EASY WAYS TO PRACTICE SELF CARE
Self care is one of those things that’s necessary yet many of us seem to neglect our own selves. Most of our fitness retreat guests attend one of our programs in order to achieve some level of self care that they haven’t been able to accomplish at home. We’re all time starved and taking care of ourselves seems to fall by the wayside. Often times, we think that self care takes time out of our day that we could be using for something more meaningful (business, kids, errands).
Many people think self care relates to taking care of your physical body. In reality, self care means taking care of your whole body – physically and mentally. It can range from your personal self to the space and area you live in and work in. It doesn’t just mean go get a massage. Self care means taking care of yourself from the inside out. Eating healthy, exercising, having an organized space to live or work in and getting a massage are all self care tasks.
The reality is that we must take care of our own selves. No one else will take over that role for you. So busy or not, self care is a must so you can be the best YOU out there. Plus, the good news is that there are plenty of simple self care practices that don’t take up too much time and can become part of your daily routine easily.
OUR 30 SIMPLE SELF CARE PRACTICES
5 Minute Meditation – sit quietly and enjoy being present.
Daily Affirmation – a positive mindset leads to a positive life. Choose a positive daily affirmation to recite each morning or night.
Start a daily gratitude list – naming what you’re grateful for each day can lead to a healthy outlook. Gratitude can be for all things – big and small. The more you realize you have, the less you’ll focus on what you don’t.
Deep Breaths 3x Daily (morning, afternoon and evening) – 4 counts inhale, 4 counts hold breath, 4 counts exhale for 30 seconds – 1 minute each time (or whatever feels best for you).
Get up 15 minutes early in the morning so you can have quiet time before anyone else wakes up.
Meal prep your breakfast the night before so you have one less chore to do in the morning before you start the day.
Watch the sunrise – enjoy nature at its finest.
Read 10 pages of a book before bed.
Spray lavender essential oil on your pillow before sleep to help you relax.
Take a hot bath or shower to relax before bed.
Stretch for 15 minutes at the end of the day (best to do when your body is warm versus in the morning when your body is cold). Foam rolling, yoga or any type of light movement class would also be great ways to relive physical tension.
Turn electronics off 2 hours before bed – let your mind and body destress from the electromagnetic stimulation from tablets, phones and laptops. Plus, mentally you’ll disconnect from the day’s activities and what’s happening on FaceBook.
Listen to soothing music while you get ready in the morning.
Diffuse your favorite essential oil combination in your home.
Light your favorite candle.
Get a massage – whether you’re a 30 minute, 60 minute or 80 minute massage person, having your body worked on by a professional has many benefits from working out the tight knots to the positive effects of human touch.
Try reflexology. A good foot rub can do a body good and with reflexology you might stimulate areas of stagnation that needed to be freed up.
Mani, Pedi or Both! Sometimes getting just a simple manicure or pedicure or combination can relax you and take you out of life’s stressful game. Plus, you’ll come out with beautiful new nails to look at. Whether you choose polish or not, taking care of your hands and feet and making sure they’re well kept is part of the self care game.
Exercise – physical activity is a good form of physical stress. It helps warm muscles, lubricate joints, strengthen and tone and so much more. Don’t discount the positive impacts of physical activity in terms of self care.
Journal – journaling can shed a bright light on your own life. Whether you journal goals, your emotional state, what you ate or how much you exercised, journaling on a daily basis can provide you a look back into what’s working in your life and what isn’t. We use this important tool in our Health & Wellness Coaching so our clients can learn which healthy habits work for them and which don’t. Think of journaling as a map into your own life.
Declutter your home – this doesn’t mean you need to do a full on organization session. It does mean have a mini clean up session so you can clear clutter from countertops, tables and floors. Being organized translates into other aspects of your life and can help you to feel less stressed and more productive.
Try a new healthy recipe – get creative in the kitchen. Mixing up your food and trying something new can be fun. It can inspire your nutrition intake and fuel your body for the good.
Freshen up with flowers (or a house plant) – grab some fresh flowers or an inexpensive houseplant to liven up your home or office space. Plants provide visual beauty, release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide and they can increase concentration and productivity.
Laugh – do something that makes you laugh or schedule a lunch date with someone you love being around that you know you’ll laugh with. Sometimes laughter can be the best medicine and can brighten even the darkest days. Laughing is good for the soul. So laugh away and as often as you can!
Take a nap – in the middle of the day if needed. Get the rest you need and deserve.
Create a vision board – post what you want for the present and the future. Vision boards are a great way to stay positive, strive toward goals and have visual representation of what you’re dreaming of. Dream big!
Indulge a little – go for that dessert or glass of wine. Life is all about balance which includes a little fun here and there.
Say no – learn to say no when necessary as part of your self care routine. Overextending yourself means not having enough time for you or those things that are truly important to you in your life. No can mean yes to better things so don’t be afraid to say no when it isn’t the best decision for you or doesn’t serve you well.
Watch a good movie – movies can take you out of reality and into a dream world. They can make you laugh, make you cry (in a good way) and distract your thoughts from any stressors in your life. Escape to a good movie.
Focus on what you love about yourself – self care means realizing your strengths and successes too. Jot down what you like about yourself, what you’re doing well or how far you’ve come. One small step in the right direction is positive so celebrate all successes no matter how big or small.
SUMMING IT UP
If you’re not currently partaking in self care, hopefully this blog post gave you some good places to start. Even if you’re someone who regularly pays attention to self care, it’s always good to get new ideas and switch things up. Keep self care simple and something that works for you, your lifestyle and your comfort level. It should be something that you enjoy – not a chore.
We recommend choosing one practice to start with to see if it works for you and is doable for your lifestyle. If it’s something you love, stick with it and add in additional practices as you go. If you prefer to try something else, move on to the next practice. It’s as easy as that!
Questions or comments about this post? Please leave them in the comments section below.
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