When I was setting out to write a blog post about self-care, I was surprised to realize that I already had! If you take this post on romantic "extras" and mostly just replace "romantic" with "self-care", it's perfect!
The points are the same with the tiniest of tweaks. Allow me to do some wee substitutions:
Wanting to do self-care actions isn't the challenge for most people thought, it's figuring out how to make that happen over a lifetime.
It's worth it!
Happy people know it's fun to enjoy these self-care moments and they also know that it doesn't just happen, it takes work to make them happen. Finally, it's worth it. This person is the one you live with every day. If you want the best possible joy in your life, it's worth the investment in self-care practices.
(Feel free to read the original post if you think tips would be helpful to you; the tips are also the same with the tiniest tweaks: find out what makes you feel cared for, always be collecting, schedule.)
So, since I've already written about both the why's and how's of self-care in that round-about way, on to some of the gems of self-care that I've found!
There are so many options and I've loved almost every one of them. Qi Gong is a soothing movement practice that feels wonderful! I've done classes, but my current practice is only about 30 seconds long because I do it when I let the dog out in the morning. I step onto the deck and and breath in as I sweep my hands up to my heart and then breath out as I flip them up and reach to the sky. Then I breath in bringing them back toward my heart and out as I sweep them down toward my feet again. I usually get in about two rounds and, when the dog comes running back for breakfast, I move them in a small circle at heart level and picture surrounding myself with my current word of the year (kindness). Then I look around and think or say, "Good morning, beautiful world." Ahhhhh, feels awesome and so nurturing. Youtube has tons of options if you want to play with Qi Gong.
Whenever I have an emotion that is looping and I'm having a hard time thinking, this is my favorite technique. I just talk through the feelings while tapping and I find myself soothed and able to process more clearly. I do a tiny bit every day though because it just feels so good!
I loved doing Feldenkrais classes when I lived in Santa Cruz, but my new favorite way of enjoying this movement / awareness therapy is through audio recordings. I especially love the Embodied Learning series by Elizabeth Beringer. This is another one that you can find lots of Youtube videos available though to check out first. I never fail to feel the full-body cozies after taking time to do Feldenkrais.
And... lots more!
While those are the more unusual gems that I've found, I also adore:
Epsom salt baths with whatever oils hit the spot
Sauna glee (I've got this little, pocket one.)
Walking in nature (I miss the ocean and redwoods, but the Colorado pines have grown on me.)
Massages (Lowen or four-handed are my favorites, but I do something at least once a month.)
Poetry (I've got a half dozen memorized of my most deeply held favorites and cherish many others.)
Stretches / foam rolling (wherever it feels good)
And sometimes my usual pleasure in singing, baking, or photo-booking can be solidly in the self-care category too.
If you have come across unusual self-care gems, I'd love to hear about them.
Paraphrasing my prior article again:
It's worth it! Nourishing your relationship with self-care "extras" is worth the investment. I get a bit enthusiastic about this topic because I have so much fun with these extras! A relationship with yourself nourished by these extras sparkles and gives you the full delight of a life that is fueled for your enjoyment of living. If that is the kind of life you want, self-care "extras" are not really extra.
(Disclaimer: There are practitioners that make extravagant claims about what Qi Gong, Feldenkrais, and Tapping do. I'm simply stating that they feel glorious to me and make me feel nurtured.)