editors note: In every issue of Cultivate we include self care tips that require no money to benefit from. At HavenTree we believe self care is radical and that every human needs to learn these skills, so we repost those tips here on our blog for everyone
Originally appeared in Cultivate Fall 2017 Issue no 1.
The best things in life are free, and that’s true for self care too. Here are some simple strategies that require no investment other than your time.
Give a Hug.
It’s said that four hugs a day are necessary for our survival. And if you come in from the left, your hug will be heartbeat to heartbeat. The intimacy and shared affections of a hug boost oxytocin and provide security.
Sit next to trees
Trees are more than just beautiful scenery. In Japan “forest bathing,” or Shinrin-yoku, is believed to have benefits from reducing anxiety to increasing longevity of life. Studies conducted even showed that those who so much as looked at a forest for twenty minutes had lowered cortisol levels and decreased stress. To claim the benefits all you have to do is take a gentle walk in nature, or even just sit next to a tree and breathe deep from all the fresh oxygen the trees produce.
Learn from your animals
Animals know how to meet their own needs unapologetically. Shamelessly even. So learn from their wisdom. Lay down in a sunbeam. Stretch your whole body until your eyes roll. Run up to the people you love and ask for affection whenever you need it.
Take a shower
When sick or depressed, showering is one of the first habits to slide. A warm shower can relax muscles, relieve tension, and provide a pleasant sensory experience. It’s a few minutes of solo quiet where you experience some soothing touch as you wash your hair and scrub your body. You come out relaxed and refreshed and the problems of your day become achievable.