by Andrea Watson | October 15, 2020
Hello my amazing readers! If you are anything like me, then finding the time for self care falls low on your list of priorities. But it shouldn’t! I know we are all busy. I am personally engaged in three major writing projects at the moment as well as being a full time mom and taking care of my household. This type of busy schedule holds a lot of us back from getting the time for self care that we truly need to be happy and productive in life. Welcome to today’s post where we will be talking about some of the best ways to squeeze in your “Me time”. It’s all free and none of the ideas have to take very long. Let’s dive right in!
One: Have a Sing-Along
I’m not kidding. I am a total advocate for singing. Why? Because not only is it fun, but singing stimulates our vagus nerve, as I mentioned in 5 Ways to Relax Naturally. “Well, what the hell is a vagus nerve?” you may ask. I will tell you. It is the longest nerve in your body and it influences your breathing, heart rate, and digestive function. When we stimulate the vagus nerve, it increases the tone, and subsequently activates the parasympathetic nervous system. This means that when and right after you sing, your body is capable of relaxing much faster after stress than normal. Cool, huh? So what, just sing then? Out loud? Yes. VERY loud if you are me :). You can do this in a variety of ways and places. I like to sing in the shower. This allows me to belt it out as loud as I want while I clean myself. See? I am multitasking! Go me! For an even funner time, take a half hour break in the middle of the day to have a sing-along. Turn on the YouTube app or whatever way you listen to music and bust out some funky fresh jams. If you don’t have a free half hour then do it while you are cleaning your house (multitasking again). But Andrea, can’t self-care can only happen when you are doing nothing else? Ehh! Wrong! You can use singing to relax at any time of the day in any situation. Remember, we are stimulating our biggest nerve to do this and it doesn’t care what else you are doing.
I know the face you are making right now. It’s the same face I make when someone mentions journaling. It just. Sounds. So. Lame, doesn’t it? All adulty and stuff. Isn’t that something that Benjamin Franklin did and has since fallen out of style? The answer is no. You can call it whatever you want. You can write down whatever you want. It doesn’t have to be boring facts about your day. It can be inspirations you have, things you don’t want to forget, song lyrics, poetry, prose, rants, conversations that you are having in your head (did I say that out loud?), rehashing in a creative way what worked for you and what pissed you off today. Or yesterday. Or whenever. “Journaling” is cathartic. It helps you put things into perspective and can, if you use it right, become a muse for you-and we are all about the creativity here.
You mean exercising? On purpose!?? Yes. i mean exercising on purpose. Ewww, right? Not necessarily. Walking is so relaxing and refreshing that it hardly seems like exercising at all. Especially if you are trying out a new route and there are new sights to see. Our brains like new stuff, as I mentioned in my earlier post, Shake it up, Baby! You can even sing as you walk (more power to ya!!) You will really get the oxygen flowing to your brain this way, and that’s all good. More oxygen equals clearer thinking and more energy. This is a great way to get in your self care, even if you only have 20 minutes. It will help your metabolism, lower your blood pressure, and assist in losing weight. For reals! All desirable benefits. You should just let your mind wander and let new ideas come to you (all while being safe and watching out for traffic). It’s also a great way to reconnect with nature as I suggested in another post called “Breaking it Up“.
Now I know that some people just plain don’t like to read, but if you are reading this post right now, I’m guessing you are not one of them. You don’t have to just read books (although it’s cool and awesome to do so). You could read the newspaper, catch up on your favorite blog, or just pick up your favorite magazine. Reading is good for every brain, Carve out a piece of your time. Take that half hour you usually take for games on your phone or social media and turn it into reading time. Just don’t read for hours until late in the night like some of us do (sister). Make it reasonable. Read!
For real. I’m not trying to be inappropriate or gross here. And it shouldn’t be awkward, we are all big boys and girls. In fact, masturbation is one of the very basic, most human acts we can perform and it is a healthy expression of sexuality. Doing this will not only relieve tension and sexual frustration for you, but it has been shown to have other benefits as well. Orgasm releases endorphins, which are those little molecules in our brains that make us feel good and also block pain. (Helloooooo Dopamine, my best friend!) Mastubation can releive menstrual cramps and muscle tension, release stress, help you sleep better, and strengthen the muscle tone in your pelvis. A great alternative to Kegels, no? I mean, still do your Kegels but switch it up once in a while. Masturbation is not just for single people like me. It is just as beneficial if you are in a relationship. It helps you to get to know your own body and what you enjoy. This can strengthen a relationship. Don’t ever be ashamed. This is a good thing!
I hope I have presented you with some valuable suggestions here. After all, that’s what I’m here for 🙂 I also hope you try some of these things for your own self-care routine, they are all totally doable and totally free (and we love free stuff here, don’t we?) Self- care is absolutely essential for you to function at your best and take care of others. Your mental health and wellness is no joke. Take this stuff seriously and you will be living a healthier life. Don’t put yourself at risk buy putting yourself on the back burner. Try something out today and come on, get happy!