5 Ideas for Relaxation on Self-Care Sunday - by Shelby Smith

     The non-stop ringing of office phones. Children tugging at your sleeve, seeming to have only one single word in their vocabulary: “Mom!” Being the voice of reason and handling damage control for dear, or not so dear, friends. Preventing catastrophe in the business realm with a smile daily, only to repeat the process when re-entering your own four walls at the end of a long day. Too often, the many hats we wear as women go unappreciated. The duty of juggling work and personal endeavors can seem overwhelming at times, which is why you should indulge in the fulfilling art of self-care. Let’s face it – if you don’t take care of yourself, who else will? If you do not currently practice a self-care regimen of your own, fortunately for you, there is no such thing as a bad time to start one.

     You may have seen Issa Rae’s hit television show Insecure. Issa and her best friend Molly decide to set aside a day to reflect and force the world around them to be quiet. (What better day to choose than Sunday?) The focus of Self-Care Sunday is to channel your energy towards internal healing. Perhaps you are already familiar with self-care but wish to implement ideas from a different perspective. Here are five ideas for relaxation to enhance your Self-Care Sunday.

1. Meditation

The artform of meditation has been around for centuries. Luckily, practicing this mysterious, timeless art for your benefit does not have to be as complex as its inner workings. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), meditation can improve memory and concentration, strengthen your immune system, assist with PMS complications, increase libido, and even slow the aging process!

So, we know that meditation is beneficial, but how do we do it? Simple. Start small. The pyramids were not built in a day. Go into meditation without expecting immediate, drastic change. Set a time aside and try to adhere to your new schedule. Find a clean and private space and unwind for a few moments before beginning. Breathe deeply, and when you begin, try to stay still. Continue to focus on your breaths, and always think positively. (Insider). You can do this for as long as you like, and it is perfectly okay if you cannot practice for long periods of time at first. If you wish to implement your new routine on days other than Sunday, please do so.

2. Use a Relaxation App

Relaxation apps are becoming increasingly popular. With features like lulling nature sounds, soothing stories, and an assortment of messages for meditation, these apps are perfect for your Self-Care Sunday routine. For example, Calm is an app that focuses on enhancing relaxation, promoting better sleep, and meditation. Dare is another app that assists with anxiety, panic, and issues with stress. With so many different apps to choose from, finding the correct one that caters to your specific Self-Care Sunday needs is fairly easy.

3. Order a Self-Care Box

We love a round of uninterrupted retail therapy, but what could possibly be better than bringing retail therapy right to your doorstep? (Retail therapy with an actual focus on therapy of course!) Pamper and give yourself a little piece of peace by purchasing a self-care box. Usually delivered once a month, these boxes come filled with fitting products for your wellness routine. For example, TheraBox offers a monthly subscription that features affirmation journals, incense, and other goodies designed to make you feel your absolute best. Go Love Yourself offers a subscription that varies by monthly theme. Their “sleep revolution” theme includes an eye mask, an aromatherapy candle, and more items to assist you with transforming into Sleeping Beauty. Self-care boxes are a perfect touch for Self-Care Sunday.

4.Unplug from the World (No TV, Internet, Cell Phone, etc.)

Society has become so technologically advanced that life without it seems impossible and almost laughable. From Zoom meetings and apps for organizing business projects, such as Asana, to iMessage games and social media engagements, we are constantly interacting with some form of technology. In most cases, when we leave work, work ceases to desist. We answer emails at dinner and accept meeting invitations before turning our bedside lights off for the evening. Unplugging from technology can give yourself time to reconnect with the one who matters most – yourself. By turning off your phone, tablet, television, or any other technological device you own, you can reduce stress, ease tension in your body from the strain of staring at your phone or computer for hours on end, and make use of the time to do something productive (Adventist Health). We can avoid becoming jealous, envious, and lonely due to social media, and we can immerse ourselves in precious moments around us that we may have missed. Unplugging from technology is a great tactic for making use of your Self-Care Sunday.

5. Keep A Positive Journal

You may have memories of spending middle school evenings in your room, pouring your heart out over a colorful, Lisa Frank diary filled with stickers and trivial matters that felt as serious as the ending of the world. (At least that’s what I remember!) Contrary to popular belief, journaling is a therapeutic way to vent for all ages. Not only will keeping a journal allow you to truly observe your thoughts and emotions, but you will be able to chart your growth as well. Instead of focusing on the negative, write positive qualities about yourself, compliments you received throughout the day, and what you appreciate most about yourself and your life. Jotting down constructive ideas that reinforce positivity is a simple, but effective method for promoting mental clarity. Journaling should be a no-brainer in terms of things to do on Self-Care Sunday.

     The road to new beginnings can be as easy as you make it. I was once hesitant about self-care myself. “I’m not on the edge of a mental breakdown. Why do I need to meditate?” I once thought. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Once I developed a regular routine for meditation, started using the Mesmerize app to assist with slowing my mind down, and began relaxing with self-care products, such as the soothing scents of jasmine and lavender aromatherapy, my body began feeling better. I slept more, was less lethargic, and simply felt like my mind was clearer. My productivity increased, and I wondered why I hadn’t practiced self-care sooner. I had been robbing myself of such greatness! I also realized that recording positive affirmations and ideas increased my positive thinking over time. I became less pessimistic and almost felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Best of all, self-care doesn’t have to be super expensive to be effective. You can have an amazing, effective Self-Care Sunday without spending a dime, leaving no excuse for hesitation. Don’t wait to focus on yourself like I did. There is no better time than the present to begin treating yourself. Start paying attention to your mental health and wellness and begin utilizing positive practices in your next Self-Care Sunday routine. Trust me, your body will thank you!

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