This post is all about self care tips.
Self care is basically anything you do that helps you experience physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness. It is perhaps the most important aspect of your life. Unfortunately, sometimes people associate self care with being selfish. This is so not true.
Self care can make you feel better and enrich your life. Unless you fill your own cup, you will not be able to help others fill theirs either. You can only offer a level of wellness and care, if you experience and receive the same for yourself. This is what makes self care crucial for leaders, healers and helpers like yourself.
Why Is Self Care So Important?
Whatever your profession and life choices, the demands that your professional and personal life make on you, can tire you out. You need to take care of yourself in order to discover your own potential, and perform optimally. To have a life that is joyous and satisfying you must put yourself first.
What Are The Four Categories Of Self Care
To understand the importance of self care you must understand how it is structured. Think of it as a circle that has four sections:
- The physical
- The mental or psychological
- The emotional
- The spiritual
Each of these quadrants plays a key role in the level of wellness you experience. Only focusing on one or two of these categories is not enough. For instance, if you exercise regularly, eat well and have a ‘work hard and play hard’ mantra towards life, you may often find yourself emotionally and spiritually fatigued.
It would be a good idea for you to spend some time reflecting on each of these sections. There are plenty of self care tips for each of these categories for you to consider and adopt. You may like to read a book, a blog or listen to a podcast that will help you find direction. The essential idea is that self care requires a holistic approach. All four categories of self care need attention and should be incorporated into your daily life so keep reading as I share some of the best self care tips.
Self Care Tips
Here are 31 easy self care tips to take better care of yourself. When you are worried or stressed, it is easy to lose focus and not prioritize self care. And so, it is a good idea to print out a list of your favorite self care tips and place it somewhere you are unlikely to miss seeing them. A visual reminder is often all it takes to help you include these self care tips to your daily life.
1. Sleep Time
The adult human body needs a minimum of seven hours of sleep in a twenty four hour period. If you are not sleeping enough, you need to make sleep a priority and go to bed earlier than usual.
2. Adopt a Bed Time Routine
Create a pleasant bed time routine aka sleep hygiene. This could include dimming the lights in the bedroom, taking a shower and following a night time skin care routine. You could practice deep breathing exercises to clear your mind before you go to bed.
3. Put Away Electronic Gadgets
Bed time should be free of electronic gadgets. So, switch off your laptop, and your phone. Do not watch television or Netflix on your iPad. Make your bed time routine a calm and relaxing ritual.
4. Set a Realistic Alarm
Set an alarm that you will wake up to and not simply push the snooze button on. Your morning alarm is the first expectation you set for yourself. Do not set yourself up for failure. Go to bed about half an hour earlier than usual, and set an alarm you will actually wake up to.
5. Rise and Shine
When the alarm goes off, you may be tempted to sink deeper into the covers. Resist this temptation, and instead get up and pull the curtains aside or open the blinds and let the morning light in. A few minutes of morning sunlight can do wonders for you. It not only boosts vitamin D in the body but also reduces the cortisol or stress hormone level.
6. Nutrition Matters
The food that you choose to eat affects your health and immunity, and your physical as well as emotional health. Junk food and fast food is high in calories and low in nutrition. Making better nutritional choices will improve your life experience in subtle and dramatic ways.
7. Meal Planning
Planning your meals offers you several benefits. You can create a meal plan you will look forward to and enjoy. This process makes grocery shopping fun, and you are unlikely to give into impulsive shopping as you have a list in hand.
8. Make Cooking Fun
Batch cooking is a great way to have healthy nutritious meals ready for the week. You could involve other family members or cook with a friend. Cooking is one of the few activities that stimulates all the senses. Choose recipes you will enjoy cooking and eating, put on some feel good music and begin the preparation process.
9. Take a Break
If your schedule is full and you barely have time to eat, let alone cook, be kind to yourself. Give yourself a break and order takeout. Enjoy some delicious soul food that nourishes the body and mind.
10. Snack Healthy
When it comes to snacking, fruits, nuts and seeds are a great choice. You could add some berries to your bowl of yogurt, or enjoy some veggies with a dip or hummus. If you plan your snacks, you are likely to stay away from sugary and excessively salty junk food. This is a must-have on my self care tips list.
11. Trust Your Gut
Your gut health effects the sense of well being you enjoy. Add foods that improve your gut health to your daily diet. This includes yogurt, miso, bananas, almonds and garlic.
12. Tea Time Ritual
Replace a cup of your daily coffee intake with a cup of tea. Create a self care ritual of the process of making tea and drinking it. Choose a tea cup that appeals to you, and sit back enjoy the delicate flavor of the tea.
13. Stay Hydrated
This should be a must on everyone’s self care tips list. 60% of the human body is composed of water. It is important to stay adequately hydrated to keep the body in a healthy condition. Dehydration affects not only the physical health of the body but can cause headaches, lack of focus and fatigue. It is a good idea to keep a bottle of water at your desk and hydrate yourself regularly. Researchers find that 37% participants in clinical studies often confuse thirst with hunger.
14. Move Your Body
Stretching your body and exercising it helps you keep it fit and strong. Regular exercise can keep diseases such as hypertension and diabetes at bay. It also helps alleviate your mood and energizes the body and mind. You could join a gym, enroll for a yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi class. It is nice to workout with other people.
15. Dance to Your Own Tune
There is nothing quite as liberating as dancing like no one is watching you. So put on a peppy song and dance your heart out.
16. Music to Soothe or Energize the Soul
Music has a profound impact on the human mind. If you put music that has a fast tempo, you are likely to feel energetic. In contrast a slower, mellower tune will calm you. Create a playlist that you would enjoy while you get ready for work, and a different one for when you do household chores, and so on.
17. Step Away for Two Minutes
Every hour or so step away from your work place, stretch your limbs, take a few deep breaths and drink a glass of water. Just give yourself a break before you get back to whatever you were doing.
18. Learn Something New
Learning should be a lifelong process and not restricted to childhood. The more open you are to new experiences, the more you will discover about yourself. People are constantly changing, give yourself the space and opportunity to grow. Learn to play a musical instrument, bake, knit or pick a hobby that interests you.
19. Journal to Get a Clear Picture
Stress is an intrinsic part of the modern lifestyle. How you choose to deal with it will decide how it affects you. You can be stressed out about many things, most of which are not in your control. Journaling can help you identify things that you can do to reduce stress. And also, those stressors that you cannot change, but only manage. Journaling could provide the insight and direction you may seek.
20. Shirin Yoku
‘Forest Bathing’ or Shirin Yoku is the Japanese term for taking in the forest atmosphere. The idea is to turn off all electronic gadgets and all the distractions they bring, and take a walk in a forest. If you live in the city, go for a walk in the neighborhood park, take in the sights, smells and sounds of nature. Walking among trees increases the fresh air you take in. Trees are known to release certain chemicals that calm down the human body. The experience is meditative and will help you stay in the moment.
21. Meditation Practice
A lot of people think meditation is difficult, even if they have not tried it. There are many ways to meditate. You can try a few before you decide which one suits you best. Meditation does not require that you stop thinking, but helps you let go of your thoughts and remain centered. Daily practice calms the mind and body, and better prepares it for the challenges of the day.
22. Learn to Meditate
There are many apps and online resources that can help you understand how to meditate. You may like to join an online deep breathing or a meditation class. The key is to be consistent.
23. Declutter to Destress
Researchers find that cluttered spaces make people anxious and increase the level of stress they experience. People who live in disorganized spaces also tend to have higher levels of cortisol, the hormone that is released when one experiences stress. Decluttering your space for just fifteen minutes daily can be quite satisfying and can help change your mood. Another one of my favorite self care tips!
24. Cut Down Stress
Most people have a ‘to do’ list that they are often unable to accomplish. It is vital that you are realistic when it comes to this list and prioritize the importance of the tasks on it. Teach yourself to delegate work and to ask for help when you need it.
25. Me Time
Designate a certain amount of “me time” daily for yourself. You can choose to do anything that you enjoy and pamper yourself. You may like to watch some funny videos, paint your nails, color in your coloring book, or reading a book. Lighting a few fragrant candles and taking a long, relaxing bath are just a few self care beauty tips I highly recommend you to indulge in.
26. Get Your Finances in Order
If, like many other people, financial issues top the list of stressors in your life, it is time to get a clear picture. Ambiguity is what worries most people. Gain a clear understanding of your assets and debts to make better financial decisions.
27. Get Organized
One of the key reasons people are usually stressed is because they are short of time or resources. Taking a little time to create a system that works for you will help. Keep your keys, purse and wallet in a particular location. Use an organizer to keep track of your schedule. Automated bill payments can ensure that all your bills are paid on time. Along with a ‘To Do’ list, also make a ‘Do Not Do’ list that will keep you on track.
28. Grow Everyday
Going out in nature and growing something can be immensely comforting. Schedule regular gardening time to take your mind off other issues. If you do not have the space, you could grow microgreens or herbs in small pots, the process is gratifying.
29. Gratitude and Appreciation
Take the time to express your gratitude and appreciation to the people in your life. You can send them a card or a letter to express your thoughts.
30. Time with Your Pet
Having pets in the home can bring down the level of stress greatly. They help you stay in the moment and offer unconditional love and support. In turn, taking care of your pet can be greatly satisfying too. If you do not have a pet, you could curate your favorite pet photographs and videos on a social media channel.
31. Make Self Care a Priority
Do not feel guilty about the time you spend on self care. You must be physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually replenished in order to do your very best. Reading self care books, blogs and listening to podcasts could help you choose self care tips that suit your life and personality.
Often people follow self care tips, and then as their days getting busier and they drop their self care habits usually due to lack of time or focus. It is a good idea to remind yourself every day. To this end, you can add your self care routine to your daily schedule and set alarms, if necessary.