“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence; it is self preservation and that is an act of political warfare.”–Audre Lorde
We live in a highly stressful world and it is imperative that we take care of ourselves. There is no one or anything more important than you. There will always be people you must see, places you must go, and things you must do. With all of these demands and challenges, we often forget the one thing that is most important: our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. The first rule to taking care of business is taking care of yourself. Resist the guilt trip! You are not being selfish or self indulgent. You must take care of yourself in order to take care of others. Here are five things you can do to keep stress at a minimum and avoid burn out.
- Set aside 15 minutes during the morning and evening for prayer and/or quiet mediation. If you wish, you can follow this link to Black Lives Matter guided Meditation for Healing Racial Trauma created by Dr. Candice Nicole. You can also follow Master Yoga Instructor Faith Hunter in a 30 day guided mediation series for beginners.
2. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress. You do not need to purchase an expensive gym membership. Walking is the best exercise and the least expensive. Be sure to invest in a good pair of walking shoes. Walking trails are great when the weather is warm. If you are not far from the mall, you can take advantage of this indoor space in the morning prior to opening hours when the weather is foul.
3. Stretching is also a great stress reliever. This yoga sequence, Surya Namaskar (sun salutation), is a wonderful way to stretch the major muscle groups, get the blood flowing, and relieve tension. Do this sequence 4 times in the morning and evening. Be sure to breathe through each stretch. Do not hold your breath. You can also check out Shelley Nicole and her Mat Project in which she takes you through a series of poses for those who are new to yoga.
4. Treat yourself to a nice bubble bath and add your favorite essential oil (mine is lavender) for a nice aromatherapy. You can also follow this link to Aphrodite’s Delights on how to further enhance the bathing experience which is sure to soothe the body and relax the mind.
5. So many of us are sleep deprived, but it is essential that we get the sleep we need in order to be our best and do our best. Here is some practical advice to help you in getting a better nights sleep.
So make it a priority to take good care yourself, you belong to you!
For more on self care see these excellent resources available at Amazon.com: