Do You Practice Self-Care? 50 Activities to Help Get You Started
Why is Self-Care so Important?
Have you ever been on an airplane and the stewardess gives the directions on the loudspeaker that in the event of an emergency put your oxygen mask on BEFORE putting on the mask of the person next to you? I think often times we forget to put our oxygen mask of life on first, and end up exasperating ourselves while trying to care for everyone else around us.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is having the mindset, practices and habits we participate in to prevent stress, discontent, illness, depression and many more negative emotions. Self-care is not being selfish. It is important to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself as it produces positive feelings. Creating a time and space for yourself boosts your confidence and self-esteem. Additionally, self-care is necessary to remind yourself and others that you and your needs are important too. Taking time for yourself ensures that you stay motivated, healthy, and energized.
How can I Practice Self-Care?
Some of you might be reading this and laughing thinking how in the world could I possibly take time for myself? Maybe you have little ones at home or a hectic schedule. If you are thinking that you don’t have time for yourself, then let me encourage you to read on and make some time for yourself if you aren’t doing so.
Creating a space just for you either daily or weekly will help to revitalize your body, mind, and soul and avoid burnout. I totally relate to the mindset of:
•I don’t have time for self-care
•How can I afford to do something nice for myself when everyone else around me needs so much?
•I will do something for myself tomorrow, next week, next year (which usually turns into never)
•Taking time for myself is selfish
•The kids need me
•Work is too demanding
•My schedule doesn’t have another empty space for “me time”
I have thought all of the above and eventually lead to feeling burnt out, spent, and resenting everyone around me. I think many of us can relate to that feeling.
Practicing self-care does not have to be something expensive or some huge event. It can be as simple as the following ideas:
1.Take five minutes each day to meditate or pray.
2. Focus on all of the good in your life and jot down a few things that happened today that made you feel really happy.
3. Make a list of everything that you are thankful for.
4.Enjoy a glass of wine or drink of your choice by candlelight or fire while playing your favorite music.
5. Take yourself on a date, yes alone, and enjoy everything around you. Take in everything there is to see and hear and treat yourself to dessert. I did this for the first time two years ago and I laughed when the waiter asked me if I wanted to wait for the other person to show up before ordering. I politely let him know that no one else was joining me. I told him that I was enjoying a hot meal that I did not have to prepare,uninterrupted and will be dining completely by myself. He gave me the best customer service and treated me like a queen. I loved it! I also saw many interesting things while people watching that I would have missed if my face was in my phone.
6.Take a bath with an all natural fizzy bath-bomb and luxury organic soap from Rae Soap Company
7. When is the last time you read a good book? Go to the local library and check something out. Set aside a few minutes each evening before bed to let your mind travel to wherever your book takes you.
8.Treat yourself to a day at the salon or spa. My talented stylist Jess at Salon210 always makes me feel beautiful and knows just what to do with my hair!
9. Visit the chiropractor. I get adjustments from Dr. Mike at In Line Chiropractic. Going to the chiropractor helps alleviate my TMJ pain and minimizes the chronic migraines I suffer from. It helps keep my body and my gut healthy. I always leave feeling like a new person!
10.Schedule an annual health maintenance examination with your physician. We get so busy with life sometimes that we forget that a simple check up is in order.
11.Go out for lunch or dinner with some friends!
12.Listen to your favorite music.
13.Visit a museum and truly take the time to appreciate the art and the ambiance.
14.Get dressed up and go see a play on Broadway with a special someone.
15.Get tickets to your favorite sporting event with your significant other or group of friends.
16.Exercise daily even if just taking a brisk walk.
17.Try taking a yoga class.
18.Practice mindful meditation (YouTube has tons of great guided videos) my favorite to fall asleep to is by Jason Stephenson.
19.Thank someone in your life by sending them a hand written card or a letter.
20.Donate something. It may not sound like a self-care practice but it truly does the heart good knowing that you can help make someone else’s life a little better!
21.Get enough sleep.
22.Set boundaries to have non-working times throughout the day so you don’t get burnt out.
23.It’s OK to say no to others and say yes to yourself every now and then.
24.Get a pillow that allows you to rest well such as this bamboo memory pillow by Clara Clark.
25.Enjoy a quiet cup of tea.
26.Take a social media break for a defined set of time that you choose.
27.Binge watch your favorite shows on Netflix or catch up on your DVR.
28.Order your groceries online for once.
29.Take a nap.
30.Drink more water.
31.Give yourself a manicure or a pedicure.
32.Have a dance party.
33. Do something artsy and crafty.
34.Sit on the porch and just enjoy being alive
36.Speak more loving towards yourself instead of putting yourself down.
37.Lay in the grass and look at the clouds in the sky.
38.Relax in a hammock and s t a r g a z e.
39.Wrap yourself up in a soft blanket and journal about your day or your week.
40. Write a list of annoying tasks that you have been procrastinating to complete and cross each task off as you tackle it!
41.Take a drive with no destination. Just crank up the music, roll the windows down and feel the breeze.
42.Look at yourself in the mirror and smile it’s OK to tell yourself you are beautiful!
43. Get a massage. I recently received a lymphatic massage. I saw a Groupon and took advantage of the deal. I suggest asking in detail what oils the massage therapist uses and don’t be afraid to ask to see labels. I was told the oil was all-natural, hypo-allergic and paraben free, however, this was not the