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
Let’s first start off with healthy habits you should incorporate into your day to take care of your mental health.
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.
I recommend freely writing down your thoughts in a wellness or gratitude journal. You can also check out journals that can specifically help guide you in this area and will inspire positivity, balance, and joy in your life. Check out my favorites below:
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!
Don’t forget to also check out my post on 10 self-improvement books you should read this year for personal growth.
4. See the positive side of things
Our world is a really negative place nowadays and constantly surrounding ourselves with it can be 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.
If you’re dealing with a lot of negativity in your life, read my post on things you should do to remove negativity from 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 because it isn’t serving you.
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!
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. Some people are toxic and having them in your life can be detrimental to your mental health.
Self-Care Habits For The Body
It’s not enough to take care of your mental health. It’s also important to make sure your body is taken care of as well. Here are 5 healthy habits to incorporate into your day.
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, 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 sun.
Check out my post on further tips to beat the Winter Blues here!
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.
If you’re not great in the kitchen or just the thought of having to plan your meals stresses you out, I recommend checking out the Eat At Home Meal Plans if you’re looking to create cheap but healthy meals.
This meal plan membership includes access to ALL 4 of the following separate meal plans. The great part is you can mix and match depending on your needs and tastes.
- Traditional – This plan is family-friendly and includes a variety of meats and veggies, and the occasional meatless meal.
- Wholesome Traditional – This plan places more emphasis on natural foods including a variety of meats, vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
- Slow Cooker/Instant Pot – This plan provides recipes that you can cook in your slow cooker and includes many Instant Pot recipes as well. (Bonus: It includes 1 week of Slow Cooker Freezer meals that are ready to eat in an hour!)
- No Flour, No Sugar – This plan includes easy-to-prepare meals made from veggies and protein from whole foods with no flour or artificial sugars added.
Other great advantages of the Eat At Home Meal Plans include:
- Meal plans provided at the beginning of the month so you’ll have time to plan and minimize shopping trips
- 15-minute meals for super busy nights
- Color-coded lists so you can swap out ingredients or whole meals when needed
- Printable recipes for easy cooking
- Printable menus which are perfect to hang on your fridge or near your calendar for easy viewing
These will help you save time so you don’t have to think long and hard on what to make at home and it’ll keep you focused on staying healthy. Definitely check it out!
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!
Looking for more posts on how to start a healthier lifestyle this year? Check out these posts:
- 14 Ways To Get Better Sleep To Feel More Productive & Energized
- How To Go To Sleep Earlier (Even When You’re A Total Night Owl!)
- How To Keep Fit When You Travel
- How To Drink More Water Every Day For A Healthier You
- 15 Ways To Easily Boost Your Mood Right Now
- 6 Ways To Start The Week Off Right Every Sunday
- How To Stay Healthy And Sane When You Work At A Desk Job
- How To Relax After Work When You Have A Stressful Day
- 7 Ways To Remove Negativity From Your Life
What are some self-care habits and practices that you regularly incorporate into your daily life? Let me know in the comments below!