smile on your face
Smiling is another self-care practice that doesn’t take any extra time to add to your day.
Science is of two minds as to whether smiling even when you don’t feel like it actually makes you feel happier. But, if you believe in the “act as if” theory, then turning your frown upside down should at least life your spirits a little bit.
Regardless of how it makes you feel, smiling at other people can make their day, and that will make you feel better. When you smile at someone else, it may be the only bit of kindness they’ve been shown all day.
Self-care doesn’t have to take up huge amounts of your time every day. These four simple self-care practices will help you feel energized and good about yourself so that you can get on with your day doing what you love and taking care of the people you love.
What simple self-care practices do you have in your daily routine? Share in the comments below…