easy self-care tips
Self-care is a very popular buzzword today which has turned into a cultural movement these days. There is an incredible amount of information about self-care tips out there. Although this may be true, I find there is still some confusion about what self-care really is all about. In looking back, I remember that as a female growing up in America, television commercials taught me that self-care was taking a bubble bath while eating a box of chocolates. By the same token, the idea of going to a spa and getting a massage, self-care was presented as a luxury, if not seldom occurring event. Since then, we have (thankfully!) come a long way. Now, when we look at today’s definition of self-care, it’s far more accessible and easy to do.
Easy self-care is not an indulgence nor a special occasion.
With this in mind, let’s first look at what self-care really means. Coupled with the overload of stress-related dis-ease in our culture, it’s a popular topic in the new wave of wellness. For example, there are books, podcasts, youtube channels, retreats, programs, and holistic products dedicated to self-care.
As a result, we have an exciting sign that self-care has joined the mainstream! On the other hand, a part of its definition is still in need of refinement.
In the first place, it’s important for us to recognize that self-care is not about getting a manicure, having a massage, or taking a spa day fully scheduled with facials and steam rooms. These activities are still commonly identified as being occasional, not necessary, perhaps even a “splurge”.
This perspective is incredibly self-defeating. Isn’t life complicated enough? Why are we, especially women, starving ourselves from feeling good every day? Do we really need to earn or deserve something in order for it to be considered self-care? Is it necessary that we have to pay a lot for self-care? No.
A big part of self-care is about recognizing and honoring your self-worth.
Are you creating healthy boundaries in your relationships?
Do you hold a responsibility to yourself and rewiring your mean/judgmental inner voice?
Are you taking care of your finances?
Are you practicing discernment between facts and your thoughts?
How are you working to continually create a life that you do not need to escape from?
It happens one step at a time, and compounds over time.
Like a high-interest savings account, your self-care practices continue to yield results.
By creating daily sustainable self-care habits you can feel higher levels of self-satisfaction all whilst creating clear commitments to yourself. It’s an essential daily practice that supports your health and well-being.
For this reason, self-care is the most important work you can do.
Self-care is about honoring your needs.
Self-care is about creating and living a life you love, every day. Notice, we’re not defining is as perfect and without challenges, but rather recognizing there is always the Yin & Yang aspect to each moment.
Rather than things being “perfect”, we want to feel “perfect”.
One of the ultimate goals of self-care is to bring more mindfulness and simplicity to our complex and busy lives. Moreover, these practices help us live in the present moment.
For example, spiritual practices are the foundation of my self-care routine every day. Meditation, mindfulness, and conscious movement are all ingredients in what has developed, over time, as a very successful routine. They allow me to feel centered, balanced, and energized throughout the day.
Within this ever-evolving journey, it’s important for you to find your way and see what works for you. Be sure to choose something you like in the first place, experiment, and keep it simple.
Your self-care routines will change as you evolve.
As the saying goes, take what you need and leave the rest. As you approach each new season of the year, and each new season in your life, different areas of your life will ask you to grow.
If you’re reading this and feel like you do not know where to start, I invite you to compare yourself to your phone, the tiny device you carry around all day long. When the battery is low, you plug it in and charge it. You keep your phone safe, you take care of it, you might have a nice protective cover for your phone. You respect taking care of your phone because the consequences of not having this precious device functioning at your demand is not something you want to consider.
Now, what would happen if you did the same thing for yourself every day? Keep yourself safe, take care of yourself, create an everyday experience that feels good for you. What would happen if you treated yourself as precious as you treat your phone?
You would probably feel better. Hello, empowered, satisfied, and more connected to your feelings! All you need to do is find the right practices that work for you. As a result of gradually implementing these practices, you will have created a set of habits.
For this reason, self-care delivers the most benefit when we ritualize and practice it every day.
Despite how many times we forget, remembering that we are creatures of nature is important.
In the same fashion as the sun, the moon, the tides, and the seasons, we also have biological routines. In reality, modern times have swung us far from our natural rhythms with artificial light, technology, and even our food sourcing does not follow nature’s schedule.
Thankfully, self-care rituals put us back in a place of rhythm. Since our bodies, our minds, and our spirits all love rhythm, we naturally feel better.
For this reason, one of my favorite ways to look at establishing self-care rhythms is to use our five senses as the guide.
Again, the first thing to remember here is that we are sensory beings, having a sensory experience. With this in mind, connecting to our senses makes self-care easy and immediate, so let’s begin with easy self-care tips.
Your easy-self care plan is right here.
Step 1: Touch
My first easy self-care tip is a healing touch. This is a simple and effective way of engaging with our sense of touch. Wrap your arms around yourself and give yourself a hug, pet an animal, hug someone else, and practice self-massage.
