To put it lightly, it’s been a tough few weeks. Between everything in the news and the general stresses and anxieties of millennial life, self-care seems to be a pretty low priority for a lot of people, myself included. Self-care shouldn’t be neglected, for any reason, so today I’m sharing some of my favorite self-care ideas so we don’t lose our minds over the next few weeks.
First of all, what is self-care? According to dictionary.com, self-care (in a non-medical sense) is defined as, “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during times of stress.” That can range from your diet and fitness to your mental and emotional health, and it’s not limited to just one thing. The self-care ideas I’ll share today cover physical, mental, and emotional health.
I’ve also got a podcast episode that touches on self-care—you can listen to it here!
One of the biggest questions I hear about self-care is, “Do I have time to do that?” YES! Self-care doesn’t have to be a huge time suck. In fact, it should fit into your daily routine as seamlessly as possible so it’s easier and less overwhelming to practice. Self-care also shouldn’t be a one-time deal; an ongoing self-care routine can benefit your all-around health for years to come. I found this article from Psychology Today to be really helpful in breaking down what self-care means and if it’s more than a trend (spoiler alert: it’s not a trend).
Here are some of my favorite self-care ideas to practice!
Many of these can (and should) be done year-round, at home or at work, and don’t require a ton of time or planning to practice.
Try tea instead of coffee. Sure, coffee is delicious, but too much of it can cause problems. Personally, I try to stick to one cup of coffee per day (sometimes two, I will admit), and then I switch to tea for the rest of the day. It’s a little bit healthier, and it helps me stay calm. For someone who used to be a four- or five-cups-a-day drinker, one or two cups is a huge accomplishment.
Stretch. This is a great way to get your blood flowing when you wake up. You don’t have to do a full yoga flow, but a good 15-minute stretching session before breakfast is a good start. Stretching is also a nice way to slow down at the end of the day.
Take a bath. Until a couple years ago, I hadn’t taken a bath since I was in middle school. Turns out, baths aren’t just for kids. Baths are incredibly underrated. You can kick your bath up a notch with your favorite bubble bath, or throw in some Epsom salts and essential oils.
My go-to bath soak mix is:
- 4 cups plain epsom salts
- 1 cup baking soda
- 30 drops preferred essential oil(s) – I like lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus.
- Mix in a large jar or container. Add 2 cups to your next bath.
Meditate. This is something I’d like to do more often, as several friends have recommended it for anxiety and stress management. If anything, it’s a good way to take five minutes and practice deep breathing.
Invest in a weighted blanket. Y’all, I don’t know how I slept well before I got my weighted blanket. Even when I’m just sitting on my couch with it, I feel much more comfortable and at ease.
Eat healthful, seasonal fruits and veggies. If you eat good, you feel good, and your immune system will thank you. I eat a bowl of berries every morning (usually strawberries and raspberries), and have been adding new vegetables to my diet. The more fruits and veggies you can eat, the more vitamins, minerals, aminos, omega-3s, and more you put in your body. All good stuff.13 easy self-care ideas you can practice right now Click To Tweet
Drink more water. I made a resolution for 2020 to start and end each day with a glass of water. So far, I’m doing well on drinking water in the mornings, and it does help me feel more full and hydrated throughout the day. Still working on being consistent with the glass at night, though.
Simplify your wardrobe. Anything in your closet you didn’t wear this season, or you haven’t worn in two winters? Clean it out! Any time I buy something new, I try to clean out one other piece I haven’t worn in a while so I don’t go too crazy in my closet. You can sell old clothes if they’re still in good shape, donate them to your local thrift store, or even repurpose them into other useful items.
Light a candle or diffuse some essential oils. I got on a candle kick this winter, thanks to a local maker’s incredible seasonal scents. Essential oils are another great option for some relaxing aromatherapy, and you can find some good diffusers at affordable prices if you know where to look (TJ Maxx, HomeGoods and Amazon have some great options).
Have an at-home spa day. Give yourself a manicure and/or pedicure. Do a face mask. Take a bath (with aforementioned epsom salt soaking mix and/or bubbles). Find a good yoga flow on YouTube. For face masks, I’m a fan of this Dead Sea mud mask and the I Dew Care “Disco Kitten” collection.
Snuggle with your pet. Or borrow a friend’s animal for a couple hours. A good snuggle session with Maggie Cat always helps calm my mind, and she certainly doesn’t say no to extra snuggles.
Go outside, if the weather permits! Even if it’s just a quick walk around the office block or your apartment complex , a 15-minute walk does wonders for refreshing the mind. At the office, I try to take a 15-minute walk around 2 or 3 o’clock when the afternoon wall hits. I usually come back feeling refreshed and ready to knock out the rest of my tasks for the day.Easy self-care ideas you can practice to feel less stressed today Click To Tweet
Write or journal. For a writer by nature, I’m pretty bad at journaling (beyond my bullet journal, at least). If there’s something weighing on your mind, write it down and get your thoughts out of your head. Don’t keep it bottled up! Writing will help you process and better understand whatever you’re feeling and maybe even lead you to a solution.
In stressful and non-stressful times, it’s important to keep self-care top of mind, and practice it whenever possible. I’d love to know some of your favorite ways to practice self-care, so leave me a comment below sharing some of your best self-care ideas!
NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) for any sales generated via those links. Thanks for your support!