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My ritual started years ago when my kids where younger and I was working long hours and had gone back to school.  I had a short window between getting them settled, doing my own studying and any household things that needed done.  Even back then early on in my nursing career I saw what running yourself down and not practicing self-care could do.

So I made bath time a priority where I could escape.  Even if it was for a short period of time it helped me let go the stresses of my day, thoughts of what needed to be done, and just clear my mind.

Not everyone is a bath person but it has been my saving grace on many days.  Baths have great physical and mental health benefits.  They can be the ultimate in self-care!

As women we try to be everything to everybody quite often, and we can feel guilty for taking care of ourselves.  Honestly, self-care is one of the best investments you can make in you.  While these suggestions are obviously not all-inclusive they are some that have helped me along the way.  Invest in yourself!

Tips for Self-Care

Physical

  • Exercise
  • Get regular medical care – Schedule those important yearly appointments maybe the same time every year and make it routine. ( l like to do them around my birthday)
  • Sleep7-9 hours a night
  • Drink water! ( go figure lemon water is my favorite)
  • Enjoy physical intimacy with the ones you love.

Psychological

  • Meditation – even if it’s taking a minute once or twice a day to take 5 deep breaths, 5 seconds in and 5 seconds out 5 times.
  • Gratitude Journal – I leave mine right next to the bed as it lets me brain-dump and have an awareness of the things I am grateful for even after a bad day, before going to sleep.
  • Therapy or Counseling – even the healthiest of people/couples benefit from therapy or counseling

Emotional

  • Practice self-love – effective self-care begins with loving yourself
  • Express your emotions – cry, laugh, reach out to others

Spiritual

  • Yoga / meditation / massage
  • Volunteer
  • Practice forgiveness
  • Connect with your own spiritual community, whatever that looks like

Personal

  • Make time for your friends
  • Set goals for yourself – financial, professional, academic, personal (Put them in writing and track your progress)
  • Be okay with saying “no” and setting boundaries