Work, daily chores, time with family and being social with friends eats up a lot of time. Just the other day, I overheard a young lady in her early twenties tell her friend that she was bored out of her mind because she had nothing to do the following weekend. I don’t ever remember being bored a day in my entire life, but somehow I felt nostalgic. A few hours later, a friend of mine relished in the fact that she just woke up from a 2 hour afternoon nap with her twin toddlers. She sleeps when “the babies sleep.”. I haven’t taken a nap in almost ten years. Hearing the young girl in the coffee shop and my fellow mom friend share details about their boredom and daily two hour naps was a huge wake-up call. I’m guilty of prioritizing everyone in my life, but myself. I want the time to be bored. I want to remember what it feels like to take a nap.
It was time to put the oxygen mask on and re-focus my energy on doing things that improve my health and my happiness. Taking time to slow down and take care of ourselves is actually one of the best things we can do not only for overall happiness and well-being but when we want to get more done. I know that practicing self care isn’t going to happen with the snap of a finger. It’s going to take baby steps. Here are 5 ways to practice self care this weekend.
Stop Touching Your Phone
That’s right. I dare you. In 2017, the average American adult spent 2 hours, 51 minutes on their phones every day—that’s 86 hours per month! Think about what would happen if you just took a one hour chunk of that time and dedicated it to taking care of yourself instead of scrolling thru someone else’s Instagram.
Enjoy Outdoor Workouts
Exercising in nature has benefits that go above and beyond the benefits you gain by exercising indoors. Research has shown improvements in mental well-being, self-esteem and can even help with depression. Being exposed to plants decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol, decreases resting heart rate and also decreases blood pressure. Another surprise benefit of getting outside and into nature is that exposure to plants like trees can improve your immune system.
Take a Staycation
Splurge on a nice hotel in your city and treat an overnight or weekend stay the same way you would a restorative vacation. Don’t cook. Don’t clean. And don’t over schedule yourself. Be a tourist in your own city. Check out places you’ve always wanted to go, but never made the time.
Book a Massage or a Facial or Both
Touch is the first of the senses to develop in the human infant, and it remains perhaps the most emotionally central throughout our lives. Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension. Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often produces feelings of caring, comfort and connection.
Create a Calming Routine With Music
Did you know that the positive feelings evoked by music can be as powerful as sex, drugs or eating? The next time you’re feeling stressed, you actually don’t need to do much. You can actually experience pleasure and stress-relief from listening to some great music you like. So turn off that podcast with talking heads, listen to your favorite type of music and feel its healing power. Alexa, play Best Friend by Sofi Tukker and turn it up.