So often, we put other people’s needs before our own. Add chores and work to the mix and things can get really exhausting. So how does one properly relax and recharge? Self-care is a concept that we’re hearing a lot about, nowadays, but incorporating self-care practices into your daily routine is the only way to get there. Self-care isn’t about buying expensive things or going for a massage. It’s about finding the time to pay attention to your mental, physical and spiritual health, restoring them in small and accessible ways that bring you joy.
1. Work out
Many people see exercise as an errand, but in fact, it’s the ultimate act of self-care. Weightlifting and cardio can improve your mental well being (hell yeah, endorphins) along with your physical health, and being stronger inside and out can help greatly with confidence, motivation, and improved mood. Go for a bike ride or head to the local ice skating rink if structured workouts aren’t your thing. Even a quick stretch can help.
Meditation has tons of benefits, is equipment free, and easy for everyone to achieve. That being said, lots of people don’t like sitting still and closing their eyes. Other ways to quiet that mind chatter and reduce stress include yoga as a form of meditation, coloring books, or another craft that allows you to focus on one thought at a time.
3. Spend time in nature
Even though the weather is cooling down for some of us, nothing is more refreshing than a hike or lying down on a blanket surrounded by trees and fresh air. Going into nature can be a grounding and even spiritual experience that helps you connect with the world around you, and yourself.
4. Go on a digital detox
This pairs perfectly with our nature suggestion. What exactly is a digital detox? So much of our minds are filled with anxiety and stress from unanswered text messages, emails, and social media, which invites comparison and self-judgment. But none of that matters when it comes to our happiness. So set your phone to airplane mode, or even better, turn it off completely. It’ll help you refocus and can also revive your happiness and self-love.
5. Take an aromatherapy bath
Most spas are closed during COVID-19, and even if they weren’t, a spa day can come with a huge price tag. With a DIY recreation, you can remain in the comfort of your own bathroom – for free! There’s just something about a bath and your favorite playlist that allows you to fully melt into that warm water and let go. Essential oils can make it even better – choose lavender for relaxation, and eucalyptus for invigorating powers.
6. Make a to-do list
you can’t push off errands forever! But writing down a to-do list can make them more manageable – on a digital calendar or on paper. Seeing a reasonable list can help you remember that even though your mind has made a monster of this task, it’s not that scary. Write it in order of essential tasks, and take a moment to think of how this task will help you accomplish your goals and dreams, along with which tasks you can possibly eliminate that don’t have as much of a positive impact.
7. Stay hydrated
Drinking more water is a wonderful way to take care of yourself a little better. Drinking enough water will boost your energy, make your intestines happier, and will also help you make healthier food choices. A dehydrated person often feels more tired than they really are. Water really is life!
8. Start a gratitude journal
It’s easy to take things for granted, but we have a lot to be grateful for in this life. Studies show that doing this can actually improve your mental health in just one to three months. Along with writing down things that you’re grateful for and why on a daily basis, you can try to incorporate more acts of kindness into your daily routine, or “paying it forward” as it’s known. Smile at a stranger. Open the door for someone. Give your co-worker a compliment.
9. Spend time on your hobbies
Taking time to spend on your passions is important. A lot of people think hobbies are for kids, but that’s simply not true. Hobbies are a form of personal development, which is necessary for your growth as a person. Connecting to hobbies can also boost creativity, which improves your quality of life and can even help make you more productive at work. Most importantly, all these things help you connect to your true, authentic self, which can help all of us flourish.