Free access to improved health: sunshine. Whether you can walk or not, if the sun shines, get into it, or at least get to looking at it out a window. Being in it or being able to see it just makes you feel better.
Here in the Canadian north, we get our share of cold. But we also get good doses of sunshine. And when the sun comes out, I get this urge to be in its light and heat, or at least as near to it as I can.
More free access to improved health is walking. I like to take walks. Particularly outside in the fresh air. And it’s a double joy if I can walk and enjoy the sunshine.
I’ve heard lots about ‘Self Care’ in the last few weeks. Restrictions due to Covid have us living in smaller spaces and out of touch with former routines. Walking and getting some sunshine are a start to ways to add healthy routine into the self care of your life.
Self care is care that goes beyond just getting relief from the stress of the day, like grabbing another coffee, indulging in chocolate, or binging on……… whatever it is you binge on.
No, self care is to do things that restore health… mental, physical and emotional health and healthy practices in taking care of yourself in and through times of stress.
The importance of self care has escalated because if we are not taking care of self, it’s harder to take care of those around us. And those around us lately tends to be a typically smaller group of the same people because of lockdowns.
Here are 10 simple restorative self care practices that I’ve found helpful.
- The first one as I already mentioned is walking. Take a daily walk. It’s the simplest exercise and 15-20 minutes does wonders.
- Maintain some ‘Quiet time’ in your day. This can be for reflection, devotion, reading, thinking, or just doing nothing. Disconnect from any screens or devices.
- Keep routine in your day including hygiene, simple chores, and responsibilities.
- Keep news input to a minimum. Maybe just once or twice a day to be keep informed.
- Shed the worry of things out of your control. If news or other things bog you down, share them with a close friend, and/or talk to God about them, but dial in on the people and situations that you can impact.
- ‘Be thankful in all circumstances.’ Maintain gratitude in life. Gratitude is one of the quickest was to reframe worry. Gratitude brings out the positive in you which has a positive ripple effect on those you influence.
- Eat well. Healthy eating contributes to overall feeling better. A bag of Doritos might suffice as relief that tastes great, but doesn’t help your overall physical wellbeing, especially as you age.
- Rest sufficiently. It’s so easy to stay up too late and forgo much needed sleep.
- Exercise daily. Include physical exercise in your regular daily routines.
- Pick up a hobby. Working with your hands can be a great way to enjoy time away from regular responsibilities.
For most of these things, you can even invite others to join you if you wish. But do take care of yourself. Because it is in that way that we also contribute to being able to take care of others.