Mind, body, and soul – are these three separate entities or all parts of one being? Can we separate the different parts that make up a human being, treat only one part, and expect a holistic “fix,” peace, or good self care? I don’t think so. If you are like me, you probably said a resounding no, as well. But, what if we do a really great job on self care for the body? Would we be good to go? Or, do we also need to add in self care for the mind and soul? Science, anecdotal reports, and experience all show that we need to pay attention, focus on, and care for each individual part if we want the best outcome for our life. Here are some fun and easy self care tips to try.
Exercise: It doesn’t matter what you do, just find something that you enjoy – it will help you stay with it. And, you don’t need to spend a lot of money or a lot of time. On a budget, you can go for a walk, a jog, ride a bike, play tennis or pickleball, basketball, throw a baseball, or dance to your favorite song. If you want to and are able, join a gym and add in some strength training (good for muscles and bones), spinning or cycling, Zumba, or yoga. Again, just find something that you enjoy and schedule it in every day.
Massage: After you exercise, a helpful treat would be to gift yourself regular a massage at least once a month (or more). Massage increases blood flow, oxygen, and healing and relaxes sore muscles. It decreases stress, which can help strengthen the immune system, detoxifies the body, and helps improve sleep. And it feels great, too.
Facials: First, I know you already know the benefits of caring for our largest organ, the skin, but I also know that most of you are not practicing what you preach by having regular facials or body treatments. I ask for a raise of hands in each class for those that get regular facials and, usually, only one or two out of 10 are getting them once a month. It is a super important part of self care for the body and needs to be done once a month professionally and then maintained daily. The benefits of facials include clean, healthy, soft, and comfortable skin and facial massage can destress and promote better blood circulation, giving you healthy, glowing skin that will make you feel beautiful and increase self confidence. Facial massage also destresses by activating the sympathetic nervous system, which also reduces wrinkles. And, again, it feels great.
Infrared Sauna: This is a wonderful way to detoxify the body, relax muscle pain, aid weight loss, increase metabolism, and boost the immune system.
Meditation: Simply giving your brain a break by calming your mind, every day will (once again) help decrease stress while increasing creativity and memory. It will take practice, so be gentle with yourself. Just start with small increments of time and work your way up to 30 minutes a day.
Read: Reading each day helps boost your mind health, keeping it active and young, while also learning some new things along the way.
Unplug: Turn off or walk away from all technology for one day. Does that scare you? Try it and find out the benefits.
Gratitude and Prayers of Thankfulness: First, make a journal or a list and write down all the things that you have to be grateful for. Then, make it a practice to give to many and expect nothing in return and see what happens. Saying prayers each morning for your intentions each day will guide your steps and help your soul find what it was created to do in this world.
Joy: What do you do each day that brings you joy? If you can come up with something easily, then you are probably taking good care of your soul already. If you can’t, take a minute and think about what it is that makes you smile. Is it being with a certain person, your fur baby, having a forbidden food (like a fudge ice cream sundae, chocolate, or a glass of wine). It will be different for each of us, so look within and, when you find it, do it every day.
You are on the way to some great self care habits, so keep it up.
Becky Kuehn is founder of Oncology Spa Solutions, author of Life Changing Esthetics, and a licensed master aesthetician, cosmetologist, holistic cancer educator, and hope coach. Her journey started at the age of 18 when she was diagnosed with cancer. She had already lost friends and family members to cancer, so she was very familiar with the chaos and trauma associated with diagnosis and loss. As a cancer survivor for over three decades, she has made it her mission to discover and develop ways to turn around the devastating side effects of cancer treatments and return quality of life to those in need. Kuehn is the founder and owner of Oncology Spa Solutions, now the leading oncology training for spa, salon, and medical professionals. She is the author of “Life Changing Esthetics,” and a contributing author in the “Estheticians Guide to Outstanding Esthetics” Vol I and II. She has been part of the expert judge panel for The Skin Games’ Holistic, Compassionate, and Compromised skin categories. And, she provides advice and education articles for newspapers and leading industry magazines and is an invited speaker for oncology training at conventions.