Today’s post is all about self-care. No matter which occupation you’re in or if you’re still in school, our lives are so busy and full of chaos in this day and age that a lot of times we put ourselves on the back burner and don’t properly take care of ourselves.
Think about it for a second. Do you put your dog’s needs first before you? Your kid’s? Your significant other? Your business (if you’re an entrepreneur)? Your job?
No matter who you place first before you, it’s important to prioritize taking care of yourself because your physical and mental health are both one of the most important assets you have! Without them, you don’t even have the ability care for yourself or your loved ones.
Now, when you think of self-care habits, what comes to mind first to you?
I’m not just talking about taking a bubble bath or watching a movie with a tub of ice cream in hand when you’re feeling down or need to relax and unwind after a long, stressful day!
Instead, I’m talking about smaller, more subtle self-care habits and practices that you can incorporate into your daily life that can make a huge, positive impact on your life and how you feel. By putting more time and effort into taking care of yourself, you’ll feel happier, reset your anxiety and stress levels, recharge, and be as productive as possible. Most importantly of all, your life will change for the better!
Self-Care Habits For The Mind
1. Write in a journal on a daily basis. If you need to release pent-up emotion or anger built up within you or you’re seeking clarity from a confusing or unhappy situation, writing all of your thoughts down can be magical and therapeutic.
2. Take time off. Hustling and working hard to reach your goals are really important but if you’re constantly burnt out, tired, and feel like you have no motivation and your passion now is turning into a dreadful time, it’s a signal that it’s time for you to take some time off.
Taking time off to recharge is not only great to help you feel more physically refreshed but it can also help transform your mindset so that you feel motivated and excited to hit the ground running again. If taking time off means taking a 2-3 week long trip to travel the world and be in a new surrounding or just an afternoon off to spend time with family, your pets, or friends, do what feels right for you.
3. Read self-help books. Our productivity and the way we look at the world all starts from within. We all can gain a little something from a positive self-help book from time to time and this is especially true if you’re going through a tough time in life and need some guidance or perspective on life.
Reading self-help books are a great way to motivate you, bring some positivity into your life, and lift your spirits when you’re lost or down. If you’re looking to get into positive self-help books and you’re not sure where to start, I definitely recommend giving The Happiness Project a try!
4. See the positive side of things. Our world is a really negative place nowadays and constantly surrounding ourselves with it can put a huge damper on your mood and how you see the world. Train your mind to see the positive side of things, that the cup is not half empty but half full, and focus on the good instead of the bad. Learn to live an attitude of gratitude and you’ll be much happier and attract positivity into your life.
5. Find some quiet time. Sometimes our lives are so busy that we don’t get any quiet time to ourselves to recharge with no distractions. Whether you draw a nice hot bubble bath, sit down to paint, or fill out a therapeutic adulting coloring book (that’s right – coloring books aren’t just for kids!), take some time out of the day every day (say for an hour or so) to just make it all about you. Silence your phone and learn to enjoy your own company and your own thoughts.
6. Immerse yourself in nature. Sometimes all we need to do to reset our minds and energy is to surround ourselves with nature. Take a hike or go biking in a conservation area or ravine if you’re near one and take in the sights and sounds of nature.
7. Positive self-talk. Often times, you are your own worst critic. That little voice at the back of your head can get real nasty. You might notice that you unintentionally talk down to yourself by telling yourself you can’t do something. Or you might say negative things to yourself that you would never say to anyone else if they were you. Or maybe you always criticize minuscule details about yourself that other people don’t even notice.
Stop feeding yourself negativity!
Instead, train yourself to have greater self-esteem, more confidence, and put yourself in a positive mindset by repeating positive statements about yourself in front of the mirror every morning. Even if you don’t believe these statements at first, eventually you’ll start to believe them!
8. Meditate. Meditation is such a great way to refocus your thoughts and reset your mind. Close your eyes and take some time to focus on breathing deeply. You can also use techniques such as mindfulness to relax and clear your head.
9. Write down positive compliments from others. Do you have those days where you feel down, unmotivated, or just plain awful about yourself? I know we girls all have those days from time to time where we feel insecure or unworthy!
For those days where you don’t feel great about yourself, start a habit where every time you get a positive compliment from someone, write it down in a notebook!
Whenever you start experiencing one of those days where you’re down, take a look at that list of positive compliments that you’ve accumulated. Those are genuine compliments that other people have given you and are a great reminder on days where you need a pick-me-up that you’re awesome and worthy!
10. Hang out with positive people. We are who we surround ourselves with so take some time to figure out who is actually truly worthy of your time. Find people to spend time with who inspire you to be the best version of yourself and are just positive people overall!
If you don’t feel the positive energy from them or you always feel down and unhappy when they’re around, it might be beneficial to you to reduce the amount of time you spend with them and find other people who are more like-minded.
Self-Care Habits For The Body
1. Get enough sun. I’m not telling you to literally lay out in the sun and start tanning! But you should be getting enough exposure to the sun to get your body’s daily dose of much-needed vitamin D.
If you live in a cold climate where winter is pretty much present most of the year and the sun is rare, you can get a light therapy lamp to lift your mood and take vitamin D supplements if you feel like you’re not getting enough.
2. Eat healthy & clean. A healthy mind and body starts with eating healthy and clean so try to get all of your nutrients from eating from all food groups. A lot of times, we eat fast food frequently because it’s so convenient and cheap but eating out all the time can make you feel bloated, gain weight, less productive, and so much more!
Instead, try eating more at home by planning out your meals in advance. It’s totally possible to save money on groceries while making great food at home and it’s great that you can control exactly which ingredients go into your food.
3. Get enough exercise. Get that dopamine into your system! Getting enough exercise every week is so important to keep your body fit as well as your mind. This is even more important if you’re constantly stressed because you’re juggling a stressful 9-5 desk job, kids, a family, chores, and more.
Even if you don’t have time to go to the gym, try to get up during your breaks or at lunch and walk 10,000 steps a day. Giving yourself a spurt of awesome endorphins every day will put you in a better mood and you’ll feel happier, healthier, and more productive.
Don’t want to spend a lot of money on working out? Check out my post on 5 fun ways to get fit on a budget.
4. Get high-quality sleep. Getting enough high quality sleep is so important even if you might just dismiss it as something that happens every night anyway. But getting high-quality sleep isn’t always a given. Do you ever feel like you wake up groggy? Or no matter how many hours you sleep, you still feel tired?
High quality sleep isn’t always easy to achieve especially if you’re stressed or anxious and this can in turn change how you act and feel throughout the day. Strive to get better sleep with my 14 tips and you’ll feel more productive and energized to take on the day!
5. Focus on your posture. Our society nowadays is so technologically driven that we’re constantly hunched like turtles over our laptops and computers as well as straining our neck to look down at our cell phones.
Imagine sitting down sedentarily like that for hours a day (especially if you work at a 9-5 desk job!) and you can probably picture how much it can wreak havoc on our bodies!
Eventually, your body will get used to having bad posture unless you consciously change the way you sit and position your body. So focus on your posture and remember to always stretch!
What are some self-care habits and practices that you regularly incorporate into your daily life? Let me know in the comments below!