Treat Yo’Self: You Deserve to Feel Good
Self-Care is healing.
Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, Palentine’s Day. Whichever holiday you choose to recognize (or avoid altogether), know this: You deserve ALL the love right now.
And the best way to show yourself a little love this week – and every week – is to be kind to your mind, body, and soul. It doesn’t take a spiritual guru to get you in the right mindset, either; our very own team shared some valuable tips on how they achieve self-care, every single day.
Tip #1: Take a Time Out
Alright, Stop. Meditate and Listen.
We’ve all found ourselves in that endless spiral: you’re answering an email that gets interrupted by a text that gets interrupted by a fire alarm that gets interrupted by a more urgent reminder that you completely forgot to pick up a cake for your cousin’s dog’s birthday.
It’s the daily death-spiral where chaos reigns and a headache is peeking its ugly face around the corner and you want to throw your computer – or the whole office – out of the window….
STOP. It’s time for a time out.
Yes, we mean a 5-year-old-throwing-a-tantrum style time out. Send yourself to a quiet corner or to your bedroom and just sit, away from stimuli and stressors.
In the midst of a meltdown, a moment of quiet calm can be an effective method of redirecting thoughts and behavior. By removing yourself from the situation, you can begin to slow your heart rate as you focus on slow, deep breaths.
And try not to look at it negatively; harnessing the power of a time out can help you regroup, instead of feeling like you’re punishing yourself.
Doing this everyday – or a few times a day – can significantly reduce tension, can help reset the brain and the body, and can improve responses to stress. If you’re having a hard time, take some time for yourself.
Tip #2: Make a Meal
One of the great gifts you can give people is to cook for them.
– Ina Garten
So why not do it for YOU?
If we’re talking about showing love for yourself, and this is one of the best ways to do it, then why not?!
In the midst of stress, the last thing we think we want is to step away from it all and put effort into making healthy food for ourselves.
But here’s the astonishing truth: cooking can actually help reduce stress.
Think about it: cooking activates all of the senses…
The smell of fresh foods and spices.
The way the ingredients feel as you slice, dice, mix, or mold.
The sounds of a crackling pan or the bubbling of a boiling pot.
The visual pleasure of watching something come together by your own hands.
And, finally, the taste of something new or nostalgic.
Cooking can bring up memories of something you made before, or something that was made for you. Maybe reviving a lost loved one’s recipe or making something you loved as a child can allow you to indulge in your thoughts as you’re taken to a different time and place.
But it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s more good advice from the Barefoot Contessa herself: You don’t have to do everything from scratch. Nobody wants to make puff pastry!
If you’re looking for ways to make cooking for yourself easier, check out our wonderful Recipe Library, showcasing everything from apps and dinners to breakfasts and breaktime goodies. It’s probably a good idea to grab some Cooking Broth while you’re at it too (wink).
Tip #3: Add Play to Your Day
Wordle Warriors, we’re looking at you!
Games aren’t just for kids, ya know.
Finding a way to add a little entertainment into your everyday life can provide a buffer against toxic stress, can stimulate the imagination (oh, there you are!), can help ramp up problem-solving skills, and can increase the brain’s ability to learn a new task and adapt.
Wow, who knew?
But you don’t need to go digging out your old Monopoly Board or buy the latest and greatest Lego set… unless that’s your jam, then you do you!
Adding some excitement to your day can be as simple as throwing a ball with your dog, painting your nails a fun color, or dancing around your kitchen to an upbeat song.
So give yourself permission to play. Channel your inner child, invoke the spirit of your hobbies of yesteryear, and get a little silly.
Tip #4: Find the Light
Hello darkness, my old friend.
Between working from home, the distractions of the day, and winter weather blues…it’s sometimes difficult – or nearly impossible – to actually GET OUTSIDE.
Believe it or not, even drawing back the curtains or sitting in a well-lit area won’t give you the full benefits of having your feet on the ground and your head in the sky. (Or, at the very least, somewhere besides a computer or a phone.) But you don’t have to move your entire desk onto the sidewalk to feel the effects.
Setting aside time to mosey outside on a Crocodile Dundee style walkabout can have big impacts on the body and the brain:
- Mood Enhancement
- Immune system support
- Lowered blood pressure
- Clearer focus
- Vitamin D boost
- Increased serotonin levels
- Regulated circadian rhythm
- Improved hunger cycles
- Cell health, hormone balance, and much more.
Speaking of serotonin…did you know this neurotransmitter can actually help you feel more energized, alert, and can aid in better memory function and overall well-being?
Well now you do!
Not to mention the fact that getting outdoors can cause nitric oxide (in your skin) to widen blood vessels, helping to lower blood pressure and heart rate and causing you to be in a more relaxed state. If you can give yourself the opportunity, getting out into the sun can give you what no other supplement can.
Tip #5: Talk to Yourself
Positive vibes only.
Look, we don’t condone going out in public and rambling out loud to no one in particular – that’s not exactly going to lead to a life of positive reinforcements.
But when was the last time you said something nice to yourself? Have you ever?
If you haven’t looked in the mirror today, go over to one and take a good look at yourself. We mean a REALLY good look.
And instead of immediately noticing your flaws (stop that right now), tell that person looking back at you how valuable they are. Tell that person you love them. Give that person the reassurance they’ve needed for what feels like forever.
While you’re doing it, try not to focus on looks as a marker for affirmations. Sure, you can be happy with the way your hair is falling around your face or the way your eyes shine in the light. But try and say things to yourself that go deeper than that.
Compliment yourself on something you’ve achieved recently.
Play therapist and give yourself a pep talk about something you’re nervous about.
Pretend you’re a friend and rattle off your best personality quirks.
Or just give yourself a high-five.
As silly as it sounds, we bet you can’t do it without smiling.
The power of positivity can go a long way, especially when it’s self-directed. If you feel awkward saying things out loud, you could also grab a notebook and start a Gratitude Journal, listing out things you’re thankful for each day. Whatever you do, just make sure you’re being selfish in the best way and giving yourself props where they’re most certainly due.
You’ve got this.