*I want to start these self care posts by saying that I’m not a professional. I’m just someone who suffers from both anxiety and depression. These are all things that I personally do that help me either physically, mentally or both. What works for me may not work for you – so take these ideas as a stepping stone to figure out what resonates with and helps you. Something I DO know is the more consistent I am in focusing on various self care things for myself, the better I feel. As I write these, they will be added to the Self Care page so they can be easily found and not jumbled in with all the blog posts.
Self massage is great for a few things for me. And no, it’s not what you’re thinking – get your mind out of the gutter! As a single person and not getting touch from a partner, I’ve found ways to get that experience on my own. It’s great for making me feel present in the moment and enjoying the feeling of touch. The more I can let my mind relax while I do it, the better I feel and can get more out of it too. It’s super relaxing, feels great and is moisturizing.
I definitely like to set the space to help with that initial mind relaxing by turning off the overhead light and just having a small lamp or candle lit. I also like to be in bed with lots of comfy pillows and make myself super comfortable. Some soft music as background noise can help distract my mind from any clutter too. I then take some hand/body cream or massage oil/balm and give myself some light pressure massaging, stroking or rubbing. My favorite places to massage are my hands and feet (paying special attention to my fingers, toes, wrists and ankles), but I’ve also done my calves (especially after a long walk), stomach (think of being bloated or gassy), lower back/hips (it really likes to seize up on me), arms (from carrying something heavy), shoulders (sore from tension or heavy backpack), neck (helping that posture from looking down at my phone) and face (great for tension headaches and sore jaw or sinuses). Basically anywhere I can comfortably reach.
I’ve heard some people use things to assist like tennis balls, rolling pin or foam rollers to aid with their own massage, but I personally haven’t tried using anything but my own hands as I prefer a more gentle pressure or touch – unless you want to count my weighted blanket that gives me pressure. Different techniques I use with my hands to massage different areas are squeezing, pushing, stroking, grabbing, pinching, punching and the wider surface of my palm or bottom of my hand where it’s by the wrist – all of them with gentle pressure, but different ways to achieve the desired touch for the area.
Do you self massage? Share with me in the comments below your favorite area or technique.
Until next time, xoxo