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By BaliniSports Guest-Blogger, Erica Rodefer Winters http://spoiledyogi.blogspot.com/

I’m a firm believer in taking time for yourself to unwind, de-stress, and just do something that you love. But as the mama of a 3-year-old daughter, I admit that there have been times I’ve let my self-care slip. What that happens, it's not pretty. I am quick to anger, exhausted, run down, don’t think clearly, and don’t get much done. On the other hand, when I do even small things for myself throughout the day, I am more patient, more kind, more productive, more energetic… should I go on? 

So, knowing self-care is so very important for our mental and emotional well-being, why do so many of us prioritize it below everything else? We all have busy lives with work, home, and family obligations, so most of us simply don’t feel like there’s enough time in a day. I’d love to hire a massage therapist or to shut myself in a quiet room to practice yoga for an hour or two every day. But realistically, I know that’s not going to happen. Thank goodness there are many MANY ways to pamper yourself without breaking the bank or disrupting my schedule. It’s not always easy, but it’s always ALWAYS worth the effort!Here are just a few of my favorite ways to pamper myself when I’m short on time (so, like, always):

1.) Take a bath: Here’s a fun fact. When you immerse yourself in water, your body starts producing the same hormones that it produces during meditation and yoga. It soothes almost immediately. A quick soak in the tub can work wonders for soothing muscles and mind.

2) Foot massage: Studies have shown that foot massages can improve circulation, reduce anxiety and depression, and even alleviate PMS symptoms.

3.) Pranayama: Just a couple of minutes of alternate nostril breathing calms and soothes faster than pretty much anything else I can think of.

4.) Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose: Shift your nervous system from fight-or-flight to a more calm and soothing state with a passive inversion.

5.) Lavender Essential Oil: If you have a diffuser, great! If you don’t, just open the lid of a high-quality essential oil and breathe deeply. The scent is calming

6.) Herbal tea: Peppermint and Chamomile are my favorites for stress relief, calming, and they’re known to help you sleep better, too!

7.) Meditation break:. It can be really hard to quiet the mind when you’ve only got 10 minutes, so I use a mantra to help me—Peace begins with me. Peace begins with me.

8.) Pressure point: Your Third Eye isn’t just a center for knowledge and intuition, it’s also a pressure point that helps calm the nervous system. Press it with your thumb or rest your forehead on a desk or the floor while you take full, deep breaths.

9.) Exercise: Ten minutes of high intensity exercise might be long enough for your body to start to release endorphins, also known as feel-good hormones, that can naturally elevate your mood.

10.) Take a mindful walk: Being in nature is a stress reliever. To increase your benefits as you walk, take in the sights and sounds and enjoy the natural beauty.

How do you pamper yourself when you're crazy busy?  



Erica Rodefer Winters is a Charleston, SC area writer, editor, yoga teacher, and professional daydreamer. She's obsessed with how her yoga practice can make her more productive, creative, and efficient and spends her days sharing her tips with anyone who will listen. Read more of her writing and connect with her at SpoiledYogi.com.

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