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It’s official: Taking care of yourself is good for your body, mind and spirit. Research proves it. Focusing on your spiritual and emotional health is just as important as your physical health. When we take time out of our busy days to focus inward — whether that’s connecting with our spirituality, spending time with loved ones or just carving time out to enjoy a favorite activity — we feel less stressed, our immune systems get a little boost and we can sleep better at night.
The good news is that it’s easier than ever to treat ourselves. After all, taking care of yourself shouldn’t create any more stress. Next time you need a little break, try one of these nine easy pick-me-ups, many of which you can do at home.
1. Enjoy a Good Soak
Get out your favorite bath oils, bubbles and soap for a long, relaxing soak in the tub. Place scented candles around the room and play soft music to let go of your stress. A relaxing soak can restore you and prepare you for a better night’s sleep.
2. Take Care of Your Nails
An at-home manicure or pedicure is a great way to relax and give your mood a little boost. If the at-home approach isn’t for you, many salons offer inexpensive options. And, manicures and pedicures tend to last so you’ll be able to enjoy them for a couple of weeks.
3. Cleanse Stress Away With a Facial
Drug store aisles are full of inexpensive and effective masks, lotions and face soaps that can help you recharge and relax. Find the product that’s right for you by thinking about some of your biggest facial challenges: Is your face dry or oily? Do you tend to break out or have redness you’d like to address? Most cosmetic companies clearly label their products to let you know which is the right one for you.
Once you’re home, start by cleaning your skin with a good cleansing product. Next, rub in a gentle exfoliating scrub to help rid your face of dead or flaky skin. Once the exfoliating is rinsed off, steam your face with a warm wash cloth. Dab it dry, and then apply a mask. Follow the label’s instructions to know how long you should leave the mask on. Read a book, meditate or file your nails while you wait. Once the mask is finished, rinse your face well. Finally, apply a good moisturizer. You’ll be glowing in no time.
4. Take Care of Your Feet
What could feel better after a long day than spending a little time caring for your feet? Soak them in a tub of warm, soapy water to help soften the skin. Then, use a pumice stone to get rid of dead skin. Finish with a good foot cream and a pair of cozy socks. Bonus points if you can curl up on the couch or in bed with a good book when you’re finished.
5. Get a Massage
A massage can help your muscles relax and loosen — and with it often goes much of the stress you’ve been carrying around. Schedule a session at a nearby salon or take advantage of at-home tools.
6. Deep Condition Your Hair
A deep conditioner can restore shine and softness to your hair and give you a boost of confidence. Try a deep conditioner during your bubble bath for an even more relaxing time.
7. Try a New Hairstyle
A new haircut or color can help give you a much-needed pick-me-up and allows you to focus on yourself. All too often, we let the stresses of our day and family responsibilities occupy our to-do list. Carve out time for yourself in the salon chair to break away from the everyday.
8. Make Relaxation a Priority
Instead of rushing in the door after a long day and immediately starting dinner or tending to other tasks, take a minute to re-center yourself. Meditate in a quiet room, read a book, or listen to some relaxing music while you unwind. This is a great way to model behavior for your children, too. It demonstrates the importance of slowing down and taking a break when we’re feeling stressed.
9. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude leads to happiness, less stress and optimism. Take time to practice the simple act of gratitude. It can be as easy as keeping a gratitude journal, sharing small acts of kindness and letting others know how much you appreciate their friendship.
Make Whole Health a Priority
It can be difficult to get into the habit of taking care of our own emotional and spiritual needs. Make your whole health a priority. You’ll quickly start to notice how much better your body, mind and spirit feels.