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Are you feeling a bit run down lately? Like your batteries just aren’t recharging the way they you used to? Are you stressed? Irritable? It’s normal to feel this way from time to time. Kids, jobs, self, partners, friends; they’re all super important to us and we give our all to them. However, like the age-old idiom “You can’t pour from an empty glass” it’s important to make sure we take care of ourselves too.
When I worked 50+ hours a week as a busy cafe manager, I would sometimes forget to eat. I didn’t feel like I had time to work towards bettering myself. I felt like I lived for the job and I didn’t always take time to care for myself. However, I got really sick one week and realized that I wasn’t getting better. The reason: I wasn’t taking care of myself.
If the above paragraphs are relatable to you, then it just might be time to start incorporating self-care into your routine more. Self Care doesn’t have to be huge tasks with giant rewards. It can be simple tasks like moisturizing and brushing your teeth every day.
Below is our curated list of 13 Activities and a 7 Day Challenge to help you get refocus your attention on caring for yourself.
How to start incorporating Self Care today?
Self Care is the act of caring for yourself. You can do this
There aren’t a lot of rules on how to practice Self Care. And the reason is; your Self Care is unique to you. Creating a routine where you practice Self Care can help decrease anxiety, reduce stress, and increase productivity.
Not a reward, but a necessity!
Practicing Self Care is a necessity. If you don’t take care of yourself it’s hard to show up every day. If you’re chronically tired, overworked, eating like crap and not practicing self-care, you’re bound to become overwhelmed.
Taking just 5-10 minutes to practice self-care every day is a great first step in helping to replenish your energy and improve your mood and life.
Ways to Incorporate Self Care into Your Routine
Get your Beauty Rest-
Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night to rejuvenate your brain and help your body and brain rest. If it’s difficult to get enough sleep or you feel your body or brain really lagging in the afternoon take a short nap. Getting enough sleep is a big factor in stress reduction, immune boosting and mood stabilization.
Create a Calming Environment-
When the space we are in reflects chaos, it can reflect back on our thought patterns. Decluttering, opening the blinds or window, using a Himalayan Salt Lamp are all ways to create a calming space. Paint the walls of your space a calming color that resonates with you. Use a tapestry or a warm blanket in your space for a cozy vibe.
Use Essential Oils-
Essential Oils are concentrated oils from plants with potent healing properties. By diffusing essential oils in your space the botanicals inside your essential oils will disperse into the air in your environment. This provides you with their healing properties, great scent, and acts as a humidifier. You can also try DIY recipes with Essential Oils like our spa-worthy Linen Spray!
Essential Oils for Self Care-
- Lavender- For Calming
- Peppermint- For Focus and Headaches
- Lemon- For Uplifting Moods
- Rose- For Self Love
- Cedarwood- For Grounding
Keep it Clean and Tidy-
Often we get so bogged down by the messes in our life. Start with one small self-care cleaning task. Something that doesn’t need to be done daily but that you stress over. Declutter your makeup stash and reorganize.
Choose 1 drawer to tidy up. Go through the junk mail that’s piling up. Empty out your email inbox. Approach the task, not as a chore but as a task for self-betterment.
Just 20 minutes of exercise and movement a day can help our bodies immunity, our stress levels, and our daily function. Try yoga, take a walk or do a small cardio circuit to start.
These dance workouts from The Fitness Marshall are sure to make you smile and get you moving. His sense of humor keeps things light and fun. The literal way he teaches the moves makes it easy to follow.
Get Proper Nourishment-
The foods that we put into our bodies can affect our moods and overall well being. Sugar, alcohol, grease, and other not so nourishing foods help to drag us down rather than build us up. Eating a healthy balanced diet is a great act of self-care.
It’s absolutely okay to have chocolate, ice cream or a glass of wine on occasion. Moderation is key to help you live a better life. It’s not a very good act of self-care to feel deprived, but too much of a good thing isn’t helping you either.
If healthy eating is a struggle for you to try adding an extra serving of veggies to your plate each day. Making this one small addition will put you in the right mindset to add more good nutrients to your body. Smoothies are another good way to add more vitamins and minerals to your diet.
Below are a Few Great Healthy and Whole Recipes to Try-
- Instant Pot Beef Broccoli– Bailey over at the Whole Kitchen Sink makes amazing recipes that focus on whole unprocessed foods. This is my favorite recipe from her blog.
- Jalapeño Popper Chicken Casserole-This- This is a great recipe to incorporate one of my favorite “bad” for me foods, Jalapeño Poppers, into my diet in a healthier way.
- Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana– Soups are a great way to prepare healthy meals ahead of time. You could also make this soup in a crockpot for more hands-off meal planning. This dupe is really close to the Olive Garden Restaurant classic.
- Dairy-Free Breakfast Smoothies-These whole fruit dairy-free smoothies would be a great way to start your day off on the right foot.
Practice Gratitude Daily-
Showing gratitude in your life has shown to increase overall well being and satisfaction with your life. Taking time each day to be thankful helps us to focus on the positive. We also learn lessons from the negative in a healthier way.
Showing gratitude can be as easy as adding a sentence or two to your journal about what you’re thankful for. You could keep a Gratitude Journal. You could write one thing each day you are grateful for and put it in a mason jar. Keep track of what you’re thankful for and don’t forget to review it periodically as a reminder for all the good in your life.
