Whenever you travel by plane, there’s a part in the safety announcements where it is explained what to do if the cabin pressure drops. Oxygen masks will fall from overhead, and the instructions are to “put your own mask on first prior to assisting those around you”.
The ‘oxygen mask’ principal is also true when it comes to self-care. No matter our age, we have to take care of ourselves in order to take care of those around us, too. So, as we are here plodding along ‘adulting’, let’s not forget to treat ourselves well also.
You can practice self-care in many ways. According to academics at the University of Kansas, self-care fits into one of seven pillars: mental, emotional, physical, environmental, spiritual, recreational, and social. Try a combination, or all, of these to maintain a well-balanced self-care routine:
Create a healthy mindset through mindfulness and curiosity by journaling, meditation, thinking outside of the box, creating a brain dump list at the start of each day, and taking an intentional break from screen time.
Create healthy coping strategies for any stresses that might occur in your daily life by watching your favorite movie, listening to music, writing positive affirmations for yourself, asking others for help when you need it, and setting boundaries to protect yourself and your heart.
Physical self-care involves taking care of your body with rest, nutrition, and movement. This includes eating meals at regular times, drinking plenty of water each day, taking a daily multivitamin, getting a good night’s sleep, and trying a new group fitness class.
Take care of the places around you and the places you love. To do this, rearrange your workspace with a peaceful arrangement, explore new places, de-clutter your living space, go for walks outdoors, and appeal to your five senses.
Give yourself a sense of meaning by spending time in nature, finding a community, identifying the values that are most important to you, and volunteering.
It’s important to make time for hobbies and activities that interest you. Some activities include taking time for hobbies, going on an adventure, taking time to relax and do nothing, playing board games or video games, and switching up your daily routine.
Build relationships and make connections with healthy boundaries by connecting with friends, calling your relatives, writing a letter to a friend, talking to a support group, and chatting with an online community.
When you’re feeling down or stressed, listen to your body and the type of self-care it needs. Taking time for you is crucial to maintain overall health and wellness and now that we know that, how do we engage in self-care here in Bermuda? Here are some ideas from the medical to the relaxing:
For those of us living in the west end, there’s a handy machine there that aids greatly in the maintenance of your health. Caesar’s Pharmacy has a ‘RoboDoc’ – a machine capable of providing measurements of your weight, height, body tissue composition and water percentage, pulse rate, blood oxygen level, temperature and blood pressure.
“The service is easy to use after the first time and also extremely low priced to ease access to it,” encouraged Krzysztof Puciaty, Head Pharmacist. “The measurements stay on the database under your login number and so you can access them at any time and compare your progress.
“It is a very simple tool but already has helped to identify high blood pressure to some of our patients who subsequently visited their GPs and got put on antihypertensive therapy. Some patients try to lose weight and they come regularly to check their weight and fat tissue percentage.”
What a convenient way to start your self-care journey!
If you’re looking for simpler lifestyle changes, consider a little retail therapy. Bermuda has plenty to choose from for a variety of budgets. To treat yourself, consider the variety of options available at Exotica Fashion & Fragrances. While looking for some fashionable undergarments or lingerie options, take a look at the body mists, fragrances, and oils as well. They can do wonders for mood, mindset and self-image.
Think you need a break from it all, but can’t afford a full day to yourself? For all you hard-working professionals out there, consider Ani’s Nail and Beauty Lounge. Located centrally in the City of Hamilton, Ani’s offers everything from full massages and facials to quick mani/pedis.
Massages have excellent health benefits that go beyond the physical. Although your breathing slows, and stress dissipates, and tension disappears, massages have also been known to offer such powerful stress relief that it’s helpful for mental health as well.
“We have people from all walks of life,” the team at Ani’s divulged. “Everyone from lawyers, hairdressers, teachers, reinsurance professionals – you name it. People benefit from stress relief and pain relief.”
It’s true you feel better about yourself when even just your hair and nails get done. No matter your walk of life, looking and feeling good is important.
“A massage is more than a massage,” the team reiterated. “It’s professional help both physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s almost like going to the gym – you look good and feel good about yourself.”
Ani’s encourages folks to give them a call if you need a last-minute appointment, to consider gift certificates for your staff or loved ones, or to take a quick dip out on your lunch break to get rid of that migraine or to get your nails done. No matter what you choose, you’ll feel better for it.
Lastly, there are a variety of complementary and alternative medicines to add to your arsenal of self-care techniques. Bermuda has practitioners of homeopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, and even herbal medicine to help you in your journey.
Taking time to do things that help you live well and improve your physical and mental health is the definition of self-care. Do you, and take care of yourself, as you’re the only you you have.