Self care is not important.
That’s right. It’s not important, since we get busy, forget, or otherwise avoid taking care of ourselves until we are in pain, overweight, or have some kind of accident. It happens to the best of us. Only then, when our health is on the rocks, or we are newly single, or we need to fit into a suit for a special occasion–well at that time, self care suddenly becomes very important!
It has happened to me and it has happened to you.
Here is my list of self care suggestions and tips.
As a massage therapist concerned about your health, I made this list with you in mind, but secretly it’s primarily for me! Nothing on this page is intended or should be construed as an attempt to “diagnose” you. If you have health concerns, check with your doctor. I wrote this guide to help you explore self care options if you have no idea of what some possibilities are — these have helped me.
There is nothing that secret here – you probably already know all or most of these things. And if you’re reading this, you already know it’s time to “just do it.” You can and you will. Why? I believe in you, and more importantly, so do you!
- Work out or move your body daily – walk, swim, lift weights at the gym; use an elliptical machine, treadmill, or cross country skiing simulator; hike along the coast, bicycle to work or after work, do planks or crunches or yoga at home (via great yoga instructors on youtube).
- As Dr. Mercola says, sit to take breaks from moving, instead of moving to take breaks from sitting — as much as possible! “Sitting is the new smoking.”
- On a free day – go for a fun casual hike or strenuous hike! (find great places with reviews here: BAHiker.com (SF Bay Area only), Yelp (anywhere), TripAdvisor (anywhere)
- Get monthly massages for post-office, post-workout body maintenance. (I’m a CMT. Of course I would include this! Find a great therapist on Yelp or Zeel.)
- Drink more water to stay hydrated. Drink 3 bottles of water per day, not just the top 1″ of water in one bottle. “Yep, that’s enough!” One of my all-time favorite life coaches, Tony Robbins, suggests that we drink half our weight in ounces per day.
- Ex: Weigh 150 pounds? That’s 75 ounces of water. 75 divided by 12 ounces = 6.25 bottles of water. Quite a bit!
- If you’re in chronic pain, depending on what you think the issue is (and whether it’s headaches or body pain/tension), consider these not-opiate-pharmaceutical options:
- Take 2 deep breaths
- Take an epsom salt bath (the reason why / shop for epsom salts)
- See a “regular” Western medical doctor (find great providers through Zocdoc)
- See an energy healer (find one on yelp or join a meetup); I recommend Arda and Francie in the south bay)
- See a physical therapist (find one on yelp; I recommend Todd, Neeva, Alan and the crew at Peak Performance in the south bay)
- See an acupuncture / Chinese herbal medicine expert (find one locally on yelp) I recommend Melinda in Fremont, Joyce Wu in SF or Antioch)
- Talk to a therapist @ betterhelp.com or find a good one on Yelp
- Try plant-based Arnica gel, BioFreeze, or CBD oil for topical treatment of muscle aches and pains (temporary relief of symptoms)
- Meditate each morning (or night) for 3-5 minutes (need help? try wikihow, meetup, guided meditations)
- Retreat into nature – mountain, forest, ocean, desert, backyard…
- Say positive self-affirmations each morning, all day, whenever needed! (read You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, the mother of positive affirmations)
- Journal at night if you have too many thoughts going through your head.
- Keep a gratitude journal
- Write down 3-5 things you are grateful for in your life each day.
- Keep a health journal as needed
- Watch “I am Not Your Guru” on Netflix
- Read a fiction book
- Increase your self awareness as much as possible. “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” –Tony Robbins
- Read a non-fiction book
- See your family
- See your friends
- Paint or draw
- Learn something new! How to row a boat. How to jumpstart a car with a dead battery. Develop yourself mentally through in-person classes or online schools (see the “best online schools” here), including Coursera
- Listen to podcasts like The Science of Happiness on Apple iTunes, Tony Robbins on Spotify, or TED Talks (Spotify audio or TED video)
- Take a full day off just for you each month and stay local (or at home)
- Take a day off just for you and go to the beach (see TripAdvisor or Yelp for good spots)
- Digital Detox. Take a day off from your “smart” phone. Or a week.
- Eat lunch or dinner by yourself at a fancy restaurant
- Do something you love doing. For instance:
- Listen to every album of a musician or band you’re interested in, on Spotify, if you’ve never done so.
- Make a sand castle. I mean really go for it.
- Volunteer. Pray
- Clean your room.
- Do you hoard?
- Travel outside your city
- Travel outside your state
- Travel outside your country
- Travel outside your mind — hm…
- Do something you’re AFRAID of doing – and grow!
- Design your life. Think of who you need to become to realize your dreams. Make a vision board if you haven’t already. On it, draw or cut out and paste magazine photos of what you want your life to be. Are you flying helicopters for a living? Cooking for family? Camping? Helping people transform their lives positively?
- If you don’t need a visual reminder, at least visualize your life goals in your head, or write your life goals on paper if you haven’t yet. It’s okay if they change over time.
You read the whole list? Wow! Hope I’ve inspired you to get back to the basics, or try a new self improvement tool to become your best possible self in this lifetime (yes that’s one of my other blogs). We all have challenges, strengths, and kryptonite. Please send me your feedback or suggestions anytime.
Wishing you the best!