Self care is indeed one of the buzzwords for 2019. Whoever you are, whatever you do, self care is incredibly important. It helps to keep us grounded, to relieve us of daily stresses, and to generally improve our mental wellbeing. However, often when we lead busy lives (I mean, who doesn’t?), in our ever growing list of priorities, self care is usually the thing that takes a backseat. So what do we do when this happens? Well, the first thing would be to give your routine a good spring clean – realistically look at what time you have and how you can spend it. Even if you work out you can only spare half hour a day (or even less than that), here’s my top ten self care tips will help you out when it comes to taking care of yourself.
Keep a notebook by your bed, and every evening, write down three things that you’re grateful for or that have made you smile today. You don’t have to write an essay, and it doesn’t have to be anything big or spectacular. Just tiny things like that first sip of your morning coffee or beating the traffic home from work can help give you a more positive outlook on your day. And if something big did happen to make you smile, that’s a bonus!
Drinking plenty of water is one of those things we all should be doing, and it’s just one of many small ways that you can take care of yourself. There are numerous benefits to drinking water, including flushing out toxins, improving your skin, and maintaining a healthy digestive system, along with keeping us nicely hydrated. If you never reach your goals when it comes to drinking water, try investing in a reusable water bottle which you can keep in your bag or on your desk and have small sips throughout the day.
Some may disagree with this one, but I personally think treating yourself every once in a while is a great way to indulge in a little self care. Of course, I’m not saying to go out and splurge your month’s earnings on a bunch of stuff you don’t need, but if there’s something you want, and you can afford it – go for it! Treat yourself to a DVD you’ve wanted for a while, or perhaps a new book, just make sure it’s something just for you.
Say No Once in a While
Sometimes one of the best things we can do for ourselves is to take some time out. If you don’t feel up for going to that party or meeting your friend for drinks, don’t go. If you’re worried about offending anyone, turn the negative into a positive and offer to reschedule straight away. If you genuinely make the effort to arrange another date, chances are the person won’t be as disappointed as they would be if you cancelled full stop.
Take a Social Media Break
In this day and age it’s so hard to tear ourselves away from the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. While social media is great at keeping us in touch with our friends and helping us feel closer to our favourite celebrities, it’s not so great at giving us major FOMO and vacation envy, just to name a few. Similarly, there’s nothing worse than comparing yourself to the flawless looking person on Instagram when you’re having a bad day. So why not switch it off? Don’t panic! I’m not saying to deactivate your accounts (although if you want to – go for it!), but just take a day off once in a while. If the idea of a day without scrolling through your newsfeed is too much, work on perhaps just an hour before bed where you don’t look at social media!
Do Something Just for You
Every day, make sure you do one small thing that’s just for you. Whether it’s enjoying a muffin with your morning coffee, putting your headphones in to zone out on your commute or buying yourself a bar of chocolate at lunchtime, a little treat will give you a well needed boost. This great article by a fellow Elephant Journal writer highlights how the simple act of making your bed each morning can help give you a fresh outlook on your day! Who knew?
Acknowledge What’s Bothering You
If you’re feeling down or angry, one of my favourite self care tips is to list what’s bugging me. It could be one thing, it could be several, but actually getting it out on paper is really therapeutic. Yes, it won’t completely solve your problems, but it’s a great way to clarify your thoughts and empty your mind of that negativity.
As much as we hate to admit it, exercise is good for us. Numerous studies have shown that it keeps us fit and healthy, it helps us to maintain a healthy weight, and it improves our mood. Don’t worry, you don’t have to sign up for a gym membership if you don’t want to! Just the simple act of taking a walk can be enough to get those endorphins going. If you want to commit to a full on exercise routine, go for it! Just make sure you find an activity that you like – the best exercise is an activity you enjoy!
Have Some Fun
Set aside some time to do something you love. Whether you plan to spend some time with a loved one or just spend a few hours on your favourite hobby, pencil in something to look forward to and you’ll notice an improvement in your mood.
Comfort is Key
Take some time out to settle in with your favourite TV box set, movie or book. If you’re feeling a little stressed, the act of reading or watching something you find familiar and comforting is a great way to wind down and relax. Gilmore Girls marathon anyone?