We’ve all been there. You get a little too stressed for a little too long, only to find that copious amounts of coffee or a night with Netflix isn’t enough to balance the scales. Behind the scenes is a clear signal: Your inner voice is letting you know that it’s time to slow down, take note, and unplug. This is especially true for those of us who spend much of our time nurturing (children, co-workers, even a passion-fueled job). When we feel ourselves needing a big change, sometimes what we need more than anything is actually a little space and self-care.
But let’s be honest — we all understand this on a theoretical level, while we’re not the best at practicing it. Carving out time for ourselves can be a hard thing to do in our crazy busy lives. Especially if you have little ones counting on you on a daily basis. According to Lorna Bernstein, Founder and CEO of online wellness network Grokker, self-care is not only important, but essential.
We promise, sneaking an extra fifteen minutes of that podcast or scheduling weekly Skypes with your friends, isn’t slacking (nor is it an indulgent luxury). It’s a must-do that everyone deserves. With that in mind, we compiled a few of our fave Skylar ways to give the gift of me-time to your gal pals and, of course, yourself:
Nothing says “I love you” like brunch. If there’s a woman in this world who doesn’t fall head over heels for a good brunch, we want to meet her. Stopping by early on a Sunday morning with a bag of groceries and an “I’ve got this” look on your face is definitely at the top of our list of gifting moments we’re grateful for. Check out these fresh recipes for some culinary inspo.
Get more out of life by “going in.” Meditation may once have been reserved for Zen artists and Himalayan yogis, but those days are over. Whether your loved one has a dedicated practice or struggles to sit still for more than a few minutes, there are simple, useful ways (did we mention, free?) to get started. In fact, there’s an app for that. You can start them off with a 10-day free trial at Headspace or they can enjoy the free guided courses on Simple Habit.
Release some tension. Giving a massage, whether yourself or by buying a gift card, is almost always a welcome gift. It’s also perfect because it’s one of those things that many of us don’t think to do for ourselves.
Take the kids off their hands. For busy parents, of course. It’s honestly amazing how a couple hour break helps us show up in a bigger way when we are with the people we love. Give an open invitation for a date do whatever the littles need or want in that moment — even if it’s just a peaceful walk or solo movie. Bonus: Hanging out with children and living at their pace can definitely make you feel like a kiddo again, which has its restorative benefits too!
A really good, inspiring book. A little perspective can go a long way, especially when it’s peppered over the course of many cozy evenings. A good book to curl up with for each night before bed helps us escape, gain perspective, and rest. Not to mention, it’s a proven fact that reading fiction is actually good for you.
A free pass on household chores for the week. There’s something in particular about gifts of service, probably because time is often the most precious thing any of us have. If you’ve ever ready Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages, you know that for many of us, gifts of service are also seen as one of the top ways to express love.
As for which one is the right way to go, that’s something you’ll have to intuit for yourself. Chances are, you already know. You might just have to do a little “listening in” yourself.