We’ve all heard it by now. “Having a bubble bath #selfcare .” But what does “self-care” actually mean? Why is it so important? And how do we begin to incorporate it into our daily lives?
Self-care is as simple as it sounds – taking care of yourself. Experts show that taking the time to slow down and give yourself a break can exponentially boost your physical and mental health. That means that by taking some time to alleviate stress in your life, you can be a better parent, co-worker, friend, and spouse.
Spa days or napping on Sunday afternoon are great. Self-care can encompass much more and there are some methods that might be new to you.
Here are some new trends in self-care practices.
Use a foam roller to “massage” an achy back or sore legs. Make it part of winding down before bed. If you do it regularly, it will help your body and mind learn to calm and settle as you get ready to sleep.
Just like your favorite Instagram influencer says, baths can also be a great way to implement self-care. Here are some essential oils you can add to your next bath, and how they can help:
Black Pepper – Muscle Aches
Clary Sage – Premenstrual Aches
Eucalyptus – Respiratory Issues
Jasmine – Feeling Luxurious
Lavender – Dry Skin, Headaches, Stress, Insomnia
Orange – Energy Boost
Rosemary – Energy Boost and Muscle Aches
Chamomile, Lavender or roses – Irritated Skin
Rosemary, Calendula and Thyme – Oily Skin
Apricot and Amber – Moisturizes Skin
Chamomile – Relieves Muscle Aches and Anxiety
Next time you need a little “me time,” hop in the bath with some essential oils, music or a good book, and allow yourself the rest you deserve.
Another trend you may have heard of is the sensory deprivation tank. But what is it, and how can it help give you the self-care you need?
Well, basically, it is a dark tank filled with salt water. You enter the tank, and you float with all senses cut off. Sounds weird, I know.
Believe it or not, these tanks have been shown to reduce anxiety, enhance athletic performance, relieve tension headaches, and can even cause feelings of euphoria.
Buying your own tank can be a little pricey – costing thousands of dollars. There are spas and float spaces that offer them, so search your area and find one that offers this service. You can try it at a reasonable cost, usually $50 to $100. Give it a try next time you’re in need of some stress relief.
The next method of self-care I’d like to bring to your attention is the Salt Cave. While it may sound primitive, sitting in a salt cave, full of crystal salt rock, can have many healing and rejuvenating properties.
This salt therapy dates back hundreds of years, where Eastern Europeans would use salt caves to cure their ailments. Breathing in the saline helps eliminate toxins in the lungs and can help relieve respiratory and skin issues such as asthma, allergies, cystic fibrosis, acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
It also has calming properties, and often people come to sit and meditate in these environments to improve their overall health. See if there is a salt cave near you. It may be a more exotic way to improve your overall health.
Stay with me now – the last form of self-care we are going to explore is a little more “out there.” It is called Reiki, and it’s a form of energy healing that uses the laying of hands on the patient to help relieve their stress. This form of therapy claims to help move energy through the body, somewhat like acupuncture.
Reiki has been shown to increase relaxation, help reduce pain, and speed the healing of injuries and illnesses.
The practitioner places their hands over the patient in different positions, transferring energy throughout the body. Sometimes crystals and stones are used.
If you’re looking for the scientific evidence, have no fear. Reiki is also used to treat the illnesses below:
- heart disease
- chronic pain
- neurodegenerative disorders
- Crohn’s disease
- fatigue syndromes
While studies are still in the works to show the scientific evidence behind the effectiveness of Reiki, the verdict seems clear across all studies – Reiki is a great relaxation tool.
Lastly, a self-care trend we have to mention is that more men are realizing they need to embrace a few of these concepts too. When you also add that most men were taught to tough it out, never show weakness or admit pain; chronic high stress levels can be the result.
Now you’re fully armed with some new ideas around self-care techniques. It’s time to put them into practice. Whether you’re taking a bubble bath at home, or heading out to a salt cave, remember to take time for yourself. It can make a huge difference in your mental and physical health. Who doesn’t want to be their best self every day?