Earlier today I cashed in a birthday present my husband so wonderfully gifted to me: a massage! It has easily become one of my favorite indulgences, which I’ll explain why below. But I wanted to share a few more of my favorite ways to practice self-care.
I’ve always felt that taking a little time to do something to relax or that you find fun — a way to tune out the craziness in everyday life — is so important. I’m hoping as a new mother that I’ll be able to remember this! But no matter what keeps you busy these days, take time for yourself even in little spurts whenever you can.
Here are my 5 favorites:
As I said above, this is definitely one of my favorite indulgences. I say indulgence because it can be costly, but I have found its money well spent. Every time I’ve had a massage, I’ve left feeling lighter, less tense and my mind has also had time to relax and escape all that is usually running through it. If you’re in Birmingham where I live, my two favorite places to get a massage are Escape Day Spa in Homewood and the spa at the Ross Bridge hotel. Both are a tranquil experience and every massage therapist I’ve been to has been excellent.
I used to feel a little self-conscious about stripping down for a masssge, but I’m glad I shook that off because this is the therapist’s profession — just like going to the doctor, it’s probably nothing they haven’t already seen. I highly recommend adding this to your wishlist for self-care! (Maybe ask someone for a Christmas gift card?!)
I live in the South, so my feet need to be sandal-ready most months of the year. But you’ll rarely find me without my toes painted, even in winter. While I don’t often get manicures, having polish on my toes is just one of those things that makes me feel like me. And sadly, I inherited some pretty tough skin on my feet (Sorry! TMI!), so pedicures are kind of a necessity. They’re also relaxing and give me time to read a book or a magazine, which I always appreciate.
Speaking of reading, this is another favorite way to unwind and I try to find time to read on a daily basis. Usually when I get into bed, even if I’m too tired to read for long, I’ll read a little of a book that’s queued up in my Kindle. I also like to use my friend Mandy’s ideas for finding more time to read, such as reading while waiting in line at the grocery store.
While I may often complain about working out, the truth is when I’m doing it, I can’t deny how good I feel! Whether it’s going for a walk or something more strenuous, exercising makes me feel strong and capable, and gives me something to focus on besides whatever the days stresses have been. There are so many great ways to work out — from yoga to running to swimming or something more daring like rock climbing — I believe anyone can find something suitable for his or her abilities and tastes.
If you’ve ever been in the car with me, you know I love singing along to the radio, no matter how tone deaf I may be. And dancing around my kitchen is quickly becoming a fun way to let loose and entertain my baby as she watches her mom’s antics from her rock n play. I may not have great moves, and my singing voice is quite embarrassing, but I don’t care. This is a great way for me to let it all out and have a little fun!
Try these hip-shaking songs by Shakira — I love dancing to her music!
What are your favorite ways to practice self-care?