Self-care is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself! However, it can be hard to implement into your life if you haven’t before. Especially if you hold the false belief that taking time for yourself is “selfish” or that you’re too busy to.
The fact is, when you take care of yourself, you will be better prepared to take care of other responsibilities and people in your life. You will be calmer, happier, and more centered if you take time to nurture yourself and recover from your stressful life!
Self-care doesn’t necessarily mean doing face masks and ignoring your to-do list (although it can!), but rather taking time for yourself, recognizing your needs, and doing things that will better yourself or your life, even if they might not be the easiest things to do.
What I mean by not easy is doing things like sticking to your workout routine, getting up earlier so you have time to do yoga or journal, or getting outside and into nature when you may just want to stay in bed and watch tv. These are things that will improve your health, your perspective, and your mood if you make them habits, but may require a little more motivation than doing a face mask does.
We all know that self-care is personal, and what will work for you will depend on your personality, your schedule, and your interests. That being said, there are some general things that every person will benefit form, and you can fit into your life in their own way.
Listed below are a few self-care ideas that will greatly benefit you, especially if you make them habits! Personalize them and implement them into your life in your own way. You will see a drastic change take place if you work to make self-care a part of your life.
- Get Outside
Do not underestimate the power of getting outside! I know that weather is not always conducive to spending hours out of doors, but even just a few minutes a day can really benefit you. Something about nature and being outside is great for calming yourself and becoming more centered. Practice this how you choose! Take your dog for a walk around the block every day, go on a bike ride a few mornings a week, spend time reading at a park on the weekends, or call a friend and walk to a coffee shop together. You will notice a difference in your mood if you start doing this regularly, especially if it’s sunny out when you do!
- Take Time for Self-Reflection
Practicing self-reflection is so important for recognizing where you’re at, where you want to be, and what you can learn from where you’ve been. I like to do this by journaling. I would strongly recommend that for anyone, but that doesn’t have to be what you do. You could spend a few minutes following a meditation guide every day, talk things out with a loved one, or even combine this with your outdoor time and just walk and think. Just make sure you check in with yourself regularly and take note of anything you need to work on or recognize in yourself.
- Find a Creative Outlet
This is so important! Even if you don’t consider yourself a “creative person,” there are still ways you can be creative. Humans are creative creatures, and you will find joy in taking time to create! Some things I like to do to be creative are writing, playing an instrument, or doing a DIY project. If you have no idea what you might like to do, here are some ideas to get you started: drawing/painting, scrapbooking, making jewelry/braiding, baking, knitting, dancing, taking photos, singing, macrame, sewing, pottery, adult coloring book. You can also google search for “creative outlet ideas” if you need more inspiration! Remember, you don’t have to be amazing at it, you just have to enjoy it!
- Exercise Regularly
This is a pretty basic one. Being physically active not only benefits your physical health, but your emotional and mental health as well. This doesn’t mean you have to join a gym and workout for two hours everyday. However, it does mean you should get your heart rate up few times a week. There are so many options depending on where you live and your interests. You could start swimming at a local public pool, or ice skating, or skiing, or walking outside, or following Zumba classes on YouTube, or even just by having a little dance party in your room! You can check your area to see if there’s any fitness classes you might be interested. There fitness classes for everything from kick-boxing to step aerobics. Get out there and try something new!
- Add Some Fun
Depending on your definition of fun, this could be combined with another category, like fitness or getting outside. However, I’d recommend finding something that doesn’t involve having goals or working. If you only focus on your goals and what the next thing on your list is, you can start to feel burnt out, become worn down, lose perspective, and become stressed. You need to find something you can implement into your life that is just pure fun! This could be going to concerts, having a game night with friends, going out with friends, going to a theater or comedy show, blasting your favorite songs in your car, or going to the movie theater. Whatever you choose to do make sure it makes you laugh or brings a smile to your face, then you know you’re having fun!
- Set Boundaries and Stick to Them
Setting boundaries is so important for living a healthy and balanced life. This can mean setting boundaries in your personal or professional life. You can’t be everything to everyone, and everyone has their limits, so know yours! Learn how to say no to things that you know will drain you, that you don’t want to do, or that are beyond your limits. Saying no to people can be difficult, and if it feels too hard at first, find ways to make small steps towards making your boundaries known. You will be so much happier when you feel in control of your time and emotions, because you know your boundaries and you stick them.
- Set Goals and Work Towards Them
Setting goals for yourself and your future is one of the most motivating things you can do. It builds your confidence and makes you feel accomplished, which will boost your mood. They don’t have to be unreasonable or overwhelming either! Setting small goals and achieving them will do wonders for your self-esteem and motivation. For example, you could set a goal to workout three days week for two weeks. Once you accomplish that, set your next goal to work out three days a week for a month. It will feel more achievable because you already had success with your first goal! Once you complete a goal, you will feel more confident and motivated to take on the next one.
- Spend Time with Loved Ones
It can be easy to get caught up in everyday life and forget how important it is to spend time with our loved ones. This can mean friends or family! Make sure the people you love know that they are cherished. Spending time with people you love, and who love you back, is very grounding and comforting. These people really know you, and they love you for who you are! They are a great resource for encouragement and genuine connection, which every person craves!
- Get Out of Town
Whenever I go on a trip, I realize how small I am in the grand scheme of things. Traveling is amazing for adjusting your perspective and connecting with the world beyond your home. Of course, your problems and struggles are very important and valid, but traveling always reminds me how many people there are out there, and how their all dealing with their own problems and struggles. None of us are really alone here, and that’s an amazing thing to realize. If you’re feeling stuck, uninspired, overwhelmed, or tired of your routine, consider going on a trip to reactivate your mind. This doesn’t mean you have to go on an extravagant vacation, either. You could go on a day trip to a nearby town, or a weekend trip to a fun city.
- Clean Your Space
Maintaining a clean space is one of the easiest self-care methods that will have a huge effect on your life! Keeping your home, office, or room clean will do wonders for your overall mood, outlook, and productivity. Spending a few hours deep cleaning your space is a great way to have some alone time as well. You could also listen to music or a podcast while you clean! Wipe down your mirrors, sweep your floors, put everything in it’s place, and I promise you will breathe easier! Do this regularly and you will notice a difference in how you feel entering and spending time in your space.
- Have a Relaxation Routine
This is the most typical self-care item on this list, but it’s just as important as the others. Sometimes we just get run down and need some time alone to recharge and regroup. Having a set routine you can turn to when you need to will make this so easy. Then, you won’t have any excuse to not do it! I would recommend turning off your phone, and just spend the time you have set aside on yourself. You could take a hot bath, make yourself a meal, do a face or hair mask, read a book, meditate, or all of the above! You should to this once a week, and once a month at the very least! Doing this will help you feel calmer, happier, and less overwhelmed when you start the next week.
Implement these self-care ideas and you will see a difference in your life! I know that with everything going on, it can be hard to set aside time for yourself, but it is vital to your health and happiness! If you want more specific self-care ideas click here, and click here for a printable self-care checklist!
What are your favorite ways to practice self-care and how do you implement it into your every day life?