20 Ways to Practice Self-Care
With so much going on in our lives—work, family, kids, bills, etc.—it can be incredibly easy to forget about taking care of ourselves in the madness of it all. And even if we do recognize that something needs to be done, we often don’t know where to start. I get it; I’ve been there myself. In my new book, This Is a Test, I talk about how difficult it was for me to truly practice self-care, and I also touch on the earth-shaking news I received that finally made it all click; without implementing a proper self-care routine, there’s no way we can show up for others the way we really need to, and we end up doing ourselves a disservice in the process.
So, I’ve compiled 20 easy ways you can begin to practice self-care! Hopefully, you can include a few of these into your daily routine and reap the benefits.
Create a list of five to ten things or people you are grateful for. You can make this a daily, weekly, or monthly activity, but it’s a great way to change your perspective of the world and express your admiration for those closest to you.
2. Unplug from social media
Take a break from social media for the sake of your mental clarity, and quiet the outside world. With so many distractions, it’s become difficult for us to tap into our inner voice and creative spirit. Taking a break from superficial social interactions can give you more time to reflect on your personal growth and develop new ideas.
3. Take a day off
Contrary to “hustle and grind” culture, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a day off every now and then. In fact, it could be one of the best things you do for yourself and your business. Rest days give your mind and body a chance to recuperate, so you can come back rested and better than ever!
Set aside five to ten minutes a day to relax, unwind, and focus on deep breathing. Both of these practices will help you quiet your busy mind and re-center yourself either before or after a busy day.
It’s been scientifically proven that moving your body at least twenty minutes every day can assist in boosting your mood and fueling creative energy. Not only can exercising strengthen your body physically, but it can also help you release some negative energy and refocus your mind on more positive thoughts.
6. Pamper yourself with a massage or mani/pedi
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with treating yourself to a spa day every now and then. Whether you’re into manicures, pedicures, or massages, putting in the effort to take care of yourself will make you feel more confident and at ease.
Journaling is a great way to release any negativity or make sense of the jumbled thoughts bouncing around in your head. Start your journaling practice with writing down what you hope to achieve on your self-care journey and who you want to become along the way.
8. Spend time outside
Spending time in nature is so important for the human psyche. Nature helps us to stay grounded and look at the world in a different light. We spend so much time in the confines of our office and home that we sometimes overlook the vast amount of creative energy that’s constantly surging in the outside world.
9. Cook yourself a nice meal
Nothing hits home quite like a nice, warm, home-cooked meal. Nourish your mind, body, and soul with your favorite meal, and allow yourself to indulge in whatever yummy treats you’d like.
10. Speak positively about yourself/think positive thoughts
It’s easier said than done, but thinking and speaking positively about yourself and your current situation can do wonders for improving your mood. It’s so easy to get caught up in a negative thought pattern, especially when we’ve become so accustomed to comparing our lives to what we see on social media or television, but seeing the beauty within is probably the biggest act of self-love and self-care you can ever implement into your life.
11. Affirmations list
Similar to the gratitude list, an affirmations list is a great way to change your overall perspective of life and the world around you. Take the time to jot down three to five positive affirmations you can repeat to yourself every day. They can be something like, “I deserve abundance in all aspects of life,” or “I am smart; I am beautiful; I am worthy.” Go with whatever gives you that boost of confidence you need to take on the day in a positive way.
12. Drink more water
Water has such a powerful role in the way we function on a daily basis. On those days where you feel drained, tired, and down for no reason, a glass or two of water can have a much bigger impact than you realize. When your insides are functioning at their best, your outsides usually follow suit.
13. Establish a good sleeping pattern
Similar to drinking water, sleep is crucial in functioning at your best each and every day. Make sure to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Doing so gives your mind and body enough time to recover from your hectic days.
14. Start a new hobby
It’s important to find an activity or two that you enjoy to do outside of work. It’s so easy to become completely consumed by work and family life, but there are times when you need to release your tension and channel it into something positive. Join a book club, start painting, or take a cooking class. Whatever it is, embrace it, and make time for it on a regular basis.
15. Declutter your personal space
Some people thrive in seemingly disorganized spaces, but for most of us, too much clutter can really suffocate us, making us feel like the walls are slowly closing in. Take some time out of your week to get rid of the things that no longer serve a purpose in your life. Even if you’re not the type to throw things away, clearing your work area and organizing your belongings can do wonders for your mental clarity.
16. Take a walk
After sitting in an office for eight or more hours, it’s normal to feel anxious or antsy. Every now and then, it’s important to get up, stretch, and take a walk. Whether it’s around the office or around your neighborhood, it’s good to get up and get moving to get those creative juices flowing.
17. Listen to your favorite music
There’s no better way to unwind than to the sound of your favorite jams. Crank them loud, and vibe to the positive energy they exude.
18. Set clear boundaries for yourself
It can feel absolutely terrible to say no to family, friends, or coworkers, but if you’re feeling overworked and overwhelmed, it’s important that you take some time for yourself and set some very necessary boundaries. Everyone deserves a break, including you.
19. Simplify your schedule
With meetings, dinner dates, and family functions taking up each and every minute of your schedule, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and burnt out. Look through your schedule and simplify it if necessary. Delegate less important tasks to another team member or reschedule a dinner reservation if it will cause too much stress on your end.
20. Spend time with quality friends and family
Surrounding yourself with quality people is key to maintaining good mental and emotional health. When you make time for family and friends, you have the opportunity to release the pressures of your week and spend time in the moment with the ones you love.