My favorite self-massage involves my morning routine of aromatic dressing. It feels luscious and caring to massage my body with an oil blend. I love creating and experimenting with blends, too. In Ayurveda, we call this practice Abhyanga, and typically it is practiced with warm sesame oil, with some essential oils added for aromatic and therapeutic benefit. It’s stimulating for the lymph, assists in eliminating toxins, increases circulation, and allows us to do something we might not often do enough: connect to our bodies.
My morning Abhyanga feels so good I make sure not to miss it, even when traveling. It’s like brushing my teeth, I feel better and fresher after my morning Abhyanga.
How do you do your own Abhyanga and create a self-massage routine? Choose a carrier oil and one or two essential oils to create your own blend. I prefer jojoba oil as the base and like to add a drop of frankincense, pink pepper, wild orange, or the Aromatouch blend of doTERRA essential oils.
Once you have your oils all set, dry brush your skin, and then apply the oils, in the same way, you dry brush. Working from the feet upwards, rub your oiled hands up towards your heart. You can also take a shower between the dry brushing and oiling, or oil before and after shower.
Step 2: Sound
My second easy self-care tip is our sense of sound.
Try this: send someone a voice message for no reason expressing gratitude. Talk to a loved one or dear friend and share kind words with them. Listen to music you like or the sounds of nature to engage with your sense of hearing. All of these practices help us to both grounds and center our energy. They allow us to feel what we all want to feel – connected!
Step 3: Taste
My third easy self-care tip is to create more mindfulness around your eating routines.
Make the act of eating an event, not something you are doing on the run. Be mindful to sit down and eat, clear the space of clutter, and make it a ceremony with a nice table setting, even if you are dining alone! Savor your food, chew slowly, notice the different flavors, textures, and temperatures. Add special favors you enjoy. Herbs, oils – I love adding a citrus oil like grapefruit or tangerine to my water. Experiment with flavors you like and try new ones from time to time to expand your taste palette.
Step 4: Sight
The fourth easy self-care tip is to take time to look around and notice all the beauty that surrounds you.
Focus on one thing at a time, pause, notice the details. How do the light and color play into what you are looking at? Nature, art, cherished objects all hold a world of detail for you to admire.
Also, consider simplifying your surroundings. Clutter and unwanted things take up a lot of energy and can leave you feeling drained. See what you can Marie-Kondo from your life.
If something doesn’t bring you joy, do you really need it?
Step 5: Smell
And, my top favorite and easy self-care tip is aromatherapy!
It powerfully engages our sense of smell.
When working with aromatherapy, experiment with blending different essential oils in your diffuser. It’s part science, part intuition, and an absolutely fun way to get creative and express yourself.
If you are just getting started with blending, I like to recommend that you first start to think about food pairings when blending essential oils. For example, I love Basil Oil and Wild Orange in the diffuser, and they make a delicious food flavor combination as well.
A good rule of thumb is to consider the essential oil classification and how each classification works together. Here’s a breakdown of the different classifications to consider:
Some examples: Lavender, Rose, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang
Some examples: Peppermint, Spearmint
Some examples: Basil, Marjoram, Thyme, Oregano
Some examples: Lemon, Tangerine, Wild Orange, Grapefruit
Some examples: Patchouli, Vetiver, Frankincense
Some examples: Cinnamon, Ginger, Clove
Some examples: Siberian Fir, Douglas Fir, Cedarwood
Some examples: Tea Tree (Melaleuca), Eucalyptus
Oils within the same classification blend well together. As well as, it’s fun to experiment with the art of blending by combining some of the oil personalities, too.
Florals blend well with woody, citrusy, and spicy oils.
Woody oils blend well with all other oils.
Minty oils blend well with citrus, woody, earthy, and spicy oils.
Spicy oils blend well with florals and citrus oils.
Some of my favorite diffuser blends are:
Easeful and Bright: 4 drops Lime, 3 drops Hawaiian Sandalwood
Sweet Dreams: 2 drops Vetiver, 3 drops Lavender, 3 drops Marjoram
Focus and Flow: 3 drops Coriander, 3 drops Peppermint, 2 drops Wild Orange
Clean and Pure: 4 drops Lemongrass, 2 drops Tangerine, 2 drops Siberian Fir
Cozy Time: 3 drops Cinnamon, 2 drops Lavender, 2 drops Wild Orange
New Day: 4 drops Wild Orange, 3 drops Basil
Blending is a science and an art form, but should not be taken too seriously. Trust your instincts, they are always right! If you are new to essential oils, read more about my favorites here.
Remember, self-care is doing what you need to turn away from the chaos of life and turn towards inner peace. It’s finding and celebrating the beautiful home within yourself.
My wish is for you to find ease and flow in your days, and take good care of yourself in the simplest ways.
Contact me to schedule your one to one personal wellness consultation.
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JEN WARAKOMSKI, E500 RYT, RMT
Celebrating the art of holistic living in Tuscany.
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