When you think of self-care, do you immediately envision bubble baths or clay face masks? These are great, but high quality self-care is not just an isolated event. It is the constant repetition of many tiny habits that nourish and sustain the body, mind, and soul on a regular basis. Highly effective self-care does not have to be time-consuming or expensive. Here are some simple activities that you can do in short periods of time to help yourself feel your best.
Self-Care Ideas for the Body
- Deep Breathing: Take five deep, full breaths at least once a day – and better yet, several times throughout the day for a calming and rejuvenated effect.
- Take a Stretch: Go for a few minutes of stretching exercises first thing in the morning to help get the blood flowing and to rejuvenate the body.
- Check Your Posture: You may not consciously think about the alignment of your shoulders, head, and back very often, but straightening your posture can help you feel more confident and help increase blood flow as well as create more efficient use of your muscles.
- Work Up a Sweat: One of the best actions you can take for your body is exercise! Whether you’re headed to the gym or getting a workout in at home, regular exercise can help you maintain a strong, vibrant body.
- Get in a Good Soak: Taking a relaxing bubble bath (organic bath salts, please) can help your muscles and mind relax and calm down. For added effect, throw in some high quality epsom salt to help detoxify an acidic body pH.
Self-Care Ideas for the Mind
- Peaceful Meditation: A few minutes of daily meditation can help calm your brain signal transmission which helps relieve feelings of stress, fear, and anxiety.
- Mix it Up: Take one part of your daily routine and do it in a different way every day. Take a different route to work, treat yourself to a new drink at your favorite coffee shop, or wear a bright color that you normally wouldn’t. Exercise your mind by mixing up your “normal”.
- Kick Out the Negative: Purposely take time to go through your personal social media sites and remove any negative people or accounts that you follow. You can make your online environment happier, healthier, and more enjoyable!
- Something for You: At least once a week, do one simple thing that makes you happy – it doesn’t have to be expensive! For example, try a new recipe or read a site with hilarious jokes.
- Fix the Little Things: We all have small annoyances in life (a drawer that doesn’t close, a lost button, or a burned-out lightbulb). Take a moment to fix the little things and remove that annoyance for good!
Self-Care Ideas for the Soul
- Notice the Small Beauty: Look for beauty in the little things around you such as the beautiful color of a sunrise on your way to work or a newly blooming flower by the side of the highway. Immerse your mind in Nature’s gifts and feel gratitude for such small beauties around you.
- Connect: Go out of your way to have a brief but uplifting conversation with someone you encounter today, such as a cashier or someone at your gym. You can ask them a simple question such as: How is your day going?
- Check in With Yourself: Take a moment to reflect on your own headspace. Are you frustrated? Sad? Nervous? Reflect on that emotion and allow yourself to feel it – then brainstorm ways to tackle what makes you anxious.
- Be Positive: Tell someone what you love about them. You’ll feel great for giving them an uplifting comment and they might return the favor!
- Ground Yourself in Nature: Go for a stroll through a local park or beach. Let yourself feel closer to nature. Be present and listen to the birds singing or the sound of waves crashing. Smell the flowers.
When it comes to self-care, the best practices are the ones that work for you. Find small actions that you can take to improve your mental state and give you a sense of enjoyment each and every day. Taking daily time for yourself can help sustain your positive outlook and prevent pesky burnout. What’s your favorite self-care exercise?