Often times when we talk to people about self-care, they are quick to say that they don't have time or they aren't sure what to do. We've also heard that's it's too costly, thinking that self-care means paying for an expensive massage, manicure or pedicure...now, don't get me wrong, those are nice self-care tools, however, self-care doesn't have to cost any money, can be done in less than 5 minutes, and it's all in your mind!
Instructions: Choose a quiet place, if able. Lay down or sit in a chair with both feet flat on the ground. Place your hands to your side. Either have someone read the script below and close your eyes, or keep your eyes open, read to yourself, and imagine in your mind.
"I'd like you to take 3 deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. You are breathing from your diaphragm, not your chest.
Imagine that you are on a beach. You are sitting on your towel and you scoot yourself to the edge of the towel. You take off your shoes or sandals, place your feet in the sand, and you notice that the sand is so warm on your feet. You can feel the sand going through your toes. You look up and see the bright yellow sun, and the heat feels cozy on your skin. You look out and notice how blue, big and beautiful the ocean is. You then hear the waves crashing into the beach. Then, you hear a bird fly by, 'Tweet, tweet, tweet.' You then look beside you and see a refreshing drink. You pick it up, smell the delicious notes coming from the drink, and you take a sip. You quickly say, 'Ah…I am on vacation.'
Open your eyes or focus on a center point if your eyes were open. Take in those 3 deep breaths again, in through your nose and out through your mouth."
You've just completed a guided imagery exercise! Free, short and sweet!
See, self-care can be so easy. We recommend an exercise, like guided imagery or just focusing on your breaths a few minutes a day to be proactive in managing your stress. This will in turn provide you with more emotional stability, confidence, and feelings that you are on top of things!