Show Your Eyes Some Gratitude: 8 Self Care Practices You Didn't Think to Try
Our eyes work hard for us in this digital era - every waking hour for some.
From answering morning emails and working/studying long hours to connecting with friends on social media and reading at bedtime, our eyes get much demand but receive very little attention.
So how can we show them the gratitude they deserve?
We thank them and give them some love.
Because when we are thankful, we become grounded and a part of something bigger than ourselves. Gratitude helps us keep our eyes open.
Here are 8 simple and effective ways to thank your eyes so they can continue to work hard for you:
Thank them. Literally. Now this one may sound silly but can make a huge impact when there's intention set behind it. If you already have a daily gratitude practice or prayer, this will be an easy addition to your list of “things to be thankful for”. If not, it's as easy as stating or writing, "I am grateful for my eyes and the precious gift of sight".
Give them rest. This tip is the simplest as it requires you less effort than the alternative - albeit easier said than done. Simply remove your gaze from the screen and close your eyes for a few moments. While you wait, see if you can focus on on your other senses. Go ahead, I’ll wait. This is what I like to call a power nap for your eyes.
Eye spa. Pamper those peepers with a session of heated compresses while you listen to a podcast or meditate, (bonus benefits by adding a drop of lavender or frankincense to the eye mask). Cleanse the lids (eyes closed) using a gentle, foaming cleanser. Follow with a gentle lymphatic drainage massage to move stagnant lymph and drain toxins from around eyes and ocular tissues, (see demo here). Finish with a toxin-free, antioxidant-infused eye cream or vitamin C eye serum.
Yoga for the eyes. Perform these simple eye exercises in the morning or anytime the eye muscles need a little stretch from stagnant eye postures or increased blood flow. Look right then left and back, holding each extent for 1-2 seconds. Then rotate in a clockwise, then counterclockwise direction. Finish with a figure-8 or infinity sign in both directions. Complete each direction 3-4 times.
Fresh eyes. For a quick eye refresher and energizer, apply cold cucumber slices or herbal/green tea bags, , to closed eyes for a few minutes to soak up moisture and antioxidants, (store used tea bags in the freezer to quickly have on hand). Bonus points for sipping on water infused with said items. Also, keep artificial tear drops in the fridge and apply cold to the eyes to help minimize blood vessel appearance for naturally brighter eyes.
Hydrate. Along with properly hydrating from the inside, (drink at least half your body weight in ounces of pure water per day plus equivalent amount of caffeine), we can also hydrate from the outside. Keep indoor air moist by adding a humidifier to your workspace or common area to ensure optimum relative air humidity, about 30-55%.
Beautify, naturally. Lengthen eyelashes and eyebrows, toxin-free, with a mixture of castor oil, Vitamin E and an essential oil blend of cedarwood, rosemary + lavender applied with a clean mascara brush.
Visual meditation. Just as it sounds, try an open-eyed meditation where the focus is on various aspects within your field of view. Sitting outside works best as nature inherently imparts calm and demands presence, but at the very least having a long distance view will work. Start by taking in a few deep breaths, and just take notice of the objects around you in your farthest extent of all gazes. Appreciate any differences in color, intensity, shape, size and distance. Focus on tiny details, then on general figures. Next, focus on a point in the distance. Now disengage from it to bring awareness to your peripheral vision. Notice some of the same qualities you observed in your central vision bringing attention to your sides. Finish by gazing up at the sky, if it's not too bright, and thanking your eyes for allowing you this experience and to serve you the rest of the day.
Which of these self eye care practices sounds most delightful and which do you plan on incorporating into your self care routine?