It's September, and it feels like everybody is back and ready for action. Our culture can be a little fast-paced and crazy, right? It's tempting to believe that you have to work hard every moment you're awake to be successful and get the most out of life. The truth, although sometimes difficult to accept, is that if you don’t take time to care for yourself, you won’t be able to give the best of yourself at work, or with your family and relationships. It's so easy to get caught up with our busy schedules and forget how important it is to make time for mental health. So that's why we want to focus on self-care this September.
A self-care routine doesn’t have to be extensive or time-consuming. Simply take a few minutes throughout the day to apply one these 7 practices in order to truly elevate your life by caring for yourself.
1. Practice Gratitude
Look in the mirror and thank God for gifting you with your body and mind, and everything they do for you throughout each day. Look in your friends’, kids’, or spouse’s eyes and thank them for the small things they do to show you love, honor, and respect. Say “thank you” to the people and situations that challenge you to grow and be a better, stronger person.
This can be as simple as closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths to rest your mind, or dedicating 10-15 minutes each morning while sitting still and saying scripture out-loud. The goal is to clear your mind of the things that worry you or set you back from your goals and purpose. Breathe, pray, or read scripture. Whatever you choose to do, just be intentional and mindful about it. Try diffusing Frankincense essential oil to ignite your spiritual self, or take a few breaths of the oil blend you need in that moment, like Joy, Stress Away, Grounding, or Peace & Calming.
3. Move Your Body
Exercise and movement will release endorphins in your body that can reduce stress and make you feel happier. Keep it simple and go for a walk, hike, jog, or run. Or, take it a step further and take a fitness class or do a strength workout at the gym. Do what makes you feel confident and strong, and give yourself grace along the way.
4. Take Media Breaks
The internet and smartphones have added tremendous value to our lives, but they can also take away from other areas of our lives if we don’t step away from them for a moment each day. Eat dinner at the table before turning on your TV, close your email and go for a walk during your lunch break, turn off your phone when you get home for an hour, or try not looking at your phone or computer in the morning before you take intentional time for yourself.
5. Create a Nighttime Routine
Turn off your phone, take a bath, wash your face, brush your teeth, floss, read a book, then get in bed. When you take care of your skin and teeth before bed, you're reducing the effects of aging and will improve your confidence when you wake up feeling refreshed. The routine you create will help settle your mind and release any stress you’ve brought home from the day.
Sleeping is the best way for your mind and body to rejuvenate and re-energize each day. In order to give your best, you have to sleep well. If lights or sounds distract you and keep you awake, try a face mask and ear plugs. Turn off your phone and try reading a book before going to sleep to calm your mind and avoid mental distraction when you lie down. Diffuse Lavender and Cedarwood to help your body unwind and sleep well. Aim for 6-7 hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep each night.
7. Eat Well and Hydrate
Proper nutrition and adequate water intake will improve your overall health and help you feel strong and confident in your body. Not a fan of water? Add a couple drops of Lemon Vitality, Lime Vitality, or Orange Vitality oils for extra flavor!
Self-care doesn’t have to be overwhelming or another stressful task added to your busy schedule. Start applying 1-2 of these simple practices this month to begin building your self-care routine and watch what happens!