Self-care is vital and thankfully, the term is on the rise and people are actually making conscious decisions to take better care of themselves.
Have you ever heard the saying “You can’t pour from an empty cup”? Well, this is truly important if you want to thrive in all aspects of your life. For most of us, the term “self-care” flies past us because we simply feel as if we don’t have the time.
Below are twenty practical self-care activities that you can incorporate into your daily life. If you feel as if time always passes you by, consider adding one activity at a time.
You may even start to change your daily routine by habit, the more you practice. You’ll start to look at self-care as something that is just as important as feeding your family. It’s something that should be considered as refuel, versus something that takes away from us.
Spend some time outside.
Spending time in nature has significant health benefits. According to studies, taking a hike in the woods or forest can improve your blood pressure, boost your mental health and even decrease risk in life-threatening illnesses.
So get outside! Bonus points, if you do it alone (safely, of course), to clear out the noise.
If it’s just twenty minutes a day, exercising has significant benefits to your overall health – causing an instant boost in your mood. Not only does exercise strengthen you heart, raises your oxygen levels and lowers your blood pressure.
Exercise can also make you feel better about yourself, overall. With an increase in exercise throughout the week, you’re sure to gain a more positive outlook on your self-image, as you start to see physical results from regular exercise.
Having somewhere to record ALL of your thoughts – both positive and negative – is extremely helpful. Writing can help you cope in a number of ways by prioritizing and tracking how you feel. It can also help you to understand your self a bit better and provide an opportunity for you to react to your thoughts more positively.
Turn on some soothing music.
Listening to music has been found to reduce anxiety, blood pressure and helps to improve sleep quality and your overall mood. Honestly, this should be done everyday, all day!
Researchers have found that listening to music in the background, while you’re focusing on another task can increase performance. Plus, music has a way of motivating you, improving your mood enhancing your overall performance throughout the day – which is what self-care is all about!
If you’re looking to instantly boost your productivity, you may also like this playlist of meditation music to help boost your productivity and concentration. Be sure to check it out and add it to your Spotify or Apple Music playlist for instant, future use.
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Give your brain some time to unwind. With the many stressors that come with daily life, meditating is a great way to reduce stress.
The great thing about practicing meditation daily, is that once it’s practiced for a long period of time, it’s benefits are usually long-term – lasting up to years of reduced anxiety, better emotional health, a greater attention span and may also help to fight off addictions.
Along with exercising and meditating, practicing yoga is known to decrease anxiety and stress. It can also improve your heart health. Yoga can also act as an anti-depressant and helps to decrease symptoms of depression.
Take a relaxing bath.
According to studies, warm baths make the blood flow easier, lowering your overall blood pressure. Taking a relaxing bath also allows you to breathe deeper and slower. The steam from a hot, or spa-like bath can help improve immunity – all the reasons to add this to your self-care routine.
Give yourself a mani and pedi.
Give your hands and feet some much needed TLC with a simple manicure and pedicure. Mani’s and pedi’s are helpful in exfoliating and moisturizing your cuticles and simply help you feel more relaxed.
Use essential oils.
Essential oils have become increasingly popular over the past few years. What most people don’t realize, is that essential oils have been around since the beginning of time and have numerous benefits to your health.
The most popular uses include topically, rubbing them on your body with carrier oil – or, by inhaling them directly, or with the use of a diffuser. What’s so great about adding essential oils to your self-care routine, is that you can use a variety of combinations throughout you entire day.
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Exfoliate your skin.
Exfoliating two to three times a week can help break down barriers of dead skin cells, leaving your skin looking younger and healthier.
Wash your hair and give it a deep treatment mask.
If you want more nourished hair, a weekly deep treatment mask might be the answer. Deep conditioning your hair can soften and protect your hair fiber, while also revitalizing and regenerating dry and damaged hair.
Listen to a motivational podcast.
There are so many motivational and inspirational podcasts. You can listen to these on your way to work, returning from work, on your daily jog, or even while you’re winding down at the end of the day. Sometimes it’s best to listen to someone outside of yourself and your own thoughts.
Read a book, or listen to an inspirational audiobook.
Same as a podcast, you can grab some tea or coffee and quiet your mind with an imaginative or inspirational book.
Color or draw.
Believe it or not, coloring has the ability to induce fear and anxiety. Coloring after a long day and right before you’re settling in can work wonders for the quality of sleep you get at night.
You don’t have to be an artist, or super creative to do this either.
Eat some fruits and vegetables.
You are what you eat. Along with physical health, you have to make sure you’re consuming the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables per day. Studies show that not getting enough of fruits and vegetables, can increase your risk of anxiety disorders.
The easiest way to go about this is blending a combination of tasty fruits and vegetables into a smoothie, or juicing them all together. Take this with you for breakfast, or a quick lunch for the afternoon.
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Try a new recipe.
If you’re dealing with loads of anxiety throughout the day, coming home and cooking yourself and your family a nice meal could actually combat your anxiety.
Because you have to focus on the task at-hand, you automatically disregard anything else that may be weighing you down at that moment. It’s also a great way to unplug from social media, the news and so forth – being that your hands will be occupied.
Cooking your own food also has it’s health benefits and is overall a better choice for your health.
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Take some supplements.
If you’re super busy and life requires a substantial amount of your time, dietary supplements can help.
Unplug from the outside world.
Unplugging from your day is great for your health. We live in a world where technology and electronics have taken over. Unplugging from the television and social media is something to consider every day, if you can.
Studies show that for every three people, one of them felt worse after visiting Facebook – due to jealousy, fear or missing out, and overall over-stimulation and consumption.
Get some uninterrupted rest.
Sleep is a great self-care practice. If you’ve gotten down to here, then setting your daily schedule to be a as productive as possible, getting the proper exercise, taking a few days to cook at home, taking a relaxing bath and taking some time to unplug as much as you can – can actually set you up for the proper rest at night.
Our bodies heal as we sleep. We feel more prepared for the day when we get the proper rest. Our memory is retained and so is our immune system.
Lastly, make it a point to declutter your home and your space. Decluttering as self-care can help you feel more in control. Decluttering can put your mind at ease, ultimately reducing anxiety levels.
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Everything stems from self and it’s so important to be able to take the time necessary to take care of you. Self-care doesn’t mean self-pity. It doesn’t mean that you’re missing ‘something.’
It’s just a simple way of making sure your cup is full. It’s a way to gratify and ground yourself without outside influences. These practical self-care activities are an overall way to balance your mental, emotional and physical health.