“There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.” ~Brian Andreas
Many of us want to practice kindness toward ourselves, but we don’t know how to start. Here are ten simple ways to nurture your wellbeing with self-care:
SELF-CARE IDEAS FOR THE MIND
- Change up the way you make decisions. Decide something with your heart if you usually use your head. Or if you tend to go with your heart, decide with your head.
- Write encouraging affirmations or inspirational quotes on Post-its and place them where you will see them every day. Check the ideas for inspirational affirmations on our blog.
- Take another route to work. Mixing up your routine in small ways creates new neural pathways in the brain to keep it healthy.
- Meditate: Meditation returns you to the present moment, giving you the opportunity to find stillness and appreciation in any circumstance. A regular practice can decrease stress and fortify you with a practical tool for everyday life.
- Punctuate your day with a mini-meditation with one minute of awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations; one minute of focused attention on breathing; and one minute of awareness of the body as a whole.
- Be selfish. Do one thing today just because it makes you happy.
- Express gratitude.
Just as it’s beneficial to keep track of what we’ve done, it’s also good to notice what we have. Keep a journal by your bed, and note the things that you feel lucky to have. Gratitude lists bring your attention to the beauty in your life. For an extra-nurturing list, write down the traits you’re grateful for within yourself.
- Do a mini-declutter. Recycle three things from your wardrobe that you don’t love or regularly wear.
- Unplug for an hour. Switch everything to airplane mode and free yourself from the constant bings of social media and email.
- Tap into your creative side. Use painting or another creative art to release your fear, anxiety, anger, and frustration on paper.
“Reading in particular is helpful. I’m able to leave my own thoughts and feelings behind and enter an entirely new world.” – Kaitlin D.
SELF-CARE IDEAS FOR THE BODY
11. Inhale an upbeat smell. Try peppermint to suppress food cravings and boost mood and motivation.
12. Make one small change to your diet for the week. Drink an extra glass of water each day, or have an extra portion of veggies each meal.
13. Give your body ten minutes of mindful attention. Use the body scan technique to check in with each part of your body.
14. Eat healthy and mindfully. Pick two healthy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners and rotate for the week. Too often we eat our meals while multitasking, thus denying ourselves the pure experience of nourishing meal. Would you work on the computer when having dinner with a loved one? Treat yourself with that same level of respect, and allow yourself to indulge in a meal without any distractions.
15. Exercise and have fun. What people say about exercise and endorphins is true; getting active increases feelings of happiness. This doesn’t mean you need to hit the gym. Rather find a form of physical activity that works for you. Go dancing with your friends, enjoy a Saturday morning hike, or go on a bike ride.
16. Get 10 Hours of Sleep: Imagine if you slept for ten hours every night this week. You would probably feel rested, awake, and alive. Give yourself that gift, and notice how it changes your life.
17. Take a Bath: Water soothes the soul. Take some time to relish a bath, complete with bath salts and a plush bath pillow to support your neck. #TIP: add extra pure essential oils to boost your energy and good vibes.
18. Have a good laugh. Read a couple of comic strips that you enjoy or watch Stand up comedy series.
19. Practice Yoga. Do a quick search on YouTube for a 10-minute yin yoga class that’ll zap stress in its tracks and leave your body and mind feeling fully refreshed. Yin yoga focuses on deep breathwork and holding poses for a longer period of time than a regular hatha or vinyasa class.
20. Manage stress. Find out the things that make you feel calm and do what you can to make them as much a part of your life as possible, whether that’s embracing mindfulness, going for a run, adding a little extra flexibility to your schedule, or simply taking a few minutes to yourself.
With a little bit of attention to your own self-care, the fog will lift. You’ll feel more connected to yourself and the world around you.
Did you enjoy this self care ideas post? Did you find a few self care ideas that sound great, but might not have been on your radar?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.