Whenever things turn sour, or I’m scared, depressed, sad or pissed off … whenever I feel lonely or missing a loved one who has passed … whenever I have failed once again at something I’ve wanted so adamantly to accomplish, I pull out a rosary. Not the religious icon rosary but the one that lives in my mind, the one I call forth when I need pampering.
My rosary of self-care
My rosary contains an extensive list of ways to sooth my woundedness or to comfort my lack of success. In the past, food, cigarettes and/or a strong martini would be employed to provide separation from an uncomfortable event or situation, but today I do better. I have lots of ways to make myself feel and be better without blowing my diet or without keeping me in a fog of non-feeling-ness.
Over the years you’ve heard me discuss the power of mediation, prayer, music, doing for others, and spending time in nature. These are at the top of my list of self-care practices, and I use them all the time. They work beautifully most of the time. I’m so grateful that they are non-caloric, legal, and free!
Five lesser-known and equally effective ways to pamper yourself
Here are a few lesser publicized self-care practices that you might want to consider adding to your repertoire of ways to help you through difficult times:
- Warm shower and clean sheets – Think of standing or sitting as warm water strokes your body and then drying off and climbing into a bed that smells deliciously fresh and that provides a nest for you.
- Unplug – Whether it’s online or in person, spending time with toxic (or even semi-toxic) people can be hard on your system. I often go 24 hours without answering the door or the phone or without logging onto any electronic. Taking time to yourself, away from others — especially toxic people — can restore the center focus of positivity and gratitude in your life.
- Splurge a little – Whether it’s a day of decadent TV watching, or seeing more than one movie at the multi-plex, whether it’s some delicious and healthy take-out from a favorite restaurant, or whether it’s purchasing that new pet toy that will provide hours of entertainment, I say go for it!
- Take a nap – I wasn’t a great napper when I first retired, but I’ve learned the skill of napping as a form of rejuvenation. Instead of just lying down on the couch, I go full on and take all my clothes off and climb into the nest of my bed … it’s heavenly.
- Plan something to look forward to – It might be a night out with friends or preparing a simple, non-stress-inducing dinner in, it might be going to a talk, class, or concert. It might even be a trip! Think outside the box. Do something you might not normally do – and invite others to join you!
As we age, self-care is more important than ever. Even though we’re strong and stoic, we can sometimes be fragile, especially in current times. Hopefully you can add these five items to your arsenal of ways to practice self-care.