Stop. Stop what you’re doing right now. I want you to close your eyes and breathe slowly for four breaths. Yes, that means stop reading this post. Do it. I’ll wait.
So, did you make it through all four breaths? Did you even complete one? If you did make it through all four, where did your mind go during that time? My guess is that you were likely thinking, “This is stupid. Why am I doing this?” or “I’ve got so many other things I should be doing right now.”
Am I right?
We live in a crazy world where our professional, social, and personal lives demand a lot from us. There is always something going on in front of your eyes, at your fingertips, or in your bluetooth headset. I saw a story the other day about a top-level executive at a huge corporation who vets job candidates by texting them between 9 and 11 pm on a Sunday night to see how quickly they respond. Talk about an absence of work-life balance…
The problem: When we are constantly accessible, plugged in, or involved, we deplete ourselves and aren’t able to refill our reserves.
This can be such an unhealthy practice long-term, causing all kinds of unintended but harmful repercussions. Stress is one of the leading contributors to all kinds of issues, including insomnia, weakened immune function, gastrointestinal problems, fatigue, anxiety, fertility issues, erectile dysfunction, depression, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Do I have your attention now?
Stress is an unfortunate part of our lives, but one way to combat its effects is by scheduling time for regular self-care. Self-care means different things for different people, but a good way to think about it is spending time doing things that you enjoy, make you feel better, and grow you in positive ways.
Here are some examples of self-care:
- Get a manicure, pedicure, massage, or facial
- Play a sport you enjoy
- Do a creative project or craft just because you want to
- Take a long bubble bath
- Cook a delicious meal
- Plant a garden
- Take a day off from work
- Use essential oils that you find relaxing
- Try some dry brushing
- Take a walk outside
- Read a book
- Meditate or do deep-breathing
Choose a couple of these or some self-care practices you’d love, and then SCHEDULE time for it. Just like working out, it won’t happen if you don’t plan for it in advance. Make it a priority because, truly, your well-being depends on it.
Here are some products to get you started with self-care:
By Lindsay Reinholt with Ben Higgins
How can you practice self-care today?
Image by Bridging HerStory.