When was the last time you stopped and took care of yourself? Like truly and mindfully looked after yourself? I have a wee challenge for you. For a week do one thing every day that focuses on just you. I am going to try this as well along with you because if I am being honest, that has been slipping lately. So, read on and find out 15 EASY ways to practice self-care you can do today. Let me know in the comments how you get on with the challenge.
Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.
– Etty Hillesum
15 EASY ways to practice self-care
Stick to a bedtime routine
Turn off the screen at least half an hour before going to sleep and find a routine that you will stick with. Read a book, write in your journal, meditate and plan your to-do’s for the next day. Go to bed with a clear head and feeling like you are in control.
Having screens on before you go to sleep stimulates your brain and makes it harder to get to sleep. Plus you aren’t unwinding properly.
When I was studying I made it a habit to read every night before going to sleep. I found I was going to bed still thinking about what I was learning and not unwinding properly. When I started reading before going to sleep I was unwinding, my mind was focused on something other than studying and it was something I enjoyed that relaxed me.
Take a bath
Chuck on some relaxing tunes, pour a heap of bubble bath into the water, find a good book and grab yourself a big ole glass of bubbly. Soak until you look like an 80-year-old version of you. A wrinkly, relaxed version of you. Soak away your worries of the day and enjoy just being in the moment.
Learn to say no
Saying no is empowering. Those two little letters can feel like a weight has lifted. I am only just learning how to say no and let me tell you, it feels goood. Sometimes we put ourselves last and continue to say yes even though we really shouldn’t. Don’t feel guilty for saying no, you are actually saying yes to yourself.
Do some pilates or yoga
Stretching relaxes you, makes you feel alive and energizes you. Plus it’s good for your body. Win-win! Try and do 10 minutes a day of pilates or yoga for a week and guaranteed you will carry on past your week goal. When I go through a pilates phase I follow Cassey Ho from Blogilates (well, try to). She is uplifting, positive and caters to beginners as well as advanced. Go check out her 100’s of free workout videos.
Make a playlist
Have you got Spotify yet? If you don’t you should. While you are at it make some playlists, one full of happy, upbeat songs, one full of calming songs and one playlist full of songs that bring back good memories. Music is proven to affect your mood so pop on that playlist that you just made full of happy, upbeat songs and dance away like no one is watching.
My favourite playlist is one I made called memories. None of the songs really match or flow but each and every song reminds me of a person, place or feeling.
Go for a walk
Get some fresh air and get outside. Dust off those cobwebs and clear your head. Endorphins are wonderful things, they are our natural happy pills. Pop a natural happy pill and go for a walk, even if it is just around the block. It may be just what you need. If you are feeling adventurous, go for a hike. There is nothing better than being surrounded by nature in it’s wildest form. It grounds you. As you can probably tell, I am an avid hiker advocate, if you want to read more about hiking head on over to my travel blog for some inspo.
Do something you love
Pick up the pencil and paper or mooch out to your favourite telly series, just do something you love and makes you feel happy. If you have a tonne of paperwork or cleaning or any of that other fun stuff, it will still be waiting for you, you may as well enjoy the time to do something you love while you can. You’ll feel much better and more energised to tackle those other jobs that you have to do later.
Do something just for you, just because you enjoy it
Create a gratitude journal
Practising gratitude is a great way to train your mind to look for the positives each and every day. Even on the days when the shizz hits the fan, I promise you can find something to be grateful for (even if it just making it to the end of the day. Or the big glass of plonk you poured yourself). Try write in your journal before going to bed each night. Write down three things that you are grateful for that day and watch as you naturally start to look for the positives over time.
Mediation enables you to understand your own mind, transform the negative to the positive and cultivate constructive thoughts. Mediation increases mindfulness, the art of being present and self-aware. Over time and with regular practice, you may find that mindfulness can help with stress, anxiety, depression and self-acceptance.
Turn off that phone. Stat! You don’t need to check that email straight away or respond to that post someone tagged you in. Enjoy just being in the moment. As a society, we are more and more tied to our phones. We only feel validated if we put something on social media.
Actually, it is far more important just being. I have now been on my Facebook Break for three weeks and I don’t want to turn it back on again. The thought of it fills me with dread so I think I am just going to leave it off. The notifications aren’t that important to me anymore and I like it.
Ah. My Achilles Heel. I have a sweet tooth. Ok, if I am being honest, a sweet set of teeth. Eating healthy is something I struggle with even though I know it makes me feel way better than finishing off the block of chocolate (it just tastes so good). Healthy body, healthy mind and all that jazz. Pick up an apple instead of the biscuit. Do it. I dare you to. And I will as well. Promise
Create a self-care box
Create a box for the days when you just feel like shizz.
- your favourite book
- your favourite snack
- a letter you wrote to yourself when you were feeling on top of the world
- some CD’s (they still exist don’t they?)
- a journal or notebook
- your guilty pleasure DVD
- a trashy magazine
- a book of quotes or funny sayings
- make a photo album full of great memories to look through and remind yourself, actually, you have had a pretty choice life
Say some daily affirmations
When you write in your daily journal or gratitude journal, write down 2-3 daily affirmations. Write some ‘I am’ sentences and watch that confidence grow.
Some things you could include in your daily affirmations:
- I am a strong, capable, honest person
- I am surrounded by love
- Today, I abandon my old habits and take up new, more positive ones
- I can achieve anything I put my mind to
- Everything that is happening now is happening for my ultimate good
- I find joy and pleasure in the most simple things in life
- Though these times are difficult, they are only a short phase of life
- When I breathe, I inhale confidence and exhale timidity
- I live in the present and am confident of the future
- I choose to be proud of myself
Pick up a hobby or learn something new
Life is more than work and sleep. It should be fun and enjoyable. We should never stop learning or trying new things. It gives our lives enrichment. Join that group you have always wanted to join, bring a friend and go together. Learn a new skill and master it. Spend half an hour a day doing your hobby if you can.
Wear your favourite perfume
Let’s face it, a girl feels put together when wearing her favourite perfume. There is just something about wearing your favourite scent that makes you feel on top of the world like you can conquer anything. Spray a little dab and take on the world.
So there you have my 15 easy ways to practice self-care. They are quick, not too strenuous and don’t cost a lot. Try and work some of them into your daily routine. Practising self-care is the BEST thing that you can do for yourself, your mental health and your well-being. Give it a shot and let me know how you get on.
What are some easy ways that you practice self-care? Leave them in the comments and let me know.
You may also like
- 5 reasons you need a gratitude journal
- 11 tips + tricks to de-stress and unwind
- Bullet Journal 101 – how to set up and maintain a bullet journal
- 30 things to stop doing in your 30’s
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