Although the term has an abundance of definitions and meanings behind it, it can mean completely different things from one person to the next. One can define self-care as taking time out for yourself, focusing on the important things, cooking a nice meal, exercising, reading a book, just about anything! Just because the term can float by with different meanings to different individuals, one thing is for certain – self-care is important for our day to day lives and we could all use a little more of it. ☺ Stop and smell the roses because a little extra down time each day can really impact your future for the better.
Self-care doesn’t necessarily mean that you book out an entire day for yourself. Don’t stress about putting this time together for yourself. This should come effortlessly and you should look forward to your unwinding and self-care. A few minutes a day and guarantee you lower stress levels and an overall sense of wellbeing.
Below you can find some of our favorite self-care techniques and rituals!
1. Mindset – Your mindset is one of the most important factors of your health. Have you ever heard the saying that certain personality types possess more health problems? In psychological terms, there are personalities that are labelled in terms of “A, B, C, etc.” and each type carries on its own traits that you may possess. For example, some personality types are can take on too much, are impatient or competitive which can lead to higher stress, blood pressure and more. If you learn how to adapt and shift your mindset to a calmer state, health can begin to enter your life with more ease. Sometimes it can be as simple as praying, meditating, practicing positive affirmations or simply letting go of negative energies around you.
2. Less Electronics and Social Media Presence – Electronics and smart devices can be found all around us these days. From the shop you order your coffee from, your nightstand, all around your home and work place. The information overload that we receive on a daily basis can be quite exhausting to process. Never mind the daily social media posts that you see. Social media can definitely burden our mindsets with thoughts of how we should look, how we should feel, what we should like or what’s trendy. Taking time to disconnect and live more in the moment can bring you far more peace than you’d imagine. Start by giving yourself 30 minutes before bed of no-phone or no-television time. Gradually increase time off each day or night and you’ll begin to notice that eventually, you don’t reach for your electronics every waking second that you have free.
3. Deep Breathing – It’s no wonder that many people consider deep breathing time as self-care time. Breathing in oxygen is what keeps us alive after all! Lately, there’s been more and more information and studies done on the health benefits of true deep breathing techniques. Many say that taking time to properly breathe each day boosts our immune system, lowers stress and can even lower anxiety and panic. Wim Hof has great exercises and techniques for deep breathing, be sure to check him and others out. Oh, and don’t forget to BREATHE! Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4, exhale for 4, hold for 4. Picture a box!
4. Fresh Air – Do you ever travel and find that the “air” quite literally smells different when you step foot off of the plane? There are so many smells around us on a daily basis that we are constantly exposed to. Most of it is not good quality air and it can be ridden with chemical exposures, mustiness, odor, mold and more. Take time each day to step outside, get some fresh air and really take it in. Take in the smells and sounds around you. Sometimes a little outdoor time or a short walk can clear our minds better than any medication. Plus, the sun provides us with natural vitamins that we need in order for our immune systems to function to par. Ever wonder why you sleep so well after a day at the beach too? Natural light exposure can also help our circadian rhythm get back into the swing of things too!
5. Tea Time – Sometimes a cup of your favorite warm tea is all you need to wind down after a long day. This is definitely an activity that many of us take for granted, yet it is so simple and soothing. There is something about smelling and sipping fresh warm tea that brings a feeling of ease and relaxation over us. Drinking warm liquids throughout the day helps our lymphatic systems as well, so if you’re a tea lover you’re one step ahead. Be sure to limit caffeine throughout the day so that you can have a restful night’s sleep though! Grab your cutest mug, put on some cozy lounge wear and enjoy that warm cup of tea for at least 5 minutes in your day.
6. New Hobbies – I think we’re all quite familiar with the exciting feeling of something new in life. Whether it be big or small, sometimes a newness is what we need for a shift in mindset. When you’re actively practicing self-care, do your best to think about things that really interest you or bring you joy. It may even be something you’ve never tried or done before. Try out a new hobby – invest in yourself! Whether it be couponing, painting, designing, wood working, honestly it can be just about anything. There are so many wonderful hobbies and activities out there that would bring out the best in each of us. The great thing about hobbies is that they can continuously change too! So if you become bored with something or you find yourself more stressed, go back to it or find something new to try. You never know, maybe you’ll stumble across a hidden talent or your calling.
7. Special Days and Nights – If you do need extended periods of time for yourself, planning special days, nights or even vacations can reset us in the best way possible. Time away from the daily routine and hassles in life can have profound effects on our mental and physical health. This also gives you something to look forward to. Whether you decide to hash out that extra money in your savings or just a few dollars, you can plan time how YOU want to spend it. Whether it’s a week of activities or pure relaxation, planning time for yourself is really important. It is putting YOU first in a world where you are spent worrying about others 80% of the time.
8. Exercise – One of the most important, if not THE most important self-care technique and method is to simple get more exercise. Movement is amazing for our bodies in practically every way possible. From detoxing effects, to weight loss, mood boosting and better sleep, exercise may even be your only answer. Exercise can in turn to a new hobby as well if you decide you love it! It should also be noted that you do not have to sweat yourself into a mess each time you work out. A simple walk, jog, yoga, meditation or stretching can also count as exercise. The beauty of moving our bodies is that it also stimulates and moves our mind. The benefits to exercise are endless. If you’re truly looking to invest in yourself and your health, exercise will be one of your top answers. Take your dogs for a walk, go for a swim, take the stairs instead of using the elevator, pop by the gym a few times a week or download a free workout e-book from online! The possibilities here are truly endless.
Your health is important to us, and that includes your eyes! If you’re concerned about your eye care or would like to book an appointment with one of our doctors, please call us at (401)521-6789 or visit us at www.optxrhodeisland.com. We are located at 1277 Hartford Avenue, Johnston, Rhode Island.