On Sunday I had the opportunity to teach two yoga sessions at a private event for Black women. The theme of the day was self-care. Alongside yoga, the women were offered a session in rehabilitative stretching as well as a workshop on the topic of self-care.
At the beginning of the yoga sessions, I emphasised that self-care is not limited to the hashtag reminder of self-care Sundays, and it does not have to be something big and eventful.
We can practice self-care everyday, no matter where we are. Here are just a few things that you can do for yourself any and everyday, whether in transit or in the privacy of your own home.
- Allow yourself to laugh out loud. And feel your belly vibrate.
- Begin and end each day with silence and non-judgmental reflection. The brain is most vulnerable to stress when you wake up and again before falling asleep. Use the time to sit/lie/be in silence.
- Do not let yourself get too hungry. So that you have a clear mind to make good food decisions. And eat slowly so that you do not overeat.
- Interrupt the negative narrative in your head. When you catch the negative self-talk, simply let it go. Try not to attach to the thoughts.
- Live in the present. Bring your attention into the present moment. Switch things up sometimes by using the non-dominant hand to brush your teeth or by taking a different route to work. Plan better so that you do not have to rush from place to place.
- Make self-care non-negotiable. Plan for self-care so that you make time for yourself everyday.
- Say no to things that do not serve you. Tune into your intuition and uphold your boundaries.
- Say yes to things that scare you. Do not let fear rule your decision-making process. Fear is an important signal, but it does not always signal what you may initially assume.
- Take a three-minute break after every hour of work. Tune into your breath and clear your thoughts.
- Take digital timeouts. Schedule a time for your desktop/mobile notifications to turn off. Stop checking e-mails after a certain hour. Do not check social media right when you wake up or right before bed.
In time you will find yourself more connected to your needs with more clarity and self-confidence. Which one will you incorporate into your day first?