Valentine’s Day has come and gone. While it’s a great day to remind us to love others and ourselves, every day can be a day to focus on caring for our mind and our body. Part of a healthy life balance involves taking the time for a little pampering. I thought it would be fun to share a list of 10 things you can do to pamper yourself …
…. for free (or almost free!)
When you do any of these things with intention and purpose, they will help you feel better: mind, body, and spirit.
Intention and purpose are kind of like the equivalent to “working the exercise”.
1. Get outside for some fresh air and sunshine.
Being outdoors helps you relax, lightens your mood, boosts your vitamin D, and even helps with healing. Even better: find a park or other tree-filled area, and spend at least 15 minutes enjoying nature. If you are in the arctic blast part of the country, I still encourage you to bundle up and turn your face towards the sun for a few minutes. Soak it in, be kissed by the sun and the fresh crisp air!
2. Read a book.
Let us count the ways reading a book is good for you: it strengthens your brain and prevents cognitive decline, builds empathy, improves your vocabulary, reduces stress, fights depression, and helps you sleep better.
Plus, it’s linked to a longer lifespan! If you need a book idea, check out “Verity” by Colleen Hoover. Fiction mystery/love keeps you turning those pages. Verity is light and easy.
If you are looking for more of a self-development type of thing, pre-order “Strong Women Lift Each Other Up”. It releases in early March. I am honored to get an early release of the book! So far I am digging it! It’s more than just another cheerleader for life book.
3. Get in your workout.
You already know why 🙂 It helps lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. It lifts your mood, helps reduce depression and stress, and is great for your brain.
Plus … it strengthens your bones and muscles and can keep you feeling active and strong. It helps you sleep better; it’s linked with a better sex life, and it boosts your chances of living longer.
4. Put your hand on your heart and tell yourself, “I love you!”
Seriously, try this. Put your hand on the left side of your chest and feel your heart beating. It’s working so hard to keep you strong and alive.
Take a moment to feel gratitude for that. Then tell yourself, “I love you!” (Do it even if it feels weird.)
If it feels too weird, too much of a stretch, try putting your hand on your heart and thinking of something, you love unconditionally, like a pet. This can at least bring you into a healthy space with good energy. Getting in that space is a form of self-love.
5. Make time for a 10-minute stretch session.
Stretching helps you feel better in so many different ways: it improves your circulation, activates the part of your body’s nervous system that helps controls rest & relaxation; and triggers the release of feel-good endorphins.
Recently, a Varsity Hybrid client was sharing how much she enjoyed the wall stretch at the end of your workouts. You lay on the floor with your legs up on the wall. I shared with her that this is actually also a great way to reset the body. That a counselor had actually recommended getting my feet over my head, to help calm the sympathetic nervous system.
Here is a nice quick calming session I put together at the beginning of the pandemic. It includes that wall stretch. Take a minute to breathe, move, and be supported.
6. Listen to your favorite music.
Music has a powerful influence on our bodies AND our moods – which is why it’s important to choose upbeat songs that make you FEEL good.
For many people, music can lead to better learning, it can improve your memory, help you focus, boost your mood, ease depression and anxiety, up your energy, and help you workout longer/harder!
This why I asked for a good quality speaker in my office for Christmas. I like working with just quiet, but sometimes I also like having some “Yacht Rock” in the background.
7. Treat yourself to a warm bath.
Studies show that a warm (not hot) bath can help you relax by reducing stress hormones in your body. Plus it’s great to help you get to sleep afterward.
But that’s just the start of it. A warm bath also can help reduce tension in your muscles and relieve aches & pains (try adding 300 grams of Epsom salts for even more benefit).
Note: a hot soak sounds appealing but it can actually leave some people feeling dizzy and weak. This is NOT what we are aiming for.
According to a recent FB poll of our tribe, more of you prefer a shower at the end of a stressful day. Try imagining all that negative energy being washed away and the warm water showering you with positive energy and love.
8. Look through old pics that make you smile.
A little visual walk down memory lane can give you perspective and help you feel gratitude for all the amazing people you’ve met along the way (and all the adventures you’ve had).
9. Cook a delicious dinner of your healthy favorites.
When was the last time you treated yourself to your favorite meal? If you’re the cook in your household, chances are you usually choose foods that other people will enjoy.
Tonight, choose something YOU want. 🙂
10. Schedule a massage, compression session, or other recovery modality.
They’re great to reduce stress, improve circulation and energy, and even boost your immune system. Plus … you DESERVE IT!
Check out the benefits of compression, cryotherapy, infrared sauna at Brighter Recovery Performance.
Let’s take a little extra time to show our bodies how much we LOVE them.