It's day 9 already...where did the time go?! Once again, before getting right into my self-care suggestion of the day, I would like to invite you to take a moment and allow yourself the time and the space to just settle. Move into a comfortable seated position wherever you choose, on the floor or in a chair. Imagine there is a string attached to the crown of your head and imagine gently pulling upward on the string. Feel your spine elongate as your shoulders relax downward away from your ears. Rest one or both hands on the belly, just below the navel. Begin to tune into your breath, just allowing yourself to become aware of it without altering it in any way.
Additional position option: you may want to switch things up and try laying on your back on the floor. Bend your knees and keep the soles of both feet flat on the floor (your legs will look like an upside down 'V'). Make sure you are still respecting the alignment of your spine: your shoulders will still be relaxed down away from your ears. Rest one or both hands on the belly, just below the navel. Begin to tune into your breath, just allowing yourself to become aware of it without altering it in any way.
After several rounds of regular breathing (one round = one full inhale and one full exhale), change it up and begin to breathe in deeply through your nose and sigh it out through your mouth. Imagine any tension you are holding is sighing out with your breath. Repeat this deep inhale and sighing exhale 3 to 5 times, then resume normal breathing.
Day 9 Suggestion: Spread Kindness Like Confetti
Ok, I know this is a SELF-care countdown, but hear me out. When you do something kind for someone else, how does it make you feel? Pretty great right? So by deliberately adding acts of kindness to your day you are not only lifting the spirits of someone else, but your own as well. Talk about a win-win!
Acts of kindness don't have to be epic in scope or involve spending money. I'm not saying you need to run out and donate a kidney (although if you have or you do, holy moly that is next level). Small acts of kindness matter. We are in a time of deliveries and curbside pick up. Make a sign for your delivery driver that tells them they are appreciated. Have extra baking? Make a little gift pack and leave that too. Give it to a neighbor who might be alone. Put a sign in the window of your car for staff that run your purchase to you. Schedule a phone call or video chat with a friend who is alone right now, or with someone whose spirits need a lift. Pay for the coffee of the person behind you in the drive through (someone did this for me once and I grinned about it long after the coffee was gone, then passed it on the next day). Be creative! Have fun! Be kind. Wouldn't it be wonderful to leave a trail of smiles behind you, even though they might be behind masks right now?
Supplemental Suggestion: Go For The Combo
Yesterday was all about gratitude and it turns out gratitude pairs well with kindness when you take time to express it. If you are grateful for a person in your life, take time to write down why and then share it with them. Put it in a card, write it in a letter, send an email, call. If you are grateful for a service, write a fantastic review. Again, get creative, have fun and spread the kindness.