The other day I saw an interesting post on Facebook. A friend was asking other women what self care they engaged in on a regular basis. The answers were both amusing and serious, ranging from masturbation to massages to meditation, and with some great suggestions from other women. Self care brings up different connotations for different people. Some believe that self care is a strictly ritualised activity, whilst others incorporate self care less formally into their daily routines. Whether you see self care as a necessity or a luxury, the following suggestions are simple and achievable for any woman.
1. Touch Yourself
Seriously! And, not like in masturbation. although that would totally count too! Just take a few minutes every day to focus on your body. Whether you are putting on body lotion after a shower, or really indulging yourself with aromatic oils and dedicated “me time”, be present to your body and how it feels to touch and be touched. Let your mind chatter fade into a background for a bit, and enjoy the indulgence that you are offering yourself. Touch among humans releases all sorts of lovely, feel-good hormones, and touching yourself will do that same.
2. Time Alone
Most of the responses on my friend’s Facebook post included some kind of time alone. While mothers would certainly agree, it is important even if you don’t have kids. Spending some time doing something you enjoy, or doing nothing at all, can have amazing recharging benefits for women. We are conditioned to give a lot of ourselves in day to day interactions, so having some time where you don’t have to be answerable to anyone else relieves stress and allows you to focus on yourself. Some people may spend this time walking in the bush, reading, listening to music, going to a movie or just chilling at home. Whatever you decide to do, try to make a habit out of spending time with yourself and recharging your batteries.
While it may at times feel like a hassle, exercise is vitally important to physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Start to view your regular exercise routine as your time for self care, and if you don’t have one, start to find ways to move your body. Whether you attend a formal class, or just walk around the block, movement gets you in touch with your body and releases masses of stress and tension. Some of the more interesting suggestions on Facebook included ballet classes, yoga practice, swimming (even better in the ocean). For some women, employing a personal trainer was part of what they offered themselves in a weekly basis.
Our fast paced society leaves little time for any relaxation, let alone time for self care.”
Because we are socialised to put everybody else’s needs before our own, making space for self care can feel both uncomfortable and an act of rebellion. Viewing your self care time as a way to be more productive and available during your daily routine might help you to carve out the necessary time women require to replenish and nourish themselves, both inside and out.