After returning from a busy and successful day in the emergency department, my mind is on the topic of self care tips. While I can’t confidently claim that everyone who rockets through the doors of resus is there due to a lack of self love, I do know that many of us aren’t doing enough to nourish ourselves.
So, without further adieu, here are some quick self care tips you can use without leaving your house:
Super quick self care tips: meditation, yoga, and reflection
I recently read a blog post that focused on how using just one-percent of your day could have a significant impact on your life. Upon reading the title, I wasn’t exactly swayed by the idea. But, when the writer stated that one-percent of your day is fifteen minutes, I changed my mind.
If you’re looking for quick self care tips, try the following:
- Meditation. Whether you use a meditation app, find some nature sounds and sit in silence, or source a YouTube video, it’s worth your time. This is one of the few self care tips that will help you lower your blood pressure, prevent stress, and reduce your cortisol levels. As a result, you can think clearly and enhance your focus.
- Yoga; During my first year at medical school, an orthopedic surgeon told me that, in her experience, the best post-operative outcomes occur in those who practice yoga. While I won’t claim to be a yoga expert, I have found that my fleeting encounters with HotPod Yoga have left me feeling less stressed and more relaxed about the day ahead. Oh, and it’s an excellent way to socialize.
- Reflect; Reflection can involve writing down affirmations, journaling your gratitude, or writing about the emotions that arise as you go throughout the day. Make the process more enticing by choosing a beautiful journal you feel proud to write in.
Create your ideal movie night and stick to it
Now’s the time to start admitting to your guilty pleasures. I’ll get the ball rolling by proudly admitting that I can still watch Titanic, Moulin Rouge, or Almost Famous without feeling a shred of boredom.
Sit down with a pen and paper, think about which movies you love to watch, or those you’re dying to see. Then, see if you can find them on Netflix, Amazon, or whichever streaming site you love to use.
While this may seem like one of those ridiculously simple self care tips, there is a little reason to my lazy madness. Assuming you’re like me and just about any other human on this planet, that great big skull of yours hosts a brain. Deep within that squidgy organ is something called your reward center.
Your reward center obtains pleasure from an array of sources, including the guilty pleasures that make us feel happy. As such, creating a movie night and sticking to it is a great way to experience those rewarding sensations that flood through your mind as you do something you love.
Learn how to cook something new
Don’t run away in fear of spending your evening doing something bone-achingly boring here. Learning to cook something new is one of the most important self care tips I can dish out for an array of reasons.
First, whenever you try something new, your brain begins to produce more dopamine. Why do you need dopamine? Well, because it helps you focus, coordinate simple movements, reason with everyday challenges, and focus on your work.
Next, even if the only parallels between your personality and Gordon Ramsay’s are that you love to swear, cooking is a vital life skill that brings a great deal of satisfaction. Why wait for a trip to Koh Samui for a plate of Pad Thai when you can whip one up yourself?
Finally, whether you want to prove a point to your overly critical mother or wow the shit out of a new date, being able to cook something stupendous is worth the heap of praise that falls in your lap. Seriously, I made some risotto a few weeks ago and my boyfriend still hasn’t shut up about it.
My overall points are these: learning how to cook something new boosts your dopamine levels, it helps you develop a life skill you will benefit from, and it gives you a confidence-building skill others will enjoy too.
Write a list of things you love about yourself
Finally, one of my favorite self care tips is to sit down and write a list of things you love about yourself. Sure, there’s a fine line between recognizing your worth and being a swaggering self-aggrandizing pain in the arse. However, dolloping a bit of praise on your own plate will never do any harm.
In my book on 31 days to Self Love, I encourage my readers to do this throughout the process. Unfortunately, we live in a society where others expect us to self-deprecate. Sod that; confidence is sexy, providing you don’t bridge into arrogance.
Again, returning to the one-percent rule I mentioned earlier, you can dedicate just fifteen minutes to this practice without leaving your house. Then, keep the list somewhere safe so you can return to it at a later date.
Do you have any self care tips you want to share? Remember, you must be able to do them without leaving the house!