While an indulgent day at the spa or a tropical beach vacation may be what comes to mind when you think of rest and relaxation, self-care doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, there are many small, virtually cost-free things you can do at a moment’s notice when you feel the need for a little pampering. Try some of these simple ways to treat yourself next time you’re feeling stressed:
1. Slow down. On the surface, this doesn’t seem like much of a treat. But in our overwhelming, multi-tasking lifestyles, easing off the gas to mindfully focus on just one thing can be a calming and restorative experience. Read a book just for fun, do some sketching, give yourself a manicure…with your phone on mute or left in another room.
2. Take a nap. The guilt that comes with even thinking about taking a nap often prevents us from indulging in this powerful antidote to stress. Most of us aren’t getting enough sleep in the first place due to the demands of work and family (or the late-night lure of Netflix), which compounds the stress we may feel on any given day. Not only will a nap help you catch up on sleep, but it will also strengthen your immune system, clear your mind and give you renewed energy to make the remainder of your day more productive.
3. Go outside. Even if you don’t have the time or ambition to go for a hike or bike ride, just spending a few moments outdoors can do wonders for your frame of mind. Fresh air, sunshine, and a little nature will help you clear your head and reboot…even when it’s cold. So take a quick stroll around your yard or around the block, or simply sit for a few minutes on your porch or balcony. As mom always said, the fresh air will do you good!
4. Pursue your passion. Reconnect with something you really love to do, but that’s never seemed like a productive use of your time. Maybe it’s painting or writing or playing the guitar. Whatever it is that speaks to your soul and creates a deep level of enjoyment, be sure to make time for it on a regular basis. Taking time with your favorite hobby will keep you fulfilled and relaxed.
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