Contrary to what popular wellness influencers say, comprehensive self-care isn’t simply a day at a luxury spa and online shopping. In fact, the most impactful self-care practices do not cost a dime. By re-thinking what you truly need to feel your best, you super charge your health and well-being, and boost your savings account in the process.
Practice Healthy Boundaries
Author, Somatics Therapist and Political Organizer Prentice Hemphill says, “Boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously.” By maintaining healthy boundaries, we express the most gracious act of self-care possible. Need a little help cleaning up your boundary hygiene? Read Boundaries and Protection by Pixie Lighthorse
For folks accustomed to doing it all, saying ‘no’ can be a revolution. While it may feel good in the moment, the reality of always saying yes leaves us overwhelmed and overburdened. Develop a habit of taking 24 hours to respond to all requests – yes, even those from family and friends. Ask yourself whether that additional task is something you really want to do, and then act accordingly. Having less outward facing obligations means having a lot more time for inner work. And that is a self-care Do.
Positive Self Talk
Never underestimate the power of your inner monologue. Obsessing over arguments, berating ourselves for missing the mark, and being anything less than kind when speaking to ourselves has an impact. Develop a new habit of speaking to yourself with maximum compassion each day. Bonus points for smiling while doing so.
Studies show that even 3 deep and mindful breaths can have an incredible impact on our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. The good news is, this can be done anytime, anywhere and doesn’t cost a dime. Begin incorporating the practice of taking 3 long, slow breaths before important meetings, when sitting down to a meal, and when first waking up in the morning.
Spending even a few moments outside has a wonderful effect on our health and wellbeing. Fresh air energizes the full body, while a dose of sunshine will naturally boost vitamin D levels. Try taking a short walk midday to refresh between meetings. Taking meals outside is another way to soak up the peaceful vibes readily available outdoors. For increased serenity, add daily or weekly sessions outdoors to your calendar just as you would a doctor’s appointment or work meeting.
The practice of grounding or “earthing” involves standing on wet grass, dirt, sand or other bare earth surfaces without wearing socks or shoes. By removing the boundary between yourself and the bare earth, your skin – which acts as a superconductor of energy – can absorb negatively charged electrons which in turn help lower inflammation-causing free-radicals. Other benefits include improved sleep, increased energy, and reduced pain levels. All great reasons to leave your shoes behind on your next visit to the beach.
Adding greenery to indoor environments not only improves the air quality, it improves your mood! Various scientific studies have proven that indoor plants help folks feel less stress while working and some studies even show the presence of indoor plants to help people recover from illness and injury faster. Researchers have also found that caring for plants helps increase feelings of wellbeing among sufferers of anxiety, depression, and dementia. Indulge yourself in some plant medicine and reap the benefits of added greenery.
The benefits of self-touch are almost limitless and when self-pleasuring leads to climax, the benefits multiply as well. Reaching orgasm sends a flood of endorphins like oxytocin and dopamine as well as important neurotransmitters like serotonin into the bloodstream improving mood, feelings of self-love, and sleep. Additional studies show that the act of getting blood flowing through self-stimulation can improve the health of the reproductive organs, blood pressure, and the heart. Prioritizing your own pleasure simply cannot be overlooked as one of the single best forms of self-care.
Take a Social Media Break
While responsibly engaging in social media apps can help users feel connected, over-scrolling can cause exhaustion, eye strain, burn out, and increased feelings of inadequacy. If you find yourself mindlessly scrolling your favorite social app night after night, it may be a good idea to take a break. Try deleting your favorite app for 7-10 days to give yourself enough time to reevaluate your social media habits. Deleting the app – but not your account – ensures you won’t be able to sneak a peek during moments of weakness when habit takes over. When you’re ready to re-engage, simply re-download your favorite app and sign back in with refreshed social media boundaries that will better serve your mental health.
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