Self-care is everywhere. It seems like taking care of yourself has become a trend, but self-care isn't just a buzzword, it's a necessity. Neglecting your happiness can cause stress, feelings of unworthiness, and even depression. Self-care should be a priority every day.
Over the last few years, I’ve explored what self-care means to me and the activities I enjoy the most for feeling rejuvenated. Here are some of my favorite, simple, yet lesser known ways to get my self-care in only minutes a day.
Essential oils are plant essences in a bottle. The most common way to use them is with a diffuser. The diffuser distributes their scent throughout a room. Essential oils work by stimulating various parts of the brain through our sense of smell. So, if you smell an orange, you you feel revived. Citrus is a great scent for encouraging vitality. Lavender is wonderful for relaxing, and floral scents like ylang ylang and jasmine encourage happiness.
My favorite diffuser combination is ylang ylang and frankincense. I feel so alive when it’s wafting through my house.
Crystals have been used for centuries to remove negative energy from the body and infuse it with positive energy. You can use crystals by holding them, wearing them as jewelry (or even in your pocket or bra), or placing them somewhere near you while you're sleeping.
Each crystal has a different benefit. Amethyst is great for inspiring creativity, lepidolite can help you sleep better, and rose quartz encourages love of the self and others. If you enjoy meditating, try holding a crystal while meditating and see how this changes your experience.
I love reading! It is one of my favorite forms of self-care, especially if I take my book in the bath with me. But you don't have to have 30 minutes available to take a bath and read a book. Reading for just ten minutes a day can be a great escape. The key to reading for self-care is to choose something fun that you enjoy. Self-help books are great, but if they cause you to focus on your problems, they aren't helping you relax and rejuvenate.
As you’ve seen on Mari’s Journaling Power Blog, the benefits of journaling are endless. By writing your thoughts down, you get them out of your head so you can forget about them. This is a great way to let things go or work them out.
You don't have to write a lot, and you can write whatever is on your mind. A few minutes spent writing in your journal can be powerful. Sometimes I write less, and sometimes, when I don’t feel like writing, I add pictures to my journal. Some days all I have in my journal are doodles. Do whatever works for you.
Some people have a negative view of meditation, feeling like they have to sit cross-legged and chant ohms. But that's not all meditation is about. Going for a walk can be a way to meditate. Some of my favourite ways to meditate include staring at a candle, walking, and colouring.
The point of meditating is to focus your mind on something other than life’s stressors. An easy way to do this is to focus on your breath—in and out. If you find your mind wandering, return to your breath. A few minutes of daily meditation can have a major impact on your health.
Colouring can be a great way to relax after a crazy day. There are so many beautiful coloring pages choose from and ways to put color on the page, you're sure to find something you enjoy.
When we color, we put our brains into a meditative state. The colours we choose are also therapeutic. A bright color can liven your mood, red makes you feel powerful, and blue is calming. Grab a free colouring page from my book Freeing the Butterfly and try it out.
Since we're focussing on simple ways to self-care, I'm not talking about a full yoga workout. I'm talking about striking a pose or two for a few minutes. This can have dramatic benefits on your health if you remember to do it every day. You can select a yoga pose designed to help you with whatever you're struggling with or choose your favorite pose.
If you're feeling discombobulated and out of sorts, try the thunderbolt pose (kneeling on the ground with your butt on your heels and your hands on your thighs). Need a few minutes to clear your head? Savasana, lying on your back with your arms and legs relaxed, is perfect for that.
Whether you put some oils in your diffuser, grab a crystal to put in your pocket, or strike a yoga pose, you don’t have to spend any more than a few minutes a day to do something meaningful for yourself. I hope you’ll try some of these quick and easy ways to get your self-care. Bonus points if you try more than one!
Michelle Cornish is co-author of Freeing the Butterfly: Transform Your Life Through Simple Exercises, Meditations, and Affirmations where she shares more tips for getting to know yourself and feeling happier in your own skin. Learn more at freeingthebutterfly.com