20 EASY SELF-CARE IDEAS FOR YOUR MIND, BODY, AND SOUL
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am all about self-care. It’s my mantra.
So my question to you is–are you taking time each day to care of yourself?
For some people, the answer to this question has been “no” for a long time. In fact, many people think they are too busy for self-care, and perhaps they believe they don’t even deserve it.
But you do. You do deserve to take time for yourself. And the truth is: taking care of yourself is your foundation.
If you’re not taken care of first, everything and everyone else around you suffers. Your productivity. Your focus. Your mental and physical health. Family, friends, partners. Your ability to care for others (which is the reason many people skip self-care in the first place).
Think of yourself as the roots of your life. You must be nourished first, otherwise everything connected to you can’t flourish to its full potential.
Starting a Self-Care Practice
If you’re not used to caring for yourself, it might seem hard at first. You might find yourself feeling guilty. But gently remind yourself that you deserve the time and that it will make you more successful and functional in all areas of life you care about.
Start with small habits you can do each day. They will become a routine that keeps you grounded in mind, body, and soul. Pick a few to try this week:
6 Self-Care Practices for Your Mind
1. Mix up your route: Take a different way driving to work or walking to the store. Go to a different place on your lunch break. It’s the fun of being a little adventurous. Changing up your normal routine once in a while is healthy for you!
2. Be mindful during something you do every day: There are so many things we do on autopilot, such as driving, walking, eating, getting dressed, even brushing our hair or teeth. Choose one of these each day and give it your full attention. Notice the colors, sounds, and steps involved. Take the time to be curious as your brain catches with what you’re doing.
3. Do a mini-meditation: Take three minutes to sit quietly, breathe deeply, and focus on your body – where it is, how it feels from head to toe, and then how you’re feeling inside.
4. Mute electronics for an hour: Put your phone on silent, turn off the computer, and ignore social media for just an hour. It’s good to have time away once in a while.
5. Do a “selfish” thing: Do at least one, small thing today (yes, today!) for yourself only… just because it makes you happy.
6. Start keeping track of compliments: Whenever someone says something nice about you, remember it… cherish it. You might even want to write it down or keep it in the notes of your phone. Compile these lovely jewels so you can read them on days you need a boost.
7 Self-Care Practices for Your Body
1. BREATHE: Use Dr. Weil’s 4-7-8 breathing technique twice a day. You might be amazed by how much of a difference it makes!
2. Make your meals simple: Sometimes eating healthy seems overwhelming because we don’t want to take time to plan. Make it easier on yourself by choosing only two recipes for each meal this week: two breakfast ideas, two lunches, and two dinners. Make enough for these to fill the week, then just alternate them.
3. Scan your body mindfully: Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and scan through each body part, paying attention to its position and how it feels. Get more in-tune with yourself.
4. Breathe in an essential oil you like: Some great ones are orange citrus, peppermint, eucalyptus (my absolute favorite), or lavender. Explore the scents you like the most.
5. Take a short nap: You’ve already heard sleep is so important, but did you get enough of it last night? Treat yourself to 10-15 minutes of napping (or, if you have trouble falling asleep in that amount of time, just let yourself lay down quietly in a quiet, dark, soothing space, and breathe).
6. Laugh: Watch an episode of a TV show you like, a fun podcast, or listen to a comedian you enjoy. Laughing helps your body relax and release tension. Did you know it also releases endorphins (happy hormones)?
7. Move your body: Even if it’s just for short periods of time. Let yourself walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Run to your car. Go for a walk in nature (another one of my favorites). And do this as a way to love, appreciate and move your body — not viewing it as exercise-type “punishment” – just wonderful movement.
7 Self-Care Practices for Your Soul
1. Write for 15 minutes: About anything on your mind: any frustrations, dreams, thoughts, etc. Write only for yourself and without judgment.
2. Pet pets, and more pets: Pets can be amazing therapy, especially dogs and cats. They so have personalities of their own. Give yours some love in times of stress. Or, if you don’t have any of your own, check out the local pet store or shelter to connect with ones needing some extra love where you can do dog walks or even foster. Also, if you don’t have a pet, check in with friends who have one, and see if you can squeeze in a visit, or perhaps they need a sitter or you can join them on their walks.
3. Get out and smile at someone: The next person you interact with, even if it’s a complete stranger, take time to smile at them. I’ve heard, sometimes this even strikes up a conversation. 😉
4. Utilize your strengths: Write down things you’re good at, and brainstorm ways you could use those strengths to do something new — like a new hobby or a business idea (I love business ideas!).
5. Have a date with yourself: Spend an hour doing something you love, like reading, walking around a museum, or spending time at the spa. Yup, you deserve it.
6. Find beautiful things: As you’re going somewhere, driving, walking, etc., look for at least five beautiful things you see on your way. You’d be surprised by what moves you.
7. Talk to yourself lovingly: Pretend you are your very best friend and you’re hanging out with him/her all day. Talk to yourself how you would that person.
Use these ideas next time you need a little extra self-care in your life. In my opinion, we all could use some more self-care each day. So give yourself permission. 🙂