Making Self Care Simple


Guest Post by Gina Harber

Self-care has become quite the buzz word in the past few years.  The main stream attention is wonderful, and I feel it is important to practice self-care, but I have been very focused on self-care for years.  When I was 26 years old, I had a kidney transplant.  The following year, I had my daughter (my doctors were not happy).  Having major surgery at such a young age, combined with a high risk pregnancy, was definitely scary but I was bound and determined to be a good patient and stay healthy.

I immediately became laser focused on making sure to incorporate more of fruits and vegetables into my meals, exercise regularly and take the time to be with friends and family. I am fortunate to have a strong connection with friends and family, and I love spending time with them.

Sadly, there have been many times over the years when I attempted to make plans with friends or family only to be told “I’m too busy.”  I heard this excuse more than once.  Because I care about my friends, and because I knew the importance of self-care, I often told them that if they didn’t take care of themselves now, they wouldn’t be able to take care of their families.  Sadly, this statement usually fell on deaf ears.

Many women (including several of my friends) think of self-care as an indulgence and as such, feel they must earn the right for “luxuries” such as getting a massage or having a facial. These luxuries also “take too much time”—usually an hour (more if you include time for travel). Going to the gym can also take a huge chunk of time out of the day.  While having a massage and going to the gym are worth the time and effort, there are more simple ways to practice self-care.  Here are several ideas:


1) Meditate

I know what you’re thinking—I do not have time to sit cross legged on a cushion for one hour.  Fortunately, these techniques are much shorter than one hour, are great for beginners and do not require a cushion:

  • Davidji is a world renowned meditator who offers a 16 second meditation.  That’s right, 16 seconds.  It works like this…you breathe in for a count of 4; hold for a count of 4; breathe out for a count of 4; and hold for a count of four. The point of the exercise is that while you are focusing on counting, you are not focusing on whatever stressors are going on in your life. The reason I love this meditation is because you can literally do it anywhere—standing in line at the grocery store; during a meeting; waiting on hold with the water company; or while watching your child play soccer.
  • Kundalini heartbeat meditation.  This meditation is a bit longer than 16 seconds, but you can still use it for a short period of time and gain great benefits.  Lightly place the four fingers of your right hand on the inside wrist of your left hand.  Focus your attention on your pulse as you gently breathe in through your nose and out through your nose.  By focusing your awareness on your pulse, your mind will become calm and the inner chatter will subside.  You may do this meditation just about anywhere at any time.

Related: Using mindfulness to cope with uncomfortable emotions.

2) Listen to uplifting podcasts. 

When you have a long commute to work, instead of listening to depressing news or lots of commercials on the radio, try listening to a meditation CD (just don’t close your eyes) or podcasts that feed your soul.  I’ve been listening to podcasts on my way to and from work for several months now, and I absolutely love the positive vibes I receive.  My 45 minute drive is much calmer, seemingly flies by, and I arrive at my office in a good mood.  A couple of the ones I really enjoy are:

  • Happier with Gretchen Rubin.  Just the name of this one invites you in.  Gretchen has some really practical and simple tips for being and staying happy.
  • Untangle, The Podcast.  I just recently started listening to this one, and I love it.  They discuss different forms of meditation and interview people who have been in the meditation world for a while, and “regular” people like you and me.

3) Watch insightful TV. 

Instead of paying money for cable TV that contains large chunks of programming that you never watch, consider subscribing to FMTV.com.  From their website, “It’s like Netflix® for health & wellness.”  That phrase perfectly sums up their content.  Nurture your body with yummy (and easy!) recipes and yoga.  Nourish your soul with thoughtful and meaningful documentaries, meditation and guided programs geared toward whole body wellness.  They have two plans—$9.99 monthly or $99 for one year.  I just completed my first year, and it is definitely worth every penny.

4) Feel the love! 

Place love notes to yourself around your house, in your car, your office, your gym bag…you get the idea.  You will undoubtedly forget where you left some of them so when you stumble upon one, it will lift your spirits and make you smile.  Here are a few sample notes:

  • {Your name,} I love you!
  • You have the most beautiful eyes.
  • I love the way you smile.
  • You are a gifted listener.

This is also an opportunity to get creative.  Have fun with the design of your cards!  Head to a craft store and look for paper and embellishments that light you up and make you happy.  Set aside time to craft 10 or so cards in whatever way fills your soul.  You never know what works of art may come out of this simple project.  Of course, if you want to make it really simple, you can just write them out on a piece of paper.  There is no wrong way—do whatever makes you smile.

5) Take healthy habits with you

Another idea to use leftover slivers of natural/organic soap.  If you use organic soap at home, you might cringe when having to use a public restroom.  And unless you make your own natural hand sanitizer, there may seem like no good way to continue your healthy habits outside of your home—until now.  Why not cut some pieces of your soap and carry them in your purse or keep them in a baggie in your car.  That way, the next time you are in a public restroom, you can use your soap and know that you are safe from consuming chemicals.

This is just a sampling of the many ways in which you can “treat” yourself that do not involve lots of time or money.  I hope these simple ideas inspire you to incorporate more self-care into your daily routine!


Confident Life Contributor

Gina Harber is a published writer, lover of music and practicing yogi.  She is currently attending a 200 hour yoga teacher training.  She is also the co-founder of Notúre, a subscription box service offering simple self-care ideas for women that she started with her best friend from junior high school.  Gina is a self-proclaimed wellness junkie, is a life-long learner and intends to live a vibrant life to the age of 100 and beyond.

To learn more about Gina and her self-care company, check out the following links:

Website: https://www.notureselfcare.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/notureselfcare/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ginamarisa0306

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/notureselfcare


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