Creative Ideas to Inspire your Self-Care Routine
If you’re looking to add to your self-care toolkit, read on for 7 Amazing Self-Care Ideas to Inspire You.
What do you consider self-care? What are the things you include in your self-care routine?
Self-care boils down to doing something for yourself, that nurtures your mind, body and soul. Traditional spa treatments are common self-care activities. However, there are no limits to what self-care may be for any one person.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is the practice of taking personal care and responsibility for one’s own physical, mental and emotional health. It may include hygiene, therapy, exercise and relaxation activities.
Some of these ideas are solo activities, others can be a social outing with friends. If you’re looking for a way to incorporate a little fun and relaxation into your self-care routine, read on.
1. Tibetan Singing Bowls
What Is It?
A Tibetan Singing Bowl is a bowl shaped ‘bell’ that vibrates, producing a deep tone when tapped. It is also know as a Himalayan Bowl or simply as a Singing Bowl.
It was common practice for Buddhist monks to use Tibetan Signing Bowls in meditation. The benefits of the Singing Bowls has also been incorporated into therapeutic use in musical and massage therapy, it may also be offered in some yoga practices.
How it Works
Typically, each session takes place with the individual laying on the floor with bowls of various sizes, placed strategically around the room.
The yogi or therapist runs a mallet around the rim or outside surface of the bowl in a circular motion, like this. You can tap the bowl to produce the sound as well. The result is a clear, bell-like sound that resonates from the bowl to fill the space.
There is not a lot of scientific proof. But, the belief is that Tibetan Singing Bowls offer a number of benefits. The results vary for each person.
- Reduces stress
- Improves sleep
- Lowers blood pressure
- Provides pain relief
- Stimulates the immune system
If this is something you want to try out, but are unable to find a practitioner or therapist near you, You Tube has a number of videos that may fill the need. Set the stage for relaxation by finding a video to play while meditating or reading. Enhance the experience by sitting outside in a beautiful setting, put your earbuds in and just listen. Make sure to focus on your breathing… in… and out… in… and out.
2. Sensory Deprivation Tank
What Is It?
A Sensory Deprivation Tank can also be referred to as an Isolation or Flotation Tank. It’s basically a dark, soundproof tank that eliminates all environmental stimuli. (No light or sound). It has about 12 inches of salt water and is used for Restricted Environmental Stimuli Therapy (REST).
How it works:
Spas, massage centers and flotation centers operate Sensory Deprivation Tanks. The tanks have a high concentration of Epsom salts to increase buoyancy, making it easier to float. Users enter the tank without clothing, and lay down in the water for 60 minutes. By cutting off outside stimulus, it allows the mind to open and relax.
Positive effects vary by individual, but may include increased relaxation, better sleep and pain management. The benefits of time in the tank are a reduction in stress and anxiety. Increased relaxation, better sleep and pain management. Increased creativity is also a perceived benefit.
Risks are limited. However, there have been some reports of hallucinations and psychosis from flotation tank users. Hallucinations should resolve upon exiting the tank.
The appeal is being cut off from outside stimuli. Occasionally, I experience sensory overload and the thought of pure silence sounds so… peaceful. On the flip side, I can see being cut-off from the world feeling scary and unfamiliar.
Related Article: Self-Care Gifts for Moms
What Is It?
Cupping is an alternative form of therapy utilizing cups being placed on the skin, creating a suction for a few minutes at a time. It is an old form of treatment, used in Chinese, Middle Eastern and Egyptian cultures. The cup is made from glass, bamboo, silicone or pottery.
How it Works
You can have wet cupping or dry cupping. The most common form of cupping is a massage technique that moves the cup around on oiled skin.
- To start, a flammable substance is placed in a cup and ignited (ex. paper, alcohol or herbs).
- Next, the flame is extinguished and the cup is placed on the skin for 3 minutes.
- Finally, once the air cools, a vacuum creates a suction, affixing the cup to the skin.
The effect is that the skin reddens and swells into the cup. (For example, think about the suction a vacuum cleaner makes on your arm). Notably, more modern techniques replace the flame with a pump to replicate the vacuum effect.
Conversely, the process differs for wet cupping. This method does not bring blood to the surface of the skin. It is extracted by small, superficial incisions instead.
Research is limited. Common treatment is for pain management and inflammation. It helps well-being and deep-tissue massage as well.
- High Blood Pressure
- Skin Conditions (Acne, Eczema)
- Varicose Veins
- Rheumatic Diseases
- Skin Irritation/ Infection
Be aware that the appearance of the skin after a cupping session looks dramatic and painful. Visually, it is definitely not appealing and certainly doesn’t seem like something to try.
I know people that benefitted from cupping. Otherwise, I would not be intrigued in the least.
