Self Care Resources that Won't Make Your Cringe
Nightly bubble baths. Good chocolate. Journaling. Weekly massage.
All things I’ve seen suggested for self-care. Lovely ideas, but not entirely practical for most of us. And anyways, you can’t solve chronic pain, burnout, or general existential dread with a manicure and chai tea.
Lasting and meaningful self-care includes working on the things that wreck our quality of life. Maybe that’s a sleep issue or nagging pain that creeps up between massage. So how can you meet yourself where you are at and improve your stiffness or poor sleep? Maybe stressing about being disorganized is wearing you down. How can you work on that?
I have a few idea and go-to resources for some of the most common stressors we face, I hope you can make use of a few.
Aches, pains, and gentle rehab
For light stretching and strengthening, relief from common aches and pains, I love Dr. Jo https://www.youtube.com/c/AskDoctorJo. You’ll find short, easy to follow videos that are easy to fit into your daily routine. Bookmark your favorite in your browser and make an effort to do it a few times a week, or whatever works for you.
A little bit of green is so helpful that “Forest Bathing” is an actual prescribed treatment for stress in Japan. https://time.com/5259602/japanese-forest-bathing/ But you don’t need a forest to benefit from nature. A short walk in the sunlight or watering and looking for new buds on a hearty houseplant by a window can provide a break for your nervous system and help you stay even-keeled.
Lives are complicated and messy and that can make our environments complicated and messy. Very few of us have the time or resources or motivation needed to keep a very clean, easy to live in home. On top of that, there’s an awful lot of moral weight put on cleanliness and organization, so if you’re not awesome at it, there can be shame involved (which is the worst possible motivator, ugh.)
If you have a hard time getting moving or creating a routine with care tasks, check out Struggle Care https://www.strugglecare.com/. You’ll find all kinds of resources, created by a licensed professional therapist, to help you drop the shame and find what makes a functional home for you.
If you are ready to change your environment but aren’t sure where to start, check out Unf#*k Your Habitat https://www.unfuckyourhabitat.com/ . You’ll find all kinds of starter guides and lists and thoughtful resources to get you moving. Pro tip: If you struggle to stay on task, get a friend
to hang out with you while you dive into a chore or project. It’s called “body doubling” and can be super helpful. https://www.additudemag.com/getting-stuff-done-easier-with-a-friend-body-double/
Getting your Zzzzzzs
Sleep stories are great tools for people who have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep. Sleep stories read by Matthew Mcconaughey and Kate Winslet are better. The Calm app https://www.calm.com/ has lots of meditations for all ages, all times of day or night, including recordings designed to calm your nervous system and help you sleep.
This doesn’t have to mean ‘exercise’. And it doesn’t have to mean taking the stairs or parking super far away from the door of the supermarket. Movement can be small, joyful, and maybe even noticed by the people around you.
Shake your legs out or march in place while you do the dishes (improving circulation in legs), reach up to tap the top of every doorway you walk through (moving through shoulder range of motion), or kick up a 2 minute dance party while you heat up your lunch (that’s just fun). It all counts and you’ll probably feel good about it.
Pick one thing. Just one thing. And add it to your life. When you’ve got the hang of that, maybe add another thing. Oh, and schedule a massage Book a massage with Claim Your Calm Massage | Hampton VA 23669 (massagebook.com). You’ll thank yourself later.