Self-care seems to be a popular topic right now, as people are discovering that taking care of themselves first allows them to be more of service to others. I can completely understand that concept, especially on days when I feel like I have too much to do to workout or meditate or get enough sleep, and end up giving less than my best all day. If you can empathize with needing more self-care, then look into the tips below!
- Mindful Meditation. Try practicing meditation daily, for about 10 minutes, to increase mindfulness, give your brain a little break, and allow yourself to be in the moment for a few minutes. The app Headspace is great for starting out or getting into a routine!
- Incorporate more Frugal Minimalist principles into your life. Although not a conventional form of self-care, valuing your time by cutting out distractions (unnecessary apps, emails, magazines, etc.) will give you more time to care for your needs, even on the most hectic days! Check out the minimalist challenge in the link above, that will get you on the right path.
- Sleep! Carving out sufficient time to get restful sleep, giving yourself time to prepare for bed, and indulging in quality sheets, pillows, and mattresses are fantastic investments in your health! Since you can’t be your best when sleep-derived, don’t sell yourself short and tell yourself you can survive on 4 or 5 hours of sleep. I find that going to bed early helps me get enough time, since I have to wake up at 7:30am everyday, so I aim for a 11pm bedtime, allowing me 8+ hours of sleep each night.
- Spend time each day doing what you love and enjoy! My passion is cooking, baking, plant-based eating, etc. So I always leave a little meal-prepping or cooking to do each day to get my dose of my love. If biking grabs your attention, bike to and from work! If it’s animals, volunteer at an animal shelter a few days a week! There are tons of tiny ways to incorporate what you enjoy daily.
- Workout, but only what you actually like doing. I used to despise working out because I would do what was in fashion, not what I enjoy. For a while I was running, and I would wake up and pray it was raining outside so I didn’t have to go for a run yet. That’s no way to workout! I soon found that I really enjoy yoga and weight-lifting, and while I still do some cardio every once in a while, I lean into my interests. You may have to search a while, but I guarantee your perfect-match workout is out there!
- Use the compassion you would extend to others for yourself, too. As a vegan, social justice, and service-oriented person; I often find myself defending others, while tearing myself down. I can easily accept disappointment or mistakes from my friends, but when I do the same I criticize myself and become frustrated. It can be difficult, but I find that treating myself like a friend can help me be kind to myself. I would never tell a friend “you’re stupid” or “you’re worthless”, so why would I do the same to myself? This is more ephemeral and difficult to implement, but helpful practices I have discovered in the past are to wear a rubber band on your wrist, and whenever you have a negative thought give yourself a little snap with it, not to punish but to remind yourself to be compassionate. Then, replace what you just said to yourself with something more positive, like instead of “why is my skin so gross?” replace it with “I’m thankful for this body”. Another is to replace “I’m sorry” with “Thank you for putting up with me” or “Thank you for being patient with me” when you mess up, it changes the tone of the interaction from lacking to gratitude, if that makes sense.