THE BLOG

5 Simple Self-Care Techniques

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

2015-09-22-1442940425-2070823-startingpoint.png

Each morning as you shower or brush your teeth do you lament, "I have to do this, every day, for the rest of my life!" You most likely hop into the shower as you think of your day's agenda, and look in the mirror, brushing your teeth as your thoughts are elsewhere. Both showering and brushing are self-care techniques. They are routine, and deeper than just a habit. And truth be told, you feel better after your morning ritual of showering and brushing?

"Self-care refers to activities and practices that we can engage in on a regular basis to reduce stress and maintain and enhance our short- and longer-term health and well-being. Self-care is necessary for your effectiveness and success in honoring your professional and personal commitments."

There are many facets to self-care. Anything that makes you a healthier person should be done on a regular basis. The question remains, why do we lose sight of our own self-care? Other than showering and brushing, how much energy do you give to your self-care?

As a parent, you care for your children. Every aspect of their lives and wellbeing are in your care. Have you ever stopped and said, "I don't want to do this anymore?" Good parents don't. Why is self-care sometimes out of reach? I think because often we don't put the effort into ourselves that we put into taking care of loved ones.

What if you had simple techniques that could be as easy as brushing your teeth? Would it change your level of self-care? Try it; you have everything to gain...

You are as important as those you love.

Are your needs too often at the bottom of the list? Have you heard from experts that you must learn to put yourself first? It doesn't work, does it? Make yourself as important as everyone else. That means you are neither first nor last, but an equal. This means everyone's needs are met at different times. There may need to be negotiations at times, but it will pay off for you and those you love.

Learn to say no.

It is life-altering to be able to say no at times. It doesn't mean you must say no every time someone asks for a favor. If you want others to lend you a hand in your time of need, you must reciprocate, and it is rewarding to do for others. If saying no at times means saying yes to your wellbeing, don't be afraid to do so. Listen to your gut; it will give you the right cue.

Have fun.

Add laughter, joy, and fun into each day. Decide what you enjoy and what brings you pleasure. It makes no difference if you are alone or with others. Vary your joyful activities and always have something to look forward to.

Find time to meditate.

In other words, find alone time to think things through. You need a brain drain to rid yourself of negative thoughts and bring in positive ones. It is beneficial to find a quiet place; if you don't have one, find or create one. Sit by a pool, at the water's edge, or have an indoor or outdoor fountain. The sound of water relaxes you and connects you with your thoughts. You can also take a walk; the physical activity can bring out your creativity.

Eat smart.

Eat to nourish your body and mind. What and how you eat matters in everything you do and in your long-term good health. You will find the effort you put into eating healthfully will become less of an effort once you begin to feel better. My definition of healthy eating is, eating food that is enjoyable to you, in the quantity that is good for you.

Today is the perfect day to get your self-care into motion.