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How to Have a Mindful “Me Day”

Treat yourself to a full day of healthy selfishness that you won’t regret.

Too often, we forget to take care of ourselves. Most days it’s hard enough to sneak in some “me” time, which makes it all the more important to set aside meaningful time to truly check in and pamper yourself.

A Mindful “Me Day” can come in many forms, and can be as simple as a staycation where you choose healthy activities that bring you joy. Whether alone or with friends, go ahead and book your Mindful “Me Day” now.

“The best ‘me time’ is what’s going to work for you,” says Rachel Goldman, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine. “I describe it as healthy selfishness. When it comes to our health, we have to be selfish.”

Block it off. Make this day deliberate. Choose a day that doesn’t already have other obligations or make plans for others to pitch in. This may also mean politely declining others’ requests, even if you’re not someone who usually says no. Treat your day as an important appointment that you cannot break.

Pantry pampering. Take a page from the playbook of some of the best spas in the world, which often leverage foods commonly found in your pantry and refrigerator to pamper your body. Grab some salt or sugar as the base of a natural exfoliant, use fruits for anti-oxidant rich face masks or slice up some cucumbers to relieve tired eyes. Better still, get some friends together ahead of time to make some DIY spa treatments to enjoy for a Mindful “Me Day” later on.

Find nature. You don’t have to do a full day’s hike to get the benefits of nature, including reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and providing focus. Roam through a neighborhood park, sit under your favorite tree or read a book by the waterside.

Reconnect. This day is about you but that doesn’t mean it requires solitude. Reach out to a friend that you don’t talk to as much as you’d like and set aside time in advance to connect. Whether it is on the phone, over a cup of tea or during a long walk, use the time to have a meaningful connection. Not only is it nice to reconnect, it may help you live longer.

Allow for indulgences. “If there is one item that you tend to avoid, such as a favorite baked good or candy, allow yourself the indulgence and don’t feel guilty about it,” says Goldman. Rather than impulsive indulgences, plan for it within your “Me Day” and then keep the rest of your indulgences to experiences, such as a long bath to wind down the day.

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