What is Self Care?
Everyone thinks of self-care differently. For some it’s taking care of your physical needs; making sure you get enough sleep, taking your vitamins, drinking water. For others, it’s tending to your emotional self; taking a mental health break, reducing stress and anxiety, practicing relaxation or meditation. And then there is the idea of soothing and feeding your soul; nurturing your creativity, your spirituality, your relationships with others. It’s about finding balance in this often crazy busy world!
When it comes to taking care of yourself, I like the idea of building a self care toolkit, making sure you start with your five senses…sight, smell, sound, taste and touch. It’s a way to really get in touch with who we are inside. Your senses are how you process the world around you. If you surround yourself with things that have meaning, that awaken your senses, you send yourself the message that you are important, you are valuable, you are treasured.
Creating a Self Care Toolkit
Whether you’re looking for gift ideas for a friend or family member that could use some self-care inspiration, or for yourself, here are some great ideas to build your own Sense-ational Self Care Toolkit! Write down some ideas so they are always at the ready (you can grab a free printable worksheet here), gather items together, plan some time and actually put it in your schedule.
The more you practise self care, and make it a priority, the more you will get to know yourself. Filling your bucket, refuelling the tank, allows you to give more of yourself to the people you love!
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There are plenty of ways to entertain your sense of sight. Beauty surrounds us everywhere! Watch a sunset or sunrise, take a walk through the fall leaves or in the spring when flowers are blooming.
If you can, cozy up by the fire, or spend time in candlelight. Even for children, firelight is mesmerizing and has calming effects (just be sure to practise fire safety!)
How often do memories come flooding back at the smell of baking cookies? What about mulling spices, or the crisp scent of pine trees? A bouquet of fresh flowers is not only a sight to see, but also to smell!
What sounds bring you a sense of peace or joy? Is it a child’s laughter, the sound of your mother’s voice, or the cacophony of friends getting together over dinner?
Is it your favourite music? Calming instrumental, sultry jazz, or loud, thumping rock and roll? Try our favourite spontaneous dance parties in the living room to our favourite playlist!
Or is it quiet you crave? Nothing but the sound of your own breathing, or relaxing sounds of nature.
There a so many ways to indulge your tastebuds! Fall back on your favourite foods, or try and experience new ones! Pay attention to how the appearance of food affects the taste. Flavours, textures, and how different combinations interact. When you crave food, is it carb loaded comfort foods, or healthier snacks? Is it sweet, or salty that satisfies?
And don’t forget about drinks! Warm tea, hot chocolate on a cold winter day, or that steaming mug of coffee in the morning. A fine red wine, craft beer, or carefully made cocktail. Or simply a cool glass of water on a hot, summer day!
What touches your skin can soothe your soul!
Always keep a soft blanket at the ready. Cozy socks and slippers on chilly mornings. Who doesn’t love getting a load of towels still hot from the clothes dryer? Or climbing into bed with clean, crisp bed sheets?
There are connections in the brain that are stimulated when hand writing in a journal, especially when it’s leather bound.
Try gentle exercises like yoga or stretching. Notice how it feels in your body when you pay attention to it.
My Self Care Toolkit
What’s in my self care toolkit?
My hibiscus flowers, which bring back memories of Hawaii…
View this post on Instagram
View this post on Instagram
Or wrapped in a fleece blanket in front of my fireplace, just watching the dancing flames.
Whatever way you practise self care, with whatever tools you keep in your own self care toolkit, do it often!
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