As women, we lead very busy lives. Juggling work and family leaves us with little time for ourselves. Traditionally we have been taught to put others before ourselves. 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 I have managed to work into my day, without having to take too much time away from my 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 surprised 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.
Meditate Morning And Night
Another easily incorporated daily ritual that I use to improve my 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 relaxation.
It can reduce high blood pressure and even aid concentration. I choose to meditate on positively affirming scriptures while listening to praise and worship music. But you can use whatever works for you.
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.
Drink Eight Glasses Of Water Per Day
The jury is out on exactly how many glasses of water you should drink in a day, but if you aim for eight, you will avoid dehydration and keep your skin soft, smooth, and supple. My personal best is a gallon a day, but that’s when I am in full exercise mode. Drinking 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.
I have often been accused of being “too” happy whatever that means. But the truth is, a smile doesn’t cost you anything and can change your entire outlook. 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 incorporating these few easy self-care rituals into your daily routine, you will feel a lot better and able to continue caring, working and living your life to the full.