by Liz Cooke
Life can be stressful. It feels like the demands of work, family, and home expand to fill up every available moment. You want to meditate, take up yoga, or adopt another mindful habit to relieve stress, but despite your good intentions, day after day, self-care falls to the bottom of your to-do list.
Being your best starts with being present and centered – but that’s a nearly impossible state to attain if you’re constantly rushing from one task to another. So what’s the answer?
Taking care of yourself.
"If there should be a change in cabin pressure...put your oxygen mask on first before helping others." As a frequent flyer, I’ve heard this message so often that I usually tune it out, flipping through a magazine or selecting my in-flight playlist instead.
But last week I took the time to listen to the flight-attendant’s safety instructions, and it struck me how the idea of putting your oxygen mask on first applies to day-to-day life. The connection is pretty obvious. Take care of yourself or you won’t be able to help anyone else – at least not for long.
But this analogy has a flaw.
In my years of flying, I’ve never needed to put an oxygen mask on myself or anyone else.
Fortunately, I haven’t experienced a situation that caused the masks to drop! But that’s not true for self-care. There’s no reason to wait until there’s a “change in cabin pressure" in your life to start taking time for yourself.
Self-care is essential to your mental, physical and emotional well-being. Ignore it, and life has a way of forcing the issue by throwing a major challenge in your path. You can proactively schedule restorative time, or risk having a health crisis take the choice out of your hands.
Once you’ve made the commitment to take care of yourself, it’s time to get tactical. There are lots of ways to recharge. Jetting off on a tropical vacation or heading to a spa for a few days are appealing options, but scheduling a few calm, mindful, moments each day can be just as beneficial.
These steps can help you create a wellness ritual and stick to it:
- Let go of the “shoulds". Meditation is one way to feel present and centered - but if you get too fidgety sitting still for twenty minutes and you can’t meditate, there are other options. This is your time, and there’s no point committing to something that feels like a chore -- you have plenty of those already!
- Personalize a healthy ritual that allows you to unplug and be fully present. A short, mindful walk, watering your garden, star-gazing, meditating, immersing yourself in warm water, or doing a few yoga poses can be just what you need to slow down and get in touch with yourself - hitting your emotional reset button so you can be ready for the next task.
- Schedule strategically. Consider “bookending" your day with your wellness routine - scheduling time first thing in the morning and before bed. Set your alarm to go off early, and take that time for self-care before the rest of the household gets up. Then right before bed, take another few minutes to release the stress of your day and prepare for sleep.
- Remember that self-care isn’t selfish, so don’t feel guilty for one second. Those few minutes aren’t just for you - family, friends, and co-workers benefit too. Being centered and present creates a ripple effect that touches every area of your life.
My personal wellness ritual.
One of the best investments I’ve made in my own well-being was to install a hot tub in my backyard. I wanted one for years, but felt I didn’t have enough room. When I realized there are small hot tubs with two, three, and four seats that could easily integrate with my outdoor space, I made my move. Every morning and every evening, my own wellness ritual consists of spending fifteen minutes immersed in warm water, enjoying the moment as pulsating jets restore and invigorate me.
For a healthy habit you’ll have no trouble sticking to, consider adding a hot tub – it’s hard to make excuses when your daily wellness ritual feels as good as a warm water massage, and is just steps away. Getting started is easy! Explore Caldera hot tub models, or download a brochure. You can even contact your local dealer to schedule a test soak and experience the transformative power of hydrotherapy for yourself.