In a world that continues to get crazier by the minute, carving out moments of calm to focus on mind, body, and soul provides the comfort needed to deal with daily life. As you surely know, self-care isn’t just another wellness buzzword. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, self-reflection can bring big-time physical and mental health benefits, helping us manage stress, lower the risk of illness, and increase our energy levels. Wins all around.
But let’s face it, the last person we prioritize is too often ourselves. To fix that, take five minutes of your day—whether during your lunch break, while waiting to pick up kids at soccer, or in lieu of scrolling through social media—and try one of these quick doses of self-care. You’ll be glad you did.
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Add aromatherapy to your shower.
Why not make that usual morning shower a more relaxing sensory experience by adding that spa favorite scent of eucalyptus? Simply tie a bunch of dried eucalyptus to your shower head and breathe in as the steam from the water releases oils and diffuses them into the air. Want something even quicker? You can get the same soothing effect from just a drop or two of pure eucalyptus oil on a loofah. The plant is said to produce anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties.
Soak in the sun.
Getting enough Vitamin D is key for a healthy immune system and mood. But since your body makes this vitamin when exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun, it can be difficult to absorb optimal levels (600 IU for people ages 1-70) when you’re stuck at work. One simple solution is to make the most of our commute and open up the panoramic Vista Roof of your Lincoln Navigator*. You can catch some rays (and fresh air) as you get from one destination to the next. Just don’t forget the SPF.
Work out your lungs.
When you find yourself stressed or overwhelmed by intrusive thoughts, taking a few moments to focus on your breath can change everything. Studies show that doing regular diaphragmatic breathing—inhaling through the nose and fully engaging your stomach, abdominal muscles, and diaphragm—can physically calm your body, boost your mood, combat intrusive thoughts, reduce anxiety, and help you sleep better. To slow down your breathing and sustain relaxation, inhale for a count of 10 (fully filling up your belly) and exhale for 10 for one-minute intervals. Sneak it in first thing in the morning, when you lie down for the evening, or while during a chore like folding laundry.
The world may be going a million miles a minute along with your thoughts, but taking a short pause to meditate can helps us stress less and focus more, research shows. The trick is to settle into a comfy spot—even for just 5-10 minutes. Consider doing a quick meditation in the car while waiting for the kids’ soccer practice to end. The 2022 Lincoln Navigator* features Perfect Position Seating, which basically turns the driver’s seat into a retreat. It reclines, provides supportive padding (including extended thigh cushions), and massages on command. Make sure your car is in park, then close your eyes and try a body scan meditation. Make a conscious effort to feel every part of yourself from your toes all the way up to your head. Try to relax your muscles and release any tension.
Give your hands a break.
Your hands have a big job. They probably do more work in a day than any other body part—which is why they deserve a well-earned break. The Lincoln Navigator* ActiveGlide** feature allows you to operate the vehicle hands-free—while keeping your eyes on the road—when driving within North America’s Hands-Free Blue Zones. While you’re on cruise control, focus on relaxing the muscles in your right shoulder, arm, wrist, hand, and fingers, then repeat on the left side.
Stretch your limits.
Having a comfy desk chair is crucial for your back and neck, but getting out of it once in a while is just as important. Sitting in the same position for hours on end can cause tight hamstrings, knee pain, weak hips, and more. Take a few minutes every hour or so to stand up and stretch. Try placing your leg on a surface level to your hip, bend over and try to touch your toes, holding for 30 seconds. Researchers at Harvard report regular stretching keeps muscles long, lean, and flexible, so that exertion won’t cause stress.
Give yourself a pep talk.
Telling yourself how amazing you are might seem cheesy or contrary to your M.O., but studies prove that doing so can decrease stress and help you problem-solve under pressure. What’s more, those positive affirmations can actually forge new neural pathways in the brain to help change the way you think. Not to mention, this habit will give you all the mega benefits of positive thinking (lowered risk of cardiovascular events, for one). Whether it’s in front of the mirror as you’re getting dressed or brushing your teeth, or during a challenging moment, try saying a few affirming statements out loud. One to get you started: “I am courageous.”
Drink more water—your way.
The advice is as tired as it is true—not to mention the current guidelines calling for 11.5 cups of water/day can be hard to stomach, literally. Try zhuzhing up your daily intake with some lemon slices, cucumber, or any of your favorite fruit. It’s a refreshing swap for sugary beverages and just might entice you to load up on more H2O. Staying hydrated is proven to boost brain function, increase regularity, tighten skin, and aid with weight loss. Keep that cute thermos filled all day and within arm’s reach on your desk or in your cupholder as you run errands.
Pausing to appreciate what’s most meaningful in your life is key. Research suggests practicing gratitude conjures all the warm and fuzzies, which in turn translates to a better sense of well-being. Studies show it can shift your energy to foster more positive vibes when you’re feeling down. So, in the time it takes to sip your morning coffee, or while you’re breaking out the day’s to-dos, write down three things you’re thankful for, and you just might find your mindset changes for the better.
Awaken your face.
Sometimes your skin takes a backseat during the morning rush. There’s time for a wash, rinse, moisturize, and not much else. If, at the end of the day, you haven’t taken a few minutes for self-care, dedicate 10 to your face. Grab a mask with ingredients like lactic or glycolic acid, which encourage cell turnover to reveal smoother, glowier skin. After cleansing, apply it and leave it on while you brush your teeth or pack lunch for tomorrow. Your complexion will thank you.
*Some models, trims, and features may not be available. Please contact your local Lincoln Retailer for updates and assistance.
**Driver-assist features are supplemental and do not replace the driver’s attention, judgment, and need to control the vehicle. ActiveGlide is a hands-free highway driving feature. Only remove hands from the steering wheel when in Hands-Free Blue Zones. ActiveGuide requires Built-In Navigation and comes with a complimentary three-year trial. Always watch the road and be prepared to resume control of the vehicle.
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