As women, more often than not we lead very busy lives. Juggling work and family leaves us with very little time for ourselves. Traditionally we have been taught to put others before ourselves, particularly so because we are women. However, if we are to care for others it is absolutely imperative that we care for ourselves first.
We must maintain our own health and well-being if we are to care adequately for those around us, not to mention maintain responsible positions at work. Here are four simple, self-care rituals that you can work into your day, without having to take too much time away from your never-ending “To do” list.
Stretch In The Morning
A few minutes of gentle stretching when you get up in the morning can help increase your blood circulation, improve flexibility, and reduce pain in your muscles and joints. When done on a daily basis you may be astonished by the results.
Try stretching your muscles to incorporate their full range of motion: Shoulder shrugs, neck rolls, wrist and ankle circles and forward/back movements, and so on. After a few weeks of daily routine, you will notice you are much more limber and can get dressed, tie your laces, reach etc. with way more ease.
We’ve begun adding stretching to our routine via Stretch U (https://stretchu.com) , a franchise business here in San Diego. I have a weekly 40 minute appointment with physical therapist that takes my body through over 108 different stretches.
Meditate Morning And Night
Another easy to incorporated daily ritual that can help improve your sense of well-being is meditation. Meditation is known to help improve mood, deepen sleep, and develop a sense of inner peace and calm. It can reduce stress levels, decrease cortisol, and contribute to an increase in immunity and to relaxation.
It can reduce high blood pressure and even aid concentration. With so many benefits for just a few minutes a day of your time, this is one self-care ritual you don’t want to miss out on. Try just 2 to 3 minutes per session at first and build up gradually over time.
A meditation that I highly recommend is any of the Oprah & Deepak Mediation experiences. Throughout the year they offer themed 21 day mediation experiences.
You can also try Liberate App, a guided mediation app for POC.
Drink Eight Glasses Of Water Per Day
And while the jury is still out on exactly how many glasses of water you should drink in a day, aim for eight, to avoid dehydration and keep your skin soft, smooth, and supple. Drinking this much water can help you stave off hunger pangs; in fact, feeling hungry is a sign that you are in fact, dehydrated.
Next time your tummy tells you to eat, drink a glass of water first, and see how you feel. Chances are you won’t need to reach for the cookie jar! Staying hydrated keeps your kidneys working optimally and aids in healthy digestion and excretion of wastes.
Even if you don’t feel like it, science has discovered that if you turn up the corners of your mouth, into a smile shape, you actually start to feel happier! Smiling releases neurotransmitters called endorphins. Endorphins make you feel happier. The brain doesn’t know how to differentiate between a fake smile and a real one; it reads the positioning of the facial muscles and acts accordingly. How cool is that? Practice smiling at others and notice the responses you get. A simple smile can help you feel better, and make others feel better too. Everybody wins!
Even though you are a busy woman with many responsibilities, you simply have to learn to put yourself at the very top of your list of priorities. After all, if you don’t look after yourself, how will you be able to do all that you do?
By easily incorporating these few self-care rituals into your daily routine, you will feel in tip-top shape and able to carry on caring, working and living your life to the full.