~Introducing special guest blogger Elizabeth Miller~
~Happy Healthy Caregiver~
10 Free ways to practice self-care this summer
Self-care can certainly be a weekend long spa retreat but chances are as a busy sandwich generation Caregiver, you don’t have the time or the money to make that happen on a regular basis. Self-care on a regular routine basis is what we need.
Self-care is essential because it encompasses the overall short and long term health of your mind, body and spirit. It’s a necessary function that is completely under your control. It’s deliberate and self-initiated.
Nowhere in this definition does it say it has be lengthy or expensive.
This summer, let’s get creative and find small and inexpensive or better yet completely FREE ways to practice self-care.
Here are a ten ways to get you started on your summer self-care quest:
- Go for a Walk
There’s nothing like soaking up some Vitamin D, smelling the fresh air, enjoying the colorful landscape and getting outside of your four walls to lift your mood. Either listen to the sounds of nature or find a free playlist online. Here’s a link to a couple happy & healthy playlists I put together.
- Breathe and Meditate
Don’t knock meditation until you try it and you may need to try different methods. When my heart and mind is racing or just as preventive mental medicine, 10 minutes is all it takes to get back into a happy, healthy place. Lately, I’ve been using an iPhone app called ‘Calm’ and the free version has plenty of guided meditations to get you started.
- Find a treasure on your DVR
You probably have it loaded up with some of your favorite shows that have been piling up. I know I have many HGTV shows on mine that are my go-to for a short term commitment lounge fix. No drama just a good before and after renovation is all I need. Throw some fresh or frozen fruit in some ice-water and enjoy sipping on a summer calorie-free cocktail while you are learning some DIY.
- Start a Bible study
I have a student bible that contains many suggested self-paced bible studies. If you’re Bible doesn’t have this, look for a bible study online or just pick a book and start reading it like Psalms or Proverbs.
- Enjoy a Power Nap
Sleep is so important to our vitality. We need sleep to process and purge all the information and toxins we are collecting throughout the day and we often don’t get enough ZZZs at night so if you are feeling like you need a little boost, a power nap may be just what you need, especially if you need to hit the ground running again after you wake up. A power nap is classified as a nap under 20 minutes with an intention to boost your energy and alertness. Any nap longer than this and you may feel groggy when you wake up.
- Create a wish list by window shopping online
It’s like window shopping but you can do this one from the comfort of your own home. The trick is not to purchase. Many sites allow you to make a wish list so load up your wish list and you’ll have ideas to give your family when they are struggling for what to get you for the next holiday.
- Create a vision board
Clip out quotes you love from Pinterest or magazine clippings of places you want to go, things you want to have, or activities you want to try. It’s a great reminder of the personal goals and dreams you have. You can stick these clippings to a mat in an empty picture frame or make better use of a bulletin board.
- Escape in the world of books
Maybe you have a good book started that you can take a few minutes and read but the possibility of a new book is so much fun as well. Head to your local library (or Barnes & Noble if you can resist the purchase) and find a new novel or audio book that peaks your interest. Adding books to your online Goodreads ‘to read’ list is fun as well. Goodreads makes recommendations based on other books you have read and enjoyed.
- Get in touch with your creative side
All you need is some pencil and some paper and you can journal or draw. Don’t know what to write about? There are plenty of journal prompts to get you started like ‘describe your happy place’ or ‘if you won the lottery what would you do?’ You can draw, doodle, or maybe you have wanted to try and create a zentangle.
- Watch some You Tube
There are lots of funny videos you can watch on You Tube or try an inspirational TED talk. Just search for ‘TED talks happiness’ or just search for ‘funny’ and add ‘cats, dogs, babies, etc.’ We all can use more laughs!
So which of these ten self-care ideas appeal to you? Have any other free ideas to add to the list?
Helping you become a happy healthy Caregiver
I created HappyHealthyCaregiver.com and the Happy Healthy Caregiver Community while being sandwiched between raising my two teenagers, working full-time, and being the primary Caregiver for my chronically ill and mobility-challenged mom. My vision is for Happy Healthy Caregiver to be the place where overwhelmed Caregivers receive self-care permission, training, and support. I administer a Facebook group for Caregivers. The Happy Healthy Caregiver Facebook Group is designed for Caregivers by a Caregiver. This private community understands how overwhelmed you are and is always there to answer questions, give feedback and provide support. Most importantly this group is for Caregivers who want to live happy and healthy lives despite all the crazy!
"Tweet Tweet" by Jan Steinle
My new book launched in April on Amazon ~ "The Artistry of Caregiving, Letters to Inspire your Caregiver Journey" Written from my heart to yours, to help you navigate the emotional journey of caring for another. The book has a unique format. Six chapters and 33 Letters, designed to read on the go, in no particular order. I wrote this book out my experience as my Mom's primary Caregiver for several years. My journey was difficult, stressful, lonely and I felt very isolated and withdrawn. I wrote this to bring comfort to Caregivers of all ages. I wanted to let you know you are not alone, you are understood and I hope this book makes you feel connected, appreciated and affirms all that you do. Caregiving is not an easy job. It can be quite demanding and stressful. I created this book to be a companion for you and I hope you love it!
The paperback edition will be out in July, stay tuned.
~Where Words Soothe and Ideas & Art Delight~