As a writer, I lead a fairly sedentary and stressful life. As a person who has MCAS, I desperately need to watch my stress levels, and I need to keep my emotions as calm, or as joyful, as possible. IOW: I need to make sure I don’t get overtired, overtaxed, overwhelmed.
You don’t need to have a condition like MCAS, though, to need a safe haven, to need a place to decompress, and ways to take care of yourself. Everyone should be practicing self-care, because if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t effectively take care of others.
My five best ways of practicing self care are:
1: Yoga. Yoga can be practiced by anybody at any size and any age. You don’t need to be thin and young to practice yoga. In fact, I find the Body Positive Yoga site extraordinarily helpful for larger women like myself, who may have back issues, etc.. I joined the site and I definitely feel it’s been worth it. Yoga is one of the best ways I’ve found for stretching out the body, for calming the mind, and for easing stress.
2. Meditation. I’m not talking intense meditation, either, but a very simple, calming way to begin the day. When I get to my computer, I turn on a video from one particular Youtube Channel, and I set my timer for fifteen minutes. This is one of my fave videos from the channel. I set it to full screen, listen to the sound of the water, and if my eyes close, no problem…if I watch the water, hey, it’s visually calming. When the timer goes off, I’m ready to start the day.
3. Petting the Cats. This may sound like it benefits the cats more than me but seriously, petting the cats makes me happy, it’s calming and soothing for both the cats and for me. It’s relaxing and there is scientific evidence that the purring of cats has a number of health benefits to humans.
4. I use my back massager. Yes, I get massage therapy, but I need more than I can logistically afford. Three years ago Samwise bought me a wonderful gadget and I’m now on my third one (they wear out faster when you use them a couple times a day). I love this thing. It feels good, it’s helpful, and I often pair it with Self Care Tip #2.
5. Watching deep sea documentaries. Oddly enough, one thing that calms me down and generally soothes me–especially when I’m having a reaction–is watching a deep sea documentary. Amazon prime has a number available, and so does Netflix. I find watching the water and the swimming fish is very soothing, and I think that it kind of mimics the research they’ve done on aquariums.
So, these are five ways I practice self-care. What are some ways that you take care of yourself?