We all know we need to prioritize self care, yet vacations, days off work, massages and hobbies all take time and money that we can’t seem to allocate. All these are important parts of self care. I encourage everyone to do as much as they can to feel recharged and joyful. But there is more to self care than taking time out of your routine. What if you can integrate moments INTO your routine to recharge and rejuvenate? Here are three simple, free things that take only moments you can start doing right now to build self care into your daily life.

Breathe. Yes, I know you are already breathing. I’m talking about mindful breath. Close your eyes and take 30-120 seconds to breathe deeply in through your nose, visualizing the breath entering and flowing through your body, oxygenating your muscles. Then breath out completely through your nose. Focus only on the breath, if your mind starts to wander, gently nudge your focus back to your breath. Feel your body and mind relax!

Stillness. Find one-20 minutes to be still. Put away your to do list and your phone or computer. This can be meditation or simply enjoying the view out of a window or on your porch. It can be riding to or from work with no music or podcast. It can be after the alarm goes off and before you get out of the bed. Just you and your thoughts. We go and do so much of the day. In order to integrate and process so much information, we need stillness to let it all settle.

Gratitude. The quickest way to joy is to notice and name all that is going right in your life. Start a journal, speak gratitude out loud, thank a loved one. There are many ways to celebrate love, health, making the light on that busy intersection and food on the table. The more you practice gratitude, the more blessings you have to count will become evident.

This post was written by Valerie Thompson, a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 20 years experience specializing in self care, balance, and personal growth. She is committed to creating a safe space where people can tell their story and discover their strengths. To connect with Valerie, visit our Member Directory.

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