*Scroll down to see my 15 favorite activities for self care!*
Opening a new business hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park. In fact, it’s easily the most challenging thing we’ve ever done. About one month into our business opening, it was impossible to ignore the effects on our minds, bodies, and souls for any longer. My mother came down with Shingles, and we were both experiencing full body aches, chronic fatigue and an overload of stress. Now that we’ve welcomed our fourth team member (Ty, an amazing kavatender and overall awesome guy!), we have decided it’s time to start setting some boundaries for ourselves. Whether that means calling it quits at 7pm when you aren’t nearly close to completing all the tasks on the never-ending-to-do-list; forcing yourself to take an ENTIRE DAY OFF (very difficult); or allowing yourself to sleep in for a few extra hours. These are things we all must do in order to sustain ourselves in this absolutely crazy world.
Often, when trying to make time for self care I find myself allowing guilt to rear its ugly head. Anxiety causing my muscles to tense and before I know it I’m snapping on my loved ones and engaging in a self sabotaging inner-monologue. I’m sure I can’t be the only one who struggles with this, which is why I wanted to write and shed some light on it. Knowing you’re not alone can make a big difference in itself. Today I took my first day off in God knows how long. That consisted of cleaning, organizing, laundry, taking care of my pets and my plants, washing my hair and exfoliating the sh*t out of my skin, and spending time cuddling my dog and cat. I tried my best not to log onto our social media pages or to even think about working. Sometimes you just know you need to clear your mind, be alone, and recenter.
I started looking for ideas on how to practice self-care and decided I’d like to compile a list of things that have worked for me (and a few things I haven’t done that sound quite nice…). I challenge you to devote at least one minute per day to doing something for yourself. Check out my list and let me know what you think (-: As always, thank you for supporting my family and thank you for making Pause…at 131 Swinton a very special place.
Peace & Love
1.) Journal. This is easily my favorite activity. Just start by writing whatever comes to mind, then make it a little more challenging by writing gratitude lists or positive affirmations.
2.) Go for a walk. Seriously. Just walk around the block or something.
3.) Listen to a whole album. I bet you don’t have the attention span for this (I definitely don’t), but choose one of your favorite artists or an artist you’d like to know more about. I recently listened to a good portion of Faure’s Requiem and it was thoroughly enjoyable.
4.) Treat Yo’Self. Maybe that means getting your nails done, grabbing your favorite lunch, getting a massage, or buying some new clothes. While these things may be “materialistic”, you do need to take care of yourself and I know many people neglect doing so.
5.) Take a bath or shower and go all out. Try to be really present during this cleansing experience and imagine the stress being washed away. Breathe deeply and USE that bath bomb, USE that sugar scrub, take your time and enjoy every moment.
6.) Jam. As a music therapist I can’t forget to mention the healing power of music! Maybe this means practicing your instrument, looking up 3 chord renditions of your favorite songs or writing your own.
7.) Sit outside. Grab your favorite drink (perhaps one of our coffee drinks!) and have your own party on your patio, front porch or balcony.
8.) Plan a vacation. This one could actually get a little stressful so keep it simple. If you haven’t taken time off in a while, spend some time researching where you’d like to go or what you’d like to do. If you have the means just book it. Having something to look forward to is very powerful to the human psyche.
9.) Stay off that phone. I get it, it isn’t always practical to turn your phone off completely. What is practical is turning off your social media notifications (just delete the apps if you don’t trust yourself).
10.) Make your bed. It makes a big difference! Bonus points for washing your bedding first.
11.) Meditate. I mean, duh.
12.) Work it out. Do a simple low-impact workout or try out a yoga class (we have yoga at Pause…!), anything to get you moving. Even stretching is better than nothing. FitnessBlender on YouTube is one of my favorite resources for free workout videos.
13.) Clean and organize your living space. You’ll feel so much better once your little world is bright and tidy.
14.) Do your hobby! Don’t have a hobby? Start one. I realized after college I didn’t really do anything for myself. I became interested in fish keeping and it’s proven to be a nice way to forget about real life and metaphorically swim with the fishies.
15.) Watch your pet. Just stare at that lovable little ball of fur (or scales, or feathers…whatever) and find joy in every move they make.