Self-Care Awareness Month is a time to remind us all just how important it is to take care of ourselves. We live busy lives and often times forget that it’s essential to take some time for our well-being. It’s important to recognize that self-care looks different for everyone. It can look like taking a day off work to get a mani-pedi, a massage, and ice cream or it can look like spending the evening finally getting around to the endless list of chores you’ve been putting off. For some, self-care means pampering and for others, it can mean being productive. No matter how you choose to practice self-care, do it with intention. Set aside time to really understand your needs and what will benefit you most.
Here are 10 ways to practice self-care.
Eat A Healthy Meal
Good nutrition is good self-care. Eating clean is about nurturing your body by providing it with the materials it needs to stay healthy both physically and mentally. Round up your favorite healthy recipes and start incorporating healthy meals into your routine.
Exercise or Get Out In Nature
There are countless mental health benefits of exercise but did you know it also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts your overall mood? Being in nature also has both cognitive benefits and improvements in mood, mental health, and emotional well-being. So whenever you are feeling down or in need of a boost, take a walk in nature, exercise at the gym, go paddleboarding, or do some other activity that gets you moving.
Spend Time With Loved Ones
There’s nothing better than being surrounded by people you love and who love you too. Loved ones can encourage positive behaviors and help you to make great choices. Not to mention they know you and know how to put a smile on your face. Carve time out in your schedule to spend quality time with family and friends.
Try Something New
How often do we get so caught up in our routines and daily lives that we forget to enjoy life? Have you been considering trying a new hobby or crossing something off your bucket list? Go for it! Life is about exploring and learning new things. You never know, it could change your whole life.
Do Your Favorite Activities Guilt-Free
Have you ever felt guilty for binge-watching a new show instead of doing something “productive?” Or reading all day instead of crossing off things on your endless to-do list? Part of self-care is recognizing what you need at the moment. It’s ok to change your definition of “productive.” If you need a day off to binge-watch the latest season of a reality show, then that’s productive in and of itself.
Unplug For A Day
Take a break from technology for a day. Leave your phone at home (or on silent so you don’t get tempted) while you spend time in nature or out with friends. Replace watching TV before bed with a book you’ve been wanting to read. Set boundaries for your work schedule and turn off your computer and emails when work is done for the day. Unplug and live in the moment.
Oftentimes, we get too caught up in our daily lives that we forget to take a step back and be grateful for how far we’ve gotten. Gratitude practice can also reshape the brain. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or have any sort of negative feelings, write out what you are grateful for. It can be as simple as being thankful for your car getting you places or for your kids putting a smile on your face. Practicing gratitude helps you to shift your feelings in a positive direction and improve your attitude.
Meditation provides you with quality “me time” and mental clarity. Despite what you may have heard, you don’t have to meditate in silence. You can still enter a flow state by doing other activities like walking, running, singing, and more. The whole idea of meditating is to focus on our breath and a quiet mind.
Tackle The To-Do List
Sometimes self-care doesn’t look like the “treat yo’self” type. Sometimes caring for yourself means tackling some of the things on that haunting to-do list so you can enjoy the rest of your week. Schedule that doctor’s appointment. Clean the messy kitchen. Sign up for the gym.
Treat Yo’Self – You Deserve It!
As Tom Haverford from ‘Parks And Recreation’ says, “Treat Yo’Self!” Treat yourself to something that you’ve been wanting for a while now. Is it a massage because your body’s been overworked? Is it going out to your favorite ice cream place? Is it retail therapy? Whatever that may look like for you, you deserve it!
Self-Care Awareness Month is a great reminder to slow down and focus on your well-being, but don’t let the practice of self-care go away after September ends. We are all deserving of self-care.