For most of us, it’s the busiest time of the year and often a time when we forget to slow down and nurture ourselves. While self-care is needed year-round, this season, it’s all about balance and making sure to carve out time for yourself.
Pampering is often the first word we think of when we hear “self care”. But it’s really not about pampering (though a spa night sounds lovely doesn’t it?) Self-care is more about taking deliberate time to nurture your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Some weeks you need to focus more on one area than the others. Over a month, it’s best to balance the elements so you can maintain wellness in all aspects of your life.
So, what are some self-care Sunday rituals you can do? First of all, let me start by saying, if Sunday is not a good day for you, ANY day is fine. If you can carve out two days during the week, even better. Though quantity is not always better than quality, the more often we slow down and show some deep love and nurturing to ourselves, the more our happiness and health benefit.
Everyone is different so what “works” for someone else may not be your thing. Then again, maybe it is, because if you haven’t tried and experienced it, how do you truly know it’s not something your body, mind, and spirit have been longing for?
Ideas for your Self-Care Sundays:
Make a standing date with your husband to get out without the kids. It’s important to nurture your relationship and stay connected!
Make a standing date with friends. Find the friends that make you laugh until you cry, the ones you can talk to about anything, or the ones you can grab a cup of coffee with and unwind. Social connections are a part of the mental and spiritual self-care we need.
Get out in nature and take a long walk with the phone on mute. Crunch in the leaves or walk barefoot on a beach. Nature is therapeutic in multiple ways. Fresh air and exercise are medicine for the spirit.
Bring a journal, get out of the house, choose a quiet spot (outside if weather is suitable) and write down everything good that happened during the past week. Write everything you are thankful for. You can even write intentions for the next week. Writing is a wonderful mental exercise to release emotions.
Take an exercise class. Whether kickboxing, tai chi, cycling, or yoga, this is the peak time to condition your body and clear your mind. Sweat it out, release those endorphins, and feel great afterward. Try a different one each week, or stick to a few favorites.
Go to bed early one night a week. A dark room with no disturbance and an extra hour or two of sleep can do wonders for us mentally and physically. This is where you may need a babysitter or your partner to help. If the kids are older, remind them to let you have your quiet time.
Take time to get creative. Whether it’s painting, writing, singing, sewing, or any form of art, taking that time can offer you a powerful hour (or 2 or 3) to nurture the artist within you.
Whatever your religion, take some time at least once a week to connect with that. Whether it’s a formal church or an informal gathering with spiritual friends, this time is one of the most important in terms of reflecting, thinking, praying or feeling closer to your religion.
Time offline—off the phone and off any form of social media and electronics—is a digital detox we know we need, but rarely follow through with. If you can, make the entire day one NOT to check emails, Facebook, or watch videos and rather connect with your children, family, or friends truly one on one. You’ll also teach kids a valuable lesson of how to actually not look at the screen and have a great time (whether they know it or not yet)
As I mentioned, self-care is not all pampering, but definitely add that in too. If you shower daily, maybe Sunday can be your long bubble bath day. Perhaps give yourself a face mask and pedicure at home or get one done professionally.
Meditation is well known to have enormous therapeutic effects. Make a meditation part of your self-care time. Whether it’s five minutes, 15, or 50, it will help you declutter your mind, breathe deeper, feel calmer, feel balanced, and feel more relaxed. These are all prime self-care goals right?
If you love books but find your workweek too hectic, carve out part of Sunday for reading.
This is just a small list with some ideas you can feed off. A balance of rituals for your mind, body, and spirit is the way to a more joyous, content week. When you feel off-balance, be sure to add in more self-care. Better yet, practice many of these acts of self-care often and you’ll be less likely to feel stressed and unbalanced.