Flip: From Frazzled to Nurtured in No Time
Technically, we all know how important self care is for women, especially women over 40, who are constantly juggling more than they can handle. But, for busy women, self-care can feel like a luxury that we never have time for.
We’ve been fooled into thinking about spending time, energy, and money on self care as indulgent or selfish. I am here to tell you, right here, right now, flip those self-limiting thoughts and start telling yourself that self care is a vital habit to work into your daily schedule.
A major factor holding women back from practicing self care is they think they need to do something extravagant in order for it to count, or to work, or whatever. Repeat after me, this is not true. Self care doesn’t have to consist of extravagant, long weekends spent at the beach, a trip to the spa, or even taking those crazy expensive Soul Cycle classes. But, hey, if you can swing those things, have at it!
The truth is, self care can be anything (small or big) you do to give you and your body and or mind attention. I want you to take 10 minutes a day, every day this week, to spend on yourself. In fact, I insist.
Here are 5 self-care flips that will take only 10 minutes out of your crazy schedule, but will still benefit your mind and body. Flip to it, girl.
1. S-T-R-E-T-C-H it Out
Do you know that we tend to carry stress in our spines? This is especially true for those of us who spend long hours hunched over the computer, working on our feet, or picking up after the kids. Like many things in our busy lives, our posture and body take the backseat.
I know that when you get home, after you’ve made dinner, and ran all your errands, all you want to do is flop on the couch and flip through Instagram, or curl up with a good book. But, flip that habit. Just before you get ready for chill-out time, take just ten minutes to curl your spine down, and touch your toes.
If you can touch your toes, great, set a goal to be able to touch your palms to the ground by the end of next month. If you can’t touch your toes (don’t worry, no one needs to know!) no worries, most women over 40 haven’t been able to touch their toes in a long, long time. But you’ve got this! I believe in you.
Set a goal to be able to touch your toes in 3 months. Remember, any amount of stretching will do your aching joints and body some long-lasting good. Put that goal in your journal or on your reminders app in your phone.
While you’re at it, stretch the rest of your body as well. Perhaps you can look up a yoga posture, or you have a stretching routine in mind already. Whether it is advanced or basic, any kind of stretching will keep your body functioning well despite periods of inactivity. Touch your toes, extend your arms and gear yourself up physically and mentally for whatever task is at hand.
2. Massage and Moisturize
I know you are crazy busy. I am, too. And I know that I tend to want to jump out of the shower in the morning, dry myself off as quickly as I can, and rush to get dressed. But, I’ve trained myself to spend an extra 10 minutes, indulging in my favorite potions and lotions. It’s great for relaxing before a sure-to-be hectic day, and it will keep you looking younger, longer. Total win-win.
First, do your facial skin-care routine. I used to just moisturize and go—I never invested in lots of serums, toners, and masks. But, that has all changed now, my friends. I am a subscription box junkie, and now my beauty kit is overflowing with fabulous concoctions. And, I don’t even notice the small amount of money I spend on them—the value far outweighs the costs! And let me tell you, I see a huge difference in the my skin. Huge!
Next, it’s time to pamper the rest of your body. If you don’t have any special body lotions around, use a natural lotion such as organic coconut oil or avocado oil, and rub it mindfully into your arms and shoulders, and legs. Spread the cream or oil gently and thoroughly and use your hands to massage over your body across areas that you might not realize are aching. You might come across some sudden sore spots, it’s important to focus on those for a moment, rubbing in the lotion. You will be relaxed and energized and your skin will benefit greatly from the extra moisturizing.
3. Drink 2 Additional Glasses of Water Per Day
Water is that little magic potion we all too often ignore: it relieves fatigue, clears skin, detoxes your body, improves digestion, and prevents cramps. And yet we often forget to hydrate, or hydrate so little we get headaches as a result. Not only will drinking two glasses of water help you hydrate, it will also give you much-needed time to get away from your technological devices and focus on your surroundings.
Drink the water slowly and savor the break from you work before you dive back into it. Take it in slow sips, and be sure to follow this tip regularly to met your daily requirement of H2O.
Not a big water fan? I used to hate water. I know that sounds weird, but I did. But for people who don’t like water, you are just not used to drinking it. You have to condition yourself by drinking water several times a day, every day.
And, I was terrible at remembering to drink it. I invested in a 25 ounce Swell bottle, that I now remember to take with me every day. I got the big one, and I fill it up every morning, and I don’t allow myself to go to bed until I’ve consumed every last drop. It helps to add in a little squeeze of fresh lemon or lime to add a touch of flavor. Sometimes, I add in fresh mint leaves, too. It’s so refreshing.
4. Play with your pet or go for a walk
Whether it’s a furry friend or a tank full of fish, scientists have proven the health benefits of animals at every turn. A pet of your own means a faithful companion. And, spending time with a pet is a proven way to lower blood pressure and increase oxytocin levels.
The enjoyment from pets can be calming and repetitive motion of petting your companion (or even staring at a fish tank!) will help soothe you. Don’t have a pet? Go for a walk to your local dog park; just taking in the sights of other dogs and animals has the same impact on your wellbeing.
5. Phone a Friend, you Chatty Cathy, You
At a time where connectivity options are abundant, it’s funny how disconnected we actually are. The troubles of everyday life can be exhausting and drain us of all the time and will to socialize beyond what is absolutely necessary. During our free time there are personal things we need to tend to that make socializing take a back seat. But to truly care for ourselves, we need to nurture social and emotional aspects as well.
While it’s easy to pick up your phone and send a text, take ten minutes out of your day to chat with a friend or family member. You benefit just as much as they do. Simply talk about your day and maintain the feeling of being connected. Your support system can help relieve stress and help you to maintain a healthy mindset through your shared bond.
Self care isn’t just about facials, eating your greens and getting your hair done. It’s also about the soul food that fuels you and the small things that make big impacts on your overall wellbeing. By practicing these 5 tips, you get to spend a handful of minutes away from whatever it is you do each day and you get to separate yourself from the chaos and stress of your daily life.
Do you practice some sort of self care? Share with us below, and give us some fresh ideas. Or, head on over to Instagram and tag your self care pics or stories with #40yearflip.
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