When I wake up, I like to think about what I am grateful for and give thanks. While I’m getting ready in the morning, I do a few deep breathing exercises to help start my day with calmness. I apply different blends of essential oils based on how I am feeling. I end the day with a shower or a bath, always adding essential oils to each. I finish my warm bath/shower with a 2-3 min cool (neutral temp rinse) to end my experience, then fall asleep while reflecting on the day and giving thanks. When I am feeling overly stressed, I like to work out. This helps me get all my emotions out and feel better about myself. I also love to spend time in nature, grounding to the earth with bare feet in the garden, woods, or the beach.
Director, Kohler Waters Spa
Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning has always been a part of my daily health routine. I acquired this from one of my high school teachers who explained the importance of flushing your stomach in the morning before you do anything.
In 2016, I attended a spiritual retreat in Sedona, that talked about our body having about 60% water. With the power of manifesting your thoughts through your words, the facilitator recommended the act of "blessing" your glass of water before you drink it. The idea is you put your mind into the water as it becomes part of the most abundant resource in your body. Since then, I do this every morning as part of my meditation process.
Spa Manager, Kohler Waters Spa at Lincoln Park
Self-care is all about creating positive habits and removing barriers. We are controlled by our daily habits, good or bad. An easy, impactful habit to implement each day is to drink 16oz of water within 10 minutes of waking up. Most people do not get enough water throughout the day. Drinking water right after you wake up helps you reach the recommended amount and provides numerous other benefits. Another simple habit to embrace is to take three five-minute stretch breaks throughout the day. Add these to you work calendar and block off a few minutes each day to stretch. Having a reminder and blocking time will help you stay consistent and avoid barriers that may pop up.
Manager, Sports Core
I have seen and experienced the benefits of the outdoor world, and I am constantly elevating my work as a therapist to mimic it. For example, I discovered that the salon’s full spectrum LED lights can support living plant life! I now caretake for four happy plants that create mental, physical, and emotional wellness for not only myself, but for the guests. It’s helped the space become a beautiful meeting place for employee and leadership meetings!
Another example of jumping into the daily flow of wellness is the use of essential oil diffusers, Himalayan salt bowls and stones, and Himalayan singing bowls. Since I started, we have brought these into our salon spaces to balance subtle factors that affect our well-being. Small things that show up in our environments and daily habits contribute to health that we can see and measure.
Although we fall out of practice sometimes, it takes only takes a moment, a day, or a week to get back into a revitalized version of yourself and back on track.
Finishing Lead, Kohler Waters Spa at Lodge Kohler
Something I practice daily is pranayama, the Sanskrit term for “breath control”. I practice this at home with my daughter and with my co-workers and yoga students. By consistently practicing pranayama, you can intentionally take control of your breath and your ability to shift yourself into the parasympathetic nervous system of rest + digest. Often, we live our lives in fight or flight mode without being aware of our bodies or breath. We rarely take a second to recharge. Here is a simple, but effective breathing exercise I learned from WebMD that you can do daily to shift your mind and your body:
Kimberly Hoffmann, INHC
Go for a walk outside, no destination, no time limit. Preferably in the woods or near a body of water.
Massage Therapist, Kohler Waters Spa
To me, self-care is more than just getting a massage, taking a bubble bath, or going for a walk. These activities are great and can help, although they’re not always enough.
During a very stressful time in your life, I personally dial in to my mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health on a deeper level.
So, what do I do when I’m experiencing high stress? I stay off phone, emails and TV. I start my day with a few minutes of breath work, stretching, prayer, and a brief walk. This routine clears my mind of negativity and starts my day off right. Whenever we wake up and check our electronics, our brains receive chaotic signals instead of rising with a fresh, clear, mind.
Having a support system is also important. Whether they’re a family member, co-worker, or counselor, it’s better to talk about your situation that keep it bottled up.
Lastly, I think that doing something that you love and are passionate about is part of self-care. Hobbies help calm your mind while bringing joy and happiness. Whether it’s woodworking, hiking, reading a good book, joining a sporting league, go do it!
When I incorporate all of these things during a stressful time in my life, it’s truly amazing how effective and helpful they can be.
ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, Sports Core