When we think of self-care, we often think of vacations, retail therapy, getting a massage, or a beverage. Expensive and time-consuming! But what if self-care was more of a mindset than an action or purchase? With a self-care mindset, we can harness the small ongoing moments within our day to be more nourishing and less depleting, instead of saving up money and time for self-care only on weekends or vacations.
While there are many ways to take care of ourselves, including moving our bodies, eating well, and caring for our personal spaces, Growing Minds takes a deep dive into the way we care for our minds or our mental well-being. In our Everyday Resilience sessions, we explore small habits and reflect on our own patterns to discern how we can deeply impact the way we feel and care for ourselves.
You may wonder how that might even look. For me personally, one of my favorite ways to put this into action is having small ongoing mental check-ins by pausing in the midst of this go-go-go world to see how I am doing. To be more specific, instead of simply rushing from meeting to meeting, or errand to errand, I take 30 seconds or a couple of minutes to pause between meetings. While it is no small feat to slow down, the impact that “re-centering” has on me makes it clearly worthwhile. I get the chance to notice if I am anxious, excited, overwhelmed, or whatever. Giving myself the space to notice begins to release those feelings and is relieving. Plus, I can then reorient my energy and be more intentional about what I want to bring into the next moment or interaction. That small pause allows me to make a more nourishing versus depleting choice.
By adjusting our mindset of what self-care looks like, from a few sweeping or expensive gestures towards frequent, small acts of self-care, we can change the way we feel throughout the day. At one stage in my life, self-care seemed optional. Today, I acknowledge it to be at the crux of my well-being. It is the barometer I use to notice my attitudes and perspectives and to make decisions about what I can bring to the next moment.
5 Summer Self-Care Ideas to Nourish Yourself
1. A long, long bath
All too often, we take showers on autopilot. Our body is going through the motions, but our mind is elsewhere. To nourish yourself, experiment with the feeling of the water and sinking into the experience. This small intentional shift can help us shake up our mindset and refresh our attitude.
2. Listen to your favorite song
Three minutes of whatever song you love can be so uplifting! Feel free to belt it out and really embrace the vibrations that music can bring to your body and attitude.
3. Eat your favorite food – MINDFULLY
Treat yourself and enjoy the pleasure of a treat – literally. Eating a bar of chocolate has the potential to either make you feel kind of yucky or really good. Spending the time to pay attention to the taste, touch, and smell of your favorite food can be a sensory extravaganza.
4. Take some deep breaths and notice how it feels (don’t underestimate this one).
It’s hard to imagine anything that more embodies self-care than a pause to check in with your thoughts, attitude, and physical body. Ask yourself, how am I doing today? What do I need? Take some breaths in and out, notice what is present inside yourself, and see how you might meet your own needs.
5. Do something out of the norm
Taking time to get out of the house to do something unique and special can be a week-changer. The key is to allow for new experiences and acknowledge that change can also bring in some stress. Keep the plans and expectations simple. And soak in any moments or highlights, rather than taking them for granted.
Did this resonate with you?
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