Whew! We made it through the holiday season and another year! Round of applause for everyone! The holidays are stressful, work can be stressful, families can be stressful – remember to breathe through your stress and take some time for yourself even when, or especially when, it feels like you don’t have a minute to spare. Here are some of our tips on easy, at home, self-care from 2018 to get you in the right headspace for the upcoming year.

(Hint: Click on each headline to look at the full article!)

Make the Bathroom a Spa

Growing up in my house the bathtub was a sacred space. Every other spot in the house was fair game to knock on a door but the words “I’m in the tub” was pretty much an out of office email reply.

A couple tips to make it even more spa-like:

  • Ask your partner to put your towel and robe in the dryer for about fifteen minutes, that way you stay warm and cozy when you get out of the tub
  • Try a quick-and-easy at home face scrub. Just blend together olive oil, lemon juice, sugar and lightly apply it to your face and neck using your fingertips in a circular motion. Rinse off after about 20 minutes.
  • Place a few drops of your favorite essential oil on your washcloth and put the washcloth on your chest as you relax in the tub. The aroma of the oils will keep you relaxed and the warm washcloth will help to loosen your chest.

A Few Exercise Moves to Relieve Anxiety

We all know exercise is important, if not crucial, to living your best life. But finding the TIME to make it all happen is the difficult part. We’ve done a little research and come up with a handful of exercises that are effective yet won’t take up a whole lot of time in your busy schedule (these are as much for me as for everyone else)! As always, consult a doctor if you have any prior injuries before trying a new exercise.

With any of these exercises, it’s important to maintain mindfulness. We love these simple reminders from Ace Fitness, which encourage you to concentrate on your breathing, to incorporate meditation techniques into your workout, as well as balance training. Peaceful music helps, too!

Lie on your back on the floor, knees bent and feet flat. Arms should be out to your sides at a 45-degree angle, palms facing up. Now try to make your tummy as skinny as possible and hold —this gives you a tight core—while breathing normally. Next, keeping your core tight, squeeze glutes and raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to knees. Hold for five seconds—squeezing your glutes tightly—then lower body back to the starting position. Do 10 repetitions (or as many as you can).

Breathe Through It

However, it can be tough for people to grasp onto the idea & often having a specific way of breathing can be helpful. Try simple 4-square breathing! You can repeat this process as many times as needed until your feel calmer, re-energized, or you are ready to keep on moving.

  • Inhale for 4 seconds
  • Hold your breath for 4 seconds
  • Exhale for 4 seconds
  • Relax for 4 seconds

Take a second to think about the day you just had- good, bad, hectic, lazy. No matter what your day looked like, you can always find small reasons to be grateful. Expressing gratitude helps put our day-to-day stressors into perspective.