5 Acts of Self-Care You Can (And Should!) Do Today!

I can't believe it's already 2017. Cliche as it may be, geez does time fly!

....Which is a good thing if you're counting down the days until you can leave the desert. Not that I'm counting or anything. That would be crazy, right? 

*whispers* It's 585 days...

The funny thing about January is the ubiquitous push for New Year resolutions. And while I'm all for self-improvement, we have a way of getting ahead of ourselves when setting resolutions. Last year I wrote a post about simplifying my resolution list to three personal goals and three career goals. The career goals were met. The personal...well, I honestly don't remember what they were.

What the hell is that?! Why is it okay in our society to work ourselves to exhaustion, but taking a few moments of personal reprieve is deemed "lazy"? That's a load of BS if you ask me! It's also a fantastic recipe for emotional burnout, illness, and physical exhaustion.

So rather than declare a resolution I have no intentions of upholding (like finally breaking my sick habit of watching Real Housewives—NJ, baby!), I'm here to lecture insist strongly suggest you take care of yourself this New Year. As we all know, you can't pour from an empty vessel and all that jazz. So, I propose you take a look inward and resolve to nurture and nourish yourself. And, per my M.O., it won't pummel your wallet or take up loads of time (unless you want it to, which is never a bad thing!).

Here are my five recommendations for self-care that you can (and should!) do TODAY! =D

Alternate nostril breathing (yoga)
Admittedly, this is super weird looking if you've never tried it. But please trust me on this—it's SO calming! AND it can be done anywhere because you don't need to move. So no excuses! Take three gd minutes to yourself!

Not only does it help to balance the left and right brain (which can get off kilter with overthinking and fretting), but it helps you to center yourself and clear your mind. You may not even realize you're stressed, but let's face it—daily life is stressful. So take a minute or two (Or five. Or ten.) and try alternate nostril breathing

Ever notice your dog or cat stretch every single time they get up after laying down? That’s not by accident. Take a moment to REALLY stretch. To feel the air as it moves through your lungs. To listen to your body and take note of any tension. 

Stand up right now and stretch. Breathe oxygen into your muscles. Give your neck and shoulders some much needed movement. Check in with your body and see what it needs, where it hurts, what feels good to move. Not only will your muscles thank you, but the circulation of blood will help you think clearer and release a nice dose of endorphins!

Turn off the news
Or Facebook. Or twitter. Trust me, it’s stressing you out more than you think. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and a little burned out, disconnect from anything that's feeding you negativity, which includes the news and updates from Jessica who you haven't seen since high school but seems subconsciously hellbent on convincing the world that her life is without flaw one Instagram photo at a time. Come on now. We both know she’s not that happy…

Treat yourself to a treat
When was the last time you bought yourself a scoop of ice cream? Or that chocolate croissant you drool over every time you walk past that quaint little bakery downtown? 

As silly as it sounds, take yourself out for a treat. You. Alone. Buy that cup of gourmet coffee. Indulge in gelato. Not for the kids. Not while you and your husband discuss the budget. Just you, sumptuous silence, and a decadent treat. It might seem silly, but it's spiritually nourishing to pamper oneself with something you wouldn't ordinarily do. 

Laugh at your to-do list
If you’re anything like me, your to-do list is really three days’ worth of work. I do it all the time. But when I feel stressed out, I step back and take a moment to analyze my to-do list realistically. It’s just not possible for me to write three posts, get in an hour of exercise, clean the entire house, make a grocery list, take a shower, wash and fold the laundry, and you know, maybe eat a meal. It’s not going to happen. 

On days when my planner looks like a package of Sharpies blew up on my schedule, I select one or two things that are important and recognize the rest can wait. 

…And then I generally decompress for a few minutes with a book.  Because when you’re feeling overwhelmed, the best thing you can do for yourself is break the cycle and restart after you’ve had some time to reset. You’ll usually find most of what you thought was imperative is not really the end of human civilization as we know it. And, counter-intuitively, I'm usually more productive after I've allowed myself to rest without guilt. 

And remember, if all else fails, watch some adorable puppy videos. Hell, that's why Youtube was invented! ;)

What's your favorite way to pamper yourself?

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