Welcome to my 7 days of self-care series. During the next week, I will be focusing daily on ways that I practice self-care, to take care of my mental, emotional, and physical health. I’m purposefully starting this on a Friday because it’s always easy for me to get away from self-care when I’m on a busy weekend schedule. This mama puts herself last when a lot is going on! I also think that the accountability of making this a series will help me get back on track with taking care of me, and get me closer to making all of the behaviors I practice this week more of a hair. So let’s get started!
Day 1: Deep Breathing
Something that I try to practice often, and frequently use in my work, is deep breathing. There are so many benefits of deep breathing, such as releasing toxins and tension (hello, anxiety), and improving physical, emotional and mental health. These are really just a few of the benefits of deep breathing!
When I practice deep breathing, there are a few things I try to do:
- Close my eyes (if possible and safe to do).
- Inhale slowly through my nose, and exhale slowly (either through your nose or mouth, some people prefer one over the other).
- Let my breath expand my diaphragm, move down in my belly, instead of staying in my chest.
- Hold the breath between inhalations and exhalations, just for a few seconds.
If I am struggling with anxious or other negative thoughts, I may count in my head as I breathe. In for 4, hold for 4, out for 4, hold for 4. Sometimes having the numbers to focus on helps quiet the negative thoughts. If I don’t need to count, then I just focus on the quiet and how my body is feeling.
Deep breathing is so easy to do, I mean, we have to breathe anyway; it’s just not always easy to remember to do. Try and find some time during your day, even if it’s just for a few minutes, that you can spend focusing on and slowing down your breath. Your body and your mind will thank you!