Boomers take care of everyone and everything above ourselves. We struggle to pay off credit card debt and keep up with the rising costs. We flit from one responsibility to the other, never pausing for a breather. It’s important to look after our own well-being. Even the busiest among us can make time for themselves. Here are 10 practical ways to incorporate self-care into your daily routine.
Showers are a convenient option, but when was the last time you tried bathing? For older adults, baths offer a myriad of health benefits, including lower blood pressure and a healthier heart. Run some water and use some nice bath salts for extra relaxation. Enjoy the warmth and allow your muscles to relax. This is your personal time, so use it to your best advantage and wash away all of life’s stressors.
Picture this: you jolt out of bed after hitting snooze one too many times. You hop into your pants, throw on a wrinkled shirt, and grab a piece of burnt toast on your way out the door. You don’t have time to stop for a cup of caffeinated goodness, because you weren’t ready for the day. We’ve all lived that scenario I described, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Take time each night to prepare for the following day. Lay out your clothes and prepare your lunch. Go to bed early so you’re not overly reliant on the snooze button. Trust me—you’ll be way more relaxed as you head to work.
It’s been scientifically proven that stretching is great for the joints. Not only can it minimize the risk of falling, but it can also reduce lower back pain and arthritis. Roll out your yoga mat and take the time to really warm up your muscles. Be kind to your body. Don’t stretch it beyond its limit! Focus on your breathing and listen to your body’s cues. Make sure you vary up your routine, so you and your muscles won’t get bored.
We’ve all been guilty of scarfing down our food. Maybe it’s because we’re hungry, or maybe it’s because we’re too busy to actually enjoy it. Allow yourself to actually savor the taste and flavor. Take smaller bites. Put away the electronics, so you can really focus on your food. And, most of all, be grateful for every morsel on your plate!
Kindness is a wonderful quality, but there’s such a thing as being too nice. Unless you’re a professional psychologist, you don’t have be the sounding board for anyone else’s problems. Lend a helping hand (or a listening ear) when it’s appropriate, but don’t be afraid to set boundaries. Bearing somebody else’s burdens all the time may negatively impact your health or mood. Be good to yourself!
Related: Passion for an Active Life
Nature heals. In fact, it’s scientifically proven that spending time in nature can reduce irritability and lower cortisol (the stress hormone). Next time life is just too much to handle, go outside. Feel the sunshine on your skin and listen to the birds sing. Try to find pictures in the sky.
Laughter is the best medicine. Not only is it good for your mental health, but it stimulates many organs, including your heart and lungs. It even boosts your immune system! Watch a funny show or movie. Or maybe visit an old friend. Even on the worst of days, you can always find something to make you laugh.
Our feet go through a lot. We cram them into uncomfortable shoes and force them to carry us for miles. No wonder they sometimes protest! Take the time to rub your feet with lotion. You could even give them a massage. After everything they do for you, they deserve it.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to treat yourself. It might be something as simple as listening to a song that makes you happy. Or it could be swinging by an ice cream parlor for a double scoop of your favorite flavor. Whatever it is, make sure you’re not too busy to treat yourself every now and then!
Related: 6 Ways Boomers Can Defeat Burnout
In the iconic film It’s a Wonderful Life, the angel Clarence says, “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. And when he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” That doesn’t just apply to George Bailey. It applies to you, as well! You’re alive. You are special. And above all, you’re loved.
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Originally published December 29, 2022