What is self-care to you? One way I love treating myself in the evening is dimming the lights, playing soothing music and meditating while using this lovely Rose Petal Epsom Salt Foot Bath (find free downloadable PDF instructions for foot bath at the end of this post). My mind, body & breathing achieve complete calmness and relaxation.
Let’s also be mindful that self-care and self-compassion are not simply tasks we check off on our list (i.e. do meditation, deep breathing, etc.). We are often the harshest critics on ourselves. We may judge or speak to ourselves in ways we would not to a best friend. Nonetheless, studies have shown Loving Kindness Meditations to decrease feelings of burnout and increased resilience (Seppala et al., 2014). Compassion also improves quality of life, satisfaction and management of chronic illness for people in pain. For health professionals, self-compassion improves wellbeing, prevents professional burnout & anxiety, and reduces medical error & malpractice claims. More importantly, research supports that we can train ourselves to become more compassionate (Halifax, 2012).
To truly love and care for ourselves, we need to treat ourselves with greater kindness and compassion. We need to be AWARE and MINDFUL that we are human. We all suffer, make mistakes and have flaws. Let’s give ourselves permission today to be kind to ourselves. If you would like to join me right now, put a gentle hand over your heart, feel the warmth of your hand on your chest and say with gentle words to yourself out loud or in your thoughts “I care about you. I’m here for you. You will be okay.”
Combine Foot Bath with Diaphragmatic Breathing: