Marsha Stepensky, MS.Ed, BCBA, is a Content Producer at Floreo. She suggests incorporating self-care into your daily (or more often!) routine and has some ideas to help you do that. Marsha has some suggestions:
Self-Care. It’s hard to escape hearing about it or seeing the hyphenated word plastered on a skin care or health foods window display. Glancing through social media, you would get the impression that self-care equates to a luxurious spa day, a $17 organic acai bowl, or a last minute trip to the Caribbean to “disconnect.”
The reality is self-care does not need to be expensive, extravagant, or time-consuming. We all know the positive benefits in caring for ourselves, we hear people talk about, and we know we should practice it – but actually doing self-care can feel like an exhausting task. Yes indeed, caring for ourselves is more easily said than done. For too often we push self-care to the very end of our to-do list; a to-do list so long, it was probably written by Tolstoy himself. I’m guilty of it too. I own three mindfulness reflection journals and have written nothing in none of them (I ended up converting one of them into a work notebook).
Self-care are activities and choices you make every day to maintain a healthy lifestyle, the basics of which include - eating well (ice cream counts?), sleeping well, moving your body, connecting socially, and making time for things that bring you happiness (ice cream definitely counts!). Life gets busy and with the flurry of upcoming holidays and changes to schedules, finding an opportunity to do something for YOU may feel like a distant dream.
In the spirit of loving and being good to ourselves, we bring you the new monthly Self-Care Corner. Each month, we will share a couple tips and things you can do for yourself that take basically no time (i.e. 15 minutes or less). We’re excited to share some sustainable ways to incorporate self care into your daily routine, and we invite you to share your favorite self-care habits with us too!
Tip 1: Stop and smell the [fill in the blank] – literally.
Whether it's your coffee, a bouquet of roses, a candle, your lunch, or your shampoo. Find a moment to sit or stand and connect to your senses in that moment. It’s a quick and simple way to incorporate mindfulness into your day.
So tomorrow when you’re drinking your morning coffee, tea, or smoothie take a whiff – but don’t just smell it. Think about the smell: what does it smell like? Maybe a little bitter, a little sweet, or a little pumpkin-y (if you’re into PSLs). How does it make you feel? Alive, awake, and ready for the day!
Want to incorporate more mindfulness into your day? Here are 5 Simple Mindfulness Practices for Daily Life.
Tip 2: Sit up straight.
Without the risk of sounding like your mother (and my mother), fix your posture! Most of us walk around with bad posture and we’re all guilty of sitting hunched over at our desks for hours on end. Good posture is good for our back health, our core health, and our mental health. Holding our body the right way when we sit and stand can also help with preventing injuries and other health problems.
Try this: Stand up. Spread your feet hip width apart and lift your chin so it’s parallel to the ground (there’s that middle school geometry). Roll your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together to open up your chest. Put your hands on your hips and now you’re a superhero :)
For more tips on posture when sitting and standing, check out this Guide to Good Posture from the NIH.