April is National Stress Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to focus on putting yourself first. We are big believers that a little self-care can go a long way when it comes to our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. We know that engaging in a consistent self-care routine is clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, and improve concentration. So why not embrace Stress Awareness Month and use these few weeks to create a few self-care rituals. Who doesn’t need a little me-time in their life?
Make Time to Breathe
It can be hard to make the switch between work and home each night. Instead of coming home and starting right away on chores, dinner, homework, etc., change your clothes and try lying down for 5 minutes on a yoga mat and doing breathing exercises. Do this consistently, and you’ll find your energy and evenings take on a much more relaxed flow. Approaching your nightly to do list in a much more relaxed manner will help you feel calmer and sleep better.
Put Your Skin First
Beauty rituals are the ultimate me-time. Create a Zen-like space in your bathroom, and get religious about taking 10-15 minutes every morning and night to focus on your skincare routine. Plus, there’s something about having healthy, clear, glowing skin that will make you feel more confident and less anxious. And while you are focused on your skincare routine, be sure to get on a regular schedule for professional facial treatments to enhance your efforts at home.
Check Your Thoughts
Nothing derails self-care like your brain and self-destructive thoughts. Self-care actually starts with getting your head right and focusing on self-esteem and self-worth. When you feel those thoughts creeping in, take some time to first stop and ask yourself “What am I thinking that is causing me to feel this way?” Then get yourself an inspiring journal and write things down. Journaling brings clarity, reflection and organization to your thoughts which then leads to understanding triggers and being able to implement change.
Dance it out, walk, clean, do yoga—anything that helps you clear your head and detangle the bundles of stress throughout your body is a self-care ritual we can get behind. Consider walking or jogging without your headphones. Take time to calm your thoughts, notice nature and say hello to your neighbors.
Relax Your Mind
Set aside some time daily to sit in silence and practice mindful breath meditation. Close your eyes and breathe a deep, slow breath in through your nostrils. Observe it as it moves into your sinuses, throat, lungs, your heart and your tummy. Notice it and feel it as it sits in your tummy for a few seconds. Then gently release the breath and observe it as it gently moves up from your stomach into your lungs, your sinuses, through your nostrils and out. Repeat for a few minutes to experience an instant calm if you feel stressed and short on time. Our favorite time to meditate? When you first wake up in the morning. Starting your day in silence can give your mind the clarity it needs to handle whatever the day brings.