Self-care, by definition, is care for oneself. But what does it mean to care for oneself? It means a variety of different things to different people. For some, self-care includes routine visits to a physician, dentist, therapist, or another medical professional, while others seek out a massage, pedicure, haircut or a night out with friends. We all have our own unique approach to self-care, but making time to actively focus on your mental wellbeing is essential. Here are a few ways we’ve found to put self-care at the forefront of our daily lives.
Be Mindful About Your Morning
A healthy morning routine sets the tone for your entire day. Instead of grabbing your phone an scrolling first thing in the morning, take a few minutes to invest in yourself:
Pick up a good book and read a few chapters while drinking your morning coffee.
Spend some time journaling.
Stream a quick workout to get your body moving.
Set another alarm and squeeze in a few extra minutes of calm before your daily responsibilities take over.
Whatever activity brings peace to your morning and helps create the proper mindset for a successful day, make it a priority. On the same note, whatever isn’t serving you, take a deep breath and let it go.
Fuel Your Body
When your week gets busy, it’s easy to rush out the door and figure food out later. Try prepping some easy grab-and-go meals instead! Having a meal ready will reduce the urge to buy something unhealthy and nutritious food will leave you feeling full longer.
For snacks, plan and pack your snacks the night before—that way you are less likely to grab whatever salty or sugary option is available in the spur of the moment.
When you’re really busy, consider a crockpot meal—it’ll be ready when you get home from work and your house will smell great!
Take some time on the weekend to prep meals for the upcoming week. This is a great way to stay on track with your nutritional goals and it is a real timesaver on busy weeknights.
Take a Break
The daily grind can often be stressful, and sometimes one day can seem to last an eternity. When you feel this way, taking frequent, brief breaks throughout the day allows you to step away and destress.
You can get up from your desk and walk around, refill your water, ask a co-worker about their weekend, plug in your headphones and listen to your favorite song, read your favorite blogger’s latest post or find another way to unwind. Just take a few minutes a few times each day to feel like a human being!
“Spark Joy” is a term we’ve heard a lot about lately, but mostly in the terms of purging our closets or letting go of what’s not serving us. Try to do at least one thing daily that personally sparks joy, no matter what that means to you:
Get your creative juices flowing by painting, writing poetry, or posting a great find on Pinterest.
Set a new PR at the gym, perfect the form of a new exercise, shave a few seconds off your mile time, or reach your toes during your yoga class.
Take time for a simple pleasure: Watch a sunset, take a walk on a scenic path, fill your home with your favorite scent, or call your best friend to catch up. Whatever it is that lights a little fire in your soul, make time for it.
Find a Way to Unwind “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Books and movies by Stephen King might not be the best place to get your life lessons, but this one is pretty solid. Finding ways to unwind at the end of the day is just as important as being mindful in your morning routine. Discuss your day to friends over dinner, blast your favorite songs during a living room dance party, or quiet things down with a good book, a favorite tv show, a bubble bath or a person you care about.
Self-care is all about finding balance and making a conscious effort to place your overall wellbeing at the forefront of your daily life. It’s hard to take time for yourself, but it’s also impossible to give your best effort when you’re running on empty! Try making adjustments in these five areas of your daily life and see what improvements they bring about.