To me the idea of self-care is hard. It has often seemed selfish or even superficial, but I have learned the hard way that taking care of yourself is not only valuable, but necessary. I prefer to incorporate practices that are centered around wellness—not that a pedicure isn’t great sometimes, but I look for care that encompasses my body, mind, and spirit.
I want to bring a practice to you that I have found so beneficial. Have you tried dry brushing? It is the brushing of your entire body with a natural bristle brush. The whole routine can be done in five minutes, but the impacts are numerous. The most notable is the stimulation of your lymphatic system. Without getting into too much science the lymphatic system is the system responsible for eliminating cellular waste. Keeping this crucial system going means experiencing the benefits of increased circulation, exfoliation, stress relief, and improved digestion, to name a few.
All you need is a brush with natural bristles that preferably has a long handle to reach your back. Start at your feet brushing with short strokes, then work your way up your legs and so on, always brushing up and moving toward your heart. Take care not to brush too hard; your skin should be a bit pink but not red, and it should not be painful. This is great to do in the morning because it has an invigorating and stimulating effect on the body.
To incorporate a layer of spiritual care to your self-care routine, you can turn to the Lord as you brush. Allow him to free you from the burden of stress that steals your gaze at him. Delight in the gift that God has given you, and say a prayer of thanksgiving for your body that works so hard for you and your family. This gratitude towards God and self is perhaps the most nourishing and fulfilling part of this practice for me.