4. Cuddle Therapy
What is it?
Cuddle Therapy you say? Is that even a thing? Why yes, yes it is! I know, this one might be a little out there, but it does fill a need.
It combines Touch Therapy with traditional talk therapy, thereby meeting social, emotional and physical needs in patients. It is especially helpful for people from a background of abuse.
How it Works
Every cuddle session begins with a discussion between the therapist/ practitioner and the patient. During that time, they discuss boundaries, comfort levels, and consent. The patient and therapist decide on a preferred cuddle position as well as a location.
The location can range from a couch, to the floor or even a bed. It may be a standard hug, or spooning, or even a traditional massage using a table. The sessions are purely platonic. It’s about ensuring the client feels safe and comfortable during the 50-60 minute session.
Physical touch releases the hormone oxytocin, also known as the love drug. “Research shows that oxytocin, is linked to warm feelings of closeness to others, is only released via physical touch when it’s perceived as welcomed or positive.” Benefits include stress management, empathy and better communication.
I admit to laughing at the idea of paying a stranger to hug me. The idea is a little out there. But on second thought, while it may be awkward initially, sometimes you just need a hug. I love that there is a way for people coming from neglect or abuse to have a way to learn positive, appropriate touch and consent. So, while it may sound odd, it’s important to have a safe place to heal.
5. Scream into the Void
What is it
For those that need guidance from a licensed psychotherapist, look into Scream Therapy (Primal Therapy). It is therapy designed to express repressed anger through screaming or violence as treatment for people that may have experienced trauma early in life.
But, what I’m talking about here is different. Do you ever feel like you just want to scream? And by scream, I mean, SCREAM! Out loud, at the top of your lungs. I feel that way sometimes. A good scream can hit the reset button and help clear your head for the next crisis.
How it Works
So, let’s keep it simple. We all have pillows laying around. Screaming into a pillow works for ease of accessibility. Perhaps letting it rip from the confines of your car would feel better.
If you want to level-up, I highly recommend going to the ocean and screaming your little heart out. The loud crashing of the waves absorbs the sounds of your screams so passersby aren’t concerned.
Stress relief. We could all use manageable ways to relief the stress we encounter in our lives.
As a mom, I’m used to bearing the weight of everything and mustering on. But, there are times when I feel like I can’t take on even one more thing.
To cope, I can attest to having tried all three (pillow, car, ocean). This isn’t something I do all the time, but when the feeling arises, it’s a great way to just let it all out.
6. Ax Throwing & 7. Rage Rooms
What is it
Amazingly, there are places that you can go to throw axes and break things. I’m bundling these 2 together as they serve the same purpose.
For ax throwing, it’s an indoor place where patrons are allowed to throw an ax at a target. Rage rooms are rooms filled with dishes, old appliances, glassware, pretty much anything you can imagine smashing to bits.
How it Works
Ax Throwing: Rooms or bays have ax targets similar to dart boards on the wall. One person throws at a time, with the oversight of an employee. You throw the ax/ hatchet at the target for different games. No drinking in the ax room. But, drinking may be permitted elsewhere.
Rage Rooms: Every rager must wear safety gear (gloves, coveralls, face shields/ goggles, close-toed shoes) to participate. You use baseball bats, sledgehammers even golf clubs to destroy the items in your room. Items may include plates, furniture, appliances and more.
Another excellent form of stress relief! Raise your hand if you have you ever just wanted to throw something against a wall? Me, right here! I have. Mounting pressure can build and, without warning, emotions can explode!
There aren’t a lot of acceptable ways to express ourselves when the pressure mounts. Some situations don’t lend themselves to conversation. In some cases, rather than stewing in anger, physical action is the best course of action. It’s cathartic.
Safety is a potential concern for both of these activities. Follow the rules, dress appropriately and listen to the staff to avoid risks.
I admit that I’m not as comfortable with the idea of throwing an ax as I am smashing some dishes. But, I definitely want to check both options out. Make it a social event. Get some friends together, blow off some steam, work out your issues and have some fun!
We all know the importance of self-care. You hear about it everywhere. Self-care can come from traditional or alternative methods, like these 7 Amazing Self-Care Ideas to Inspire You.
It doesn’t matter what you do, the important thing is for you to invest some time for yourself.
Remember, at it’s core, self-care is attending to your basic needs as a human being. You have the right to physical, emotional and mental well-being. If you’re looking for something new or different to add to your routine, I encourage you to give one of these ideas a try.
Disclaimer: Consult with your doctor before embarking on a new therapeutic endeavor. As with most things, there are risks that may cause adverse effects on your health if not addressed.
Do you do anything out of the ordinary to maintain your well-being? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.