Take Yourself on a Date-
Getting out of the house and visiting a new place or trying a new activity is a great confidence booster. Visit your local art museum, planetarium, aquarium or zoo. Walk around and enjoy the full experience. Take yourself out to a movie complete with popcorn. Go out to lunch by yourself.
Dating yourself is a great way to practice self-care. It allows you to build confidence while doing the things you love. You don’t have to listen to others opinions or experience anything through someone else’s eyes.
You can form your own opinions on places and activities. Take a painting class, learn to make pottery or go listen to some slam poetry. The choices are endless and completely up to you.
Set Achievable Goals-
Have you heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals? They are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Oriented. I want to read more, can become a SMART Goal when you change it to become; In 2019, I want to read 50 books, by reading one book a week. Breaking down your goals into smaller bite-size pieces makes them much more attainable.
Another great tip for goal setting is to write down your goals. Make sure to write down what you hope to achieve. This action makes you much more likely to achieve the goal. Start with three small goals per week and work your way up.
Yoga helps us to be at the moment. It allows us to check in to our bodies. Stretching your body helps to increase flexibility, reduce stress and boost your immune system. If your body feels stressed or tight, yoga can be a great way to practice self-care.
Yoga with Adriene is a great free resource on youtube. She teaches yoga in a very light and approachable way. She has hundreds of videos for all levels. I have been using her videos for over 3 years and can’t say enough great things about them.
Get Outside Regularly-
Vitamin D and fresh air are two magical things that are known for improving mood, reducing stress and improving overall satisfaction in life. Getting outside for 20-30 minutes can help to rejuvenate your mind and body. Go for a walk. Or enjoy your coffee on the patio. You don’t have to go far or do much, you just simply have to be outside.
Journal for Self Care-
Journaling has been around for centuries. Writing about your life helps to clarify thoughts, problem solve and learn more about yourself. Journaling as an act of self-care can help you to work through and with emotions rather than push them away. Journaling reduces stress because it clears a lot of mental clutter from our minds.
You can write about whatever you want or need in your journal. If you’re new to journaling or feeling like you want to reconnect with your journal, journal prompts can help to focus on mental health and self-care.
Try these Journal Prompts for Self Care-
- Write a Love Letter to Yourself
- What is a goal you have set recently but haven’t achieved? What is holding you back from accomplishing this goal?
- I forgive myself for…
- What is something you need to let go of?
- Who is your role model? What traits or attributes do you have in common with them?
- Ten things that bring me peace are…
- I feel safe when…
Track your Self Care, Nutrition, Healthy Habits and Goals
Using a Bullet Journal or a Self Care Planner Bundle track your workouts, nutrition, healthy habits, and self-care.Tracking your healthy habits is similar to goal setting. It helps to break down your habits into bite-sized pieces and makes goals more accomplishable.
Tracking your habits over time helps us to put healthy choices first and can help to show us triggers in patterns in our self-care routine. Self-care can only be improved by self-awareness.
Practice Mindfulness for Self Care-
Mindfulness is the art of practicing awareness at the moment. It’s a great tip for stress reduction. An easy mindfulness practice for self-care is to do a body scan. Take a moment to check in with your body from head to toe. Does anything feel tight or in pain? Do you need to stretch? Go slowly and check in with your whole body. See our post here for more tips on how to practice mindfulness.
7 Day Self Care Challenge to Get You Started-
Refocus your energy and time on yourself with this 7 Day Challenge designed to reduce stress, improve satisfaction with your life and love yourself a little more!
Day 1-Goal Setting for Self
Get out your journal or a piece of paper and write down 3 goals to achieve today. And three bigger goals to achieve this week. Writing down your goals into daily and weekly categories helps us to achieve our goals in a more efficient manner. Writing down a goal also makes it a lot easier for us to achieve it.
Day 2- Get Moving Today
Try a new yoga video online or go for a walk. You don’t have to go to the gym and slaughter a cardio session on the treadmill. But, getting your body moving in a healthy and positive way that makes you feel good is a great way to practice self-care.
Day 3- Cook a New and Healthy Recipe for Dinner Tonight
Nourish your body from the inside out with a home-cooked meal. The sense of accomplishment we get when we try a new recipe is a great act of self-care. Enjoy this meal mindfully without the TV or your phone. Make it an experience.
Day 4- Spa Day, Pamper Yourself
Get out your sheet masks and Epsom salts, because today you’re going to pamper yourself. Take a bubble bath with Epsom salts and a candle. Shave your legs, do a sugar scrub and moisturize with a high-quality CBD Body Lotion. (Use CODE AMERICAN20for 20% OFF) Pay attention to your body, to the things you’ve been neglecting. Relax and enjoy the process. You’re worth it!
Day 5- Go to Bed Early
Plan to head to bed an hour earlier than usual tonight. Put on your favorite pajamas. Make the bed first. Spray lavender on your pillow. Read a book for 10-15 minutes. Reflect on what you’re grateful for today, and hit the hay.
Day 6- Journal it out
As we learned above journaling helps us to reconnect and process our thoughts. Today, reconnect with yourself by writing 1-2 pages on the journal prompt “I love myself because…”
Day 7-You’ve got a hot date today!
With yourself! Go get a coffee or tea at a local coffee shop and sit and enjoy it. Or maybe try lunch at that new cafe in town. Go wander in a bookstore or museum for a couple hours. Go treat yourself to an activity that you absolutely love and just simply enjoy it.