This post and photography are courtesy of Nic Abraham.
Self-care is a proactive approach to physical, emotional and mental health. Proper self-care can help maintain balance and prevent certain illnesses. Many of us are busy and have a million things on our plate, but in order to present our best selves and show up for others, we must take some “ME” time now and then. We need, at least, one day a month that is entirely devoted to self-care!
I once asked a room full of women what their favorite form of self-care was, and a variety of responses came up. From prayer to dancing in the mirror to savoring a glass of wine–there’s no wrong way to care for yourself. The practice looks different for everyone, but to help you along the way, I’ve created a self-care guide to ensure you have a relaxingly-awesome day.
Treat Yourself to Fresh Flowers
Start your self-care day off right with some fresh flowers. Just seeing them will put you in a good mood and evoke a smile. Not to mention, they smell amazing.
Flower options: Roses, Potted Marigolds and Hydrangeas
Create a Morning Diffuser Blend
Essential oils are a great addition to any day. The aromas can improve psychological and physical well being, and provide a nice pick-me-up. Take advantage of these natural mood enhancers with this powerhouse diffuser blend. A total of 12 drops, and you’re ready to start your day.
- 4 drops of Grapefruit Essential Oil (Reduces depression symptoms, balances mood and stimulates the immune system.)
- 4 drops of Lemon Essential Oil (Reduces anxiety and depression and provides an extra dose of energy.)
- 2 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil (Increases alertness and wakes you up while stimulating creative juices.)
- 2 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil (Improves brain function and perks you up.)
There are many positive benefits to keeping a journal. The process of journaling can help with personal growth, heal from past hurts, improve mental and physical health, increase self-esteem, and flourish in tough situations. Journaling also enables you to develop an attitude of gratitude and:
- Increases self-awareness
- Helps manage stress and anxiety
- Aids in a calm and clear mind
- Releases unaddressed feelings and emotions
- Reduces negative thoughts
- Helps express emotions about challenges and successes
No matter if you’re journaling about a specific moment in time or current life, these written conversations are only for your eyes and should be as transparent as possible.
Take a Meditation Walk
A meditation walk provides an unparalleled level of peace. Not only is walking good for your physical body, but it’s also good for your mind. Walking without the additional noise of music or an audiobook can help you process your feelings and emotions. This form of mindfulness is known to reduce stress and build one’s ability to focus. You can meditate on a scripture, mantra or simply allow your thoughts to take over. Peace awaits.
This walk can be in your neighborhood or at one of Northeast Ohio’s beautiful and peaceful trails. Visit the Cleveland Metroparks’ website to plan a trip.
Make a Fresh Fruit Salad
Fresh fruit is the perfect addition to any summer day. On top of satisfying a sweet tooth, enjoying in-season fresh fruit ensures it will be perfectly ripe and taste its best. Some in-season fruits include apricots, blueberries, cantaloupe, kiwis, peaches and plums, raspberries, strawberries and watermelon.
For a sweet and tangy fruit salad, try blueberries, kiwis, peaches, strawberries, or a melon mix of cantaloupe and watermelon.
Break a Sweat with a 30-Minute Workout
Exercising helps you feel better, increases energy and adds years to your life. With at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day (150 minutes a week), you will sleep better and be a happier person. It can be fun, especially if you make a motivating playlist. Try a class (online or in-studio) or complete the 30-minute workout below. I promise you’ll enjoy working up a sweat.
Warm-Up: 3 minutes
Workout: Complete each move for 45 seconds, then take 15 seconds rest, repeat set three times.
- Jumping Jacks*
- Air Squat
- Front Lunge
- High Plank Hold
- High Knees
- Ab Crunches
Cool Down and Stretch: 3-minutes
*If in need of a low impact option, take out the jumping.
Whip up a Veggie Quinoa Salad
This is my favorite summer salad! The veggies and quinoa are filling and nutritious, as well as sweet and tangy. It’s the perfect lunch or snack and tastes fantastic. If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy option for your self-care day, this is it.
- 3 cups of cooked quinoa
- 1 cup of cut broccoli
- ½ cup of diced peppers
- ½ cup of Italian dressing
- ¼ cup of maple syrup
- ¼ cup of diced red onions
- ¼ cup of dried cranberries
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Cook the quinoa according to package instructions and allow to cool.
- Mix all ingredients, stirring thoroughly.
Take a Relaxing Bath
I bet you didn’t realize you had enough in your home to enjoy a relaxing bath. Well, you do! With just a few ingredients, a pleasantly-scented bath awaits that will soothe your mind and body. Let’s get into it.
This relaxing bath uses Epsom salt and sea salt. Here’s why.
- Epsom Salt: Relaxes mind and body; relieves stress; soothes sore muscles
- Sea Salt: Detoxifies the body; hydrates and revitalizes skin
Next, you will want to add a few essential oils to take advantage of the many benefits. I prefer the following:
- Frankincense: An antidepressant; immune booster; relieves anger, anxiety and stress
- Geranium: Balances hormones; great for skin; relieves stress
- Lavender: Helps with anxiety, insomnia, and mental clarity; relaxing; relieves headaches, nervousness and restlessness
- Orange: Helps with nervous anxiety, depression, and disorders; uplifts spirits
- Rose: Boosts confidence; relaxing and calming; relieves anxiety and depression
- Vanilla: Helps with mental clarity and relaxation; offers tranquility; relieves anxiety
Oh, and toss in a few fresh or dried rose petals. They are fragrant and add a little tint to your water—a great addition.
An excellent way to end your self-care day is with a good book or soothing music and a Root candle. And you can look forward to a sound night’s sleep.