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10 Ways I Practice Self-Care

Self-care is about prioritizing yourself. Sometimes that means doing things that can improve your health, reminding yourself to breathe, setting up systems that make your days run more smoothly, or doing something that simply brings you joy.

Here’s 10 ways I practice Self-Care:

1. Steamed Towel Anyone? Every morning… I turn my faucet to its hottest setting, soak a washcloth, squeeze out the extra water, and give it a little shake to cool it slightly. Then I press it to my face, and take a slow breath through my nose. The breath is the takeaway here. The towel is a part of my skincare routine. The breath is a way to calm myself before officially starting the day.

2. Extra Time in the Morning I’m not going to lie, there are days when this one doesn’t happen. It’s one of the easiest things to plan for, but sometimes my body would rather sleep for an extra 30-60 minutes, and that’s okay! Self-care is also about

listening to what your body’s needs. But on the days when I don’t need the extra Zzzz's… I like to wake up 3 hours before I need to be at work, and do everything at a leisurely pace. I slowly sip my coffee. I calmly do my hair and makeup. I make a full breakfast, and actually take the time to eat it at the table rather than inhale it on my drive to work. Most days, I’m able to complete this calm morning, and those days are the best!

3. Five Minutes of Breath Work There are times when I extend my meditation for a longer duration, and simply don’t look at the clock at all. But the best way to fit in a mini-meditation, and a great addition to your self-care routine, is to set a five minute timer with the goal of just breathing. I highly recommend getting a soft alarm sound for your timer! I’m sure there are

many ways of doing this, but how I did it was I purchased a ringtone from the iTunes store that was titled “Meditation Bell.” It immediately showed up in the ringtones section on my phone, which I can access when setting a timer. Nothing fancy, no need to download any mindfulness apps; just a simply timer with a sound that doesn’t jolt me out of my calming trance. These are my two favorite ways to perform breath work: •Slow and Steady - Get into a seated position. Start a 5 minute Timer. Breathe in through your nose as slowly as possible until your lungs are completely full. Then, as slowly as possible, blow out of your lips as if you were wanting to blow 1000 bubbles with this single breath. Repeat until your timer goes off. Don’t worry about your body’s natural movements. Don’t worry about holding completely still, or sitting perfectly in a classic meditation position. Just breathe. If your head tilts forward or backward, that’s where it needs to be. If your hands started face up, but eventually turn to be face down, that’s where they need to be. Just breathe. The 4-7-8 Method - For this one, you’ll keep a basic 8 count in your head. Inhale counting 1-2-3-4, hold the breath counting 5-6-7, and release the breath on the 8 count. Collect yourself, and continue starting back at 1-2-3-4. This one is amazing for anxiety. Even just a few 8 counts does wonders to soften my heart rate and collect my breath.

4. Hey Google, Play Some Tunes! Music is life. I will forever say that hair is my second love, and music was my first. Music can enhance moods/emotions, or shift them. Don’t get me wrong, there is something beautiful about appreciating silence

when you have it. But more often than not, I have background music with whatever I’m doing. Music brings me joy, and providing yourself with daily joys is a part of self-care. *Currently listening to a Spa Music Playlist on Amazon Music

5. You Can Never Buy Too Many Essential Oils Whether you’re someone that believes essential oils can be medicinal, or you simply enjoy the yummy smells, you’re getting something out of them. I happen to fall under both of those categories. I use my essential oils medicinally (headaches, allergies, anxiety, depression, angry uterus, etc.), but I also get so much joy from coming home and smelling a delicious blend that I left diffusing that morning. Keep an eye out for my future article about all the ways I use my essential oils!

6. Book a Massage I can’t list enough reasons why a monthly massage is so important to me. Between the relaxing music, essential oils, and having someone tell me to just relax while they take care of me… It’s the ultimate decompression for my brain. Then of course, the physical benefits are so important. It’s been proven that massages can improve your

circulation, muscle/tissue health, immune system, lymphatic system, stress levels, etc. During the COVID lock down, and my move last year, I wasn’t able to get in for my regular massages, and I could feel it! I believe the whole body is connected, and built up tension and inflammation affect you dramatically. I’m so happy to be able to get my monthly massages again!

7. No Work on Sundays I am a very career oriented person. Once upon a time, it didn’t matter what day or time someone was calling or texted me, I was going to answer. But then I learned that it’s okay to set boundaries, and you don’t need to be on-call 24/7. My normal work days are Tuesday-Saturday, and sometimes I can’t help myself, I make Mondays a productivity day too (I’m currently writing this on a Monday.) But Sundays are off limits! For the most part I try to unplug, but if I feel like scrolling through social media, it’s on personal accounts only; no business accounts. If a client sends me a text, I don’t open it (so the alert is still there), and I respond the next day. Not one client as ever complained, and if anything, they understand and respect my decision to completely clock out for the day.

8. Time with My Favorite People Each part of my life I view as a different cup. I have a me-time cup, a career cup, an entertainment cup, a health and wellness cup, a spirituality cup, an education cup, etc Some cups are bigger, and some are smaller, but they all need to be filled. One large cup is my relationship/social cup, and inside that cup is a handful of small cups designated to each one of my favorite people, and we fill these cups together; both putting in the same about of effort. Sometimes it’s in a big way, like taking a trip together. But it doesn’t always need to be that. It could be playing cards with my partner and stepson, getting my nails done with my sister, drawing with sidewalk chalk with my niece, or scheduling a FaceTime date with my two best friends and a glass of wine. All of these are simple ways I fill my relationship/social cup.

9. Alone Time I’ve always considered myself an extrovert, but in the last few years, I learned how much of me is introverted as well. Because of that, my alone time is so important to me! Just like I need fill my social cup, I need to fill my me-time cup.

My two days off each week are Sunday and Monday. Monday is a great day to run errands and take care of personal appointments. But it’s also a great day to take myself on a little lunch date, go for a walk, window shop, or stay home to work on that random craft project I’ve been thinking about, and take an overly long bubble bath.

10. Hydrate Drinking water is one of the most important things for your physical health. It supports digestion, lubricates joints, etc. It’s also a huge factor in the health and appearance of your hair and skin. Plus, it’s delicious and refreshing. Knowing all of this, I can’t think of anything that’s more important while trying to take care of yourself. That’s what self-care is; caring for yourself. So from now on, anytime you take a swig from your water cup, think about how much you’re doing for yourself. It makes it all the more satisfying.

I hope you enjoyed this article!

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—Megan Christine


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