I just got back from an extremely busy week in NYC. It was go-go-go. My little guy and I would leave the house somewhere between 8am-9am and get back somewhere between 4pm-6pm. On Wednesday I walked 17,000 steps according to my Apple Watch!
While this was great for my fitness level and for my son’s learning (zoo! science museum! playground!), I felt physically and mentally exhausted after this busy week. It was an amazing reminder for me that I needed to take some time to recharge and for self-care.
Self-care is something we love to talk about but we rarely do. It is great to say “take some times for yourself” but it isn’t going to help you unless you actually do it. And while this week is less busy in the sense that I’m not out of the house walking around a city all day, I still have laundry, business emails and preschool pickup to do. So here’s how to practice self-care with simple strategies no matter how much time you have.
Put on a face masque. I’m obsessed with the new face masques that come as a sheet and all you have to do is take them out of the packet, put them on your face and wait 10 minutes. Take the masque off and you are done. No mess, no muss and I just did something relaxing and great for my skin. Bye bye pollution!
Light a candle. For me, something as simple as dimming the lights and lighting a candle immediately relaxes me. I’m a big fan of scented candles because I believe they can really help you relax and open all of your senses. You can have a candle burning while you watch tv, work on your computer or really relax and meditate or do some yoga (or wear your face masque!).
Listen to some relaxing music. This one is a no brainer for me. I actually used to listen to spa-like music while I was at work to help keep me from getting tense. Now I put it on while I’m stretching or before bed. This playlist is one of my new favorites.
Roll out your feet. This may seem silly to some but I swear to you nothing feels better than a good old foot massage. The problem is finding someone to do it for you. No need! Just grab a tennis ball and do it yourself. I also recommend a small thin pole like a dowel. Check out my Pilates for the Feet for more foot exercises. Keeping your feet happy will help keep your spine happy and prevent foot and back pain.
Foam roll. I never really thought of this as something I had to do until I started to feel pain in my legs and hips from working out. I went to a doctor and was told I was suffering from IT band syndrome. If you feel pain while moving, you might consider myofascial release through foam rolling. Check out my simple foam rolling exercises!
Meditate. Even if you have only 5 minutes, meditation can do wonders for your mindset. It is hard to clear your mind but working on it really does make you feel lighter and more relaxed and reduces anxiety. Check out more benefits of meditation here. I find guided meditations help me a lot. I like the Omvana App (helped me overcome insomnia!) and My Yoga Works meditation classes.
Watch a comedy show. Laughter is the best medicine, right? This one is simple and you can probably do it in about 30 minutes while folding the laundry. Enjoy a comedy show like Veep to help you reset and laugh your cares away.
Yoga. There is a common misconception that yoga is easy and all about stretching. In fact, yoga requires a lot of strength! Two of my favorite types of yoga for self-care are: yin yoga and restorative yoga. In yin yoga you hold the poses for a long time (1-2 minutes or more) in order to deeply stretch and release the muscles. In restorative yoga, you use a lot of props to assist your body into poses that help you rest and relax the body with gentle stretching and some meditative practices. Try to find a class near you or check out online classes with My Yoga Works.
Get a massage. Do I need to say more? Massages are awesome.
Acupuncture. There is some debate about whether acupuncture actually works or not. My take? You get to sit there for 30 minutes to an hour with needles (that don’t hurt!) and just relax. And, unlike massage in a lot of cases, a limited number of acupuncture treatments might be covered by your insurance!
Good tips, I routinely do many of these! Massages are the best, and I’ve been making a point to put on a face mask once a week. I love ones from LUSH – They always makes my skin feel so soft! And I’ve been lighting my new fall scented candles nonstop. I just bought a pumpkin cupcake one that smells heavenly!
Excellent workout as always. It's challenging, fun and easily one of my favorite workouts!
Fantastic class! Great technique pointers. Always new exercises to challenge oneself!
I am excited to take classes with Brittany in person this summer! I have followed Brittany online for some time. I particularly like the Barre and Pilates workout videos. Her workout techniques reflect current thinking and best practices. She supports all levels of fitness. Definitely worth a try!
Brittany is the BEST. She is inspirational, motivational and innovative. No two classes are ever the same. I'm sad when the summer classes end, but I'm looking forward to checking out her online classes this fall and winter.
My wife and I decided to give Balance Barre Fitness a try and we were not disappointed. We thought the classes would be pretty easy but were surprised at how rigorous they were. The class was great for working on our coordination and core strength. I don't get to many ...