I had a pretty difficult health run since late last year due to high levels of stress and issues with my insurance provider not wanting to cover a necessary medication. I am still in “recovery” mode, so I am trying to implement more self-care into my week to get back on track.
Here are three self-care activities I’ve been implementing to take better care of myself.
- Pack in the vitamins: My husband got a Magic Bullet* for Christmas last year. I never really got around to using it until this week. In just a few minutes, I can make myself a healthy smoothie that tastes great and pumps up my fruit intake. I basically put a half cup of plain low-fat Greek yogurt, a handful of frozen berries, a handful of frozen pineapple (anti-inflammatory!) and enough orange juice to thin it out. Blend for a minute, and done. Healthy and delicious breakfast or snack. Since the fruit is frozen, I don’t have to chop and prep anything. You could always add fresh fruit or a handful of spinach or kale, but this is a super easy go-to for me.
- See Green: Spending time in nature has been linked to improved attention spans, boosts serotonin and has shown increased activity in the parts of the brain responsible for empathy, emotional stability and love – all areas critical for caregivers. You may not have time to go to a park or even take a walk, but just sitting outside for a few minutes can help. I have a tiny balcony in my condo so my son and I recently planted some herbs and flowers so that we have a quick nature escape. We’re working on turning it into a little oasis, but for now, a folding chair and a view of my basil and mint will do the trick. I also have a neighbor who likes to sit on the steps outside her unit to get fresh air. You don’t have to go far, just go outside for a few minutes to re-set.
- Three Things: When my husband and I were getting married, the church required us to take 10 sessions of pre-marital counseling. One thing that stuck with us, and we re-visit whenever we are out of our groove was “three things.” Basically, our counselor suggested that at the end of every week, we should each share three things that the other did that we appreciated. It helps you focus on the positives, rather than dwelling on the negative. Sure, he didn’t put the dishes away or left newspaper piles around the living room, but he did make me coffee, make my breakfast and do the dinner dishes every night. You can implement three things in journal form. Maybe it is you just thanking yourself for three things that you did for yourself or your caree this week. You can also implement it with your caree – you can each share three things you appreciate about each other. How you do it is less important than just taking a few minutes to focus on the positive.
What have been your favorite three minute activities so far? My favorite has been trash bags since it motivated me to get rid of things quickly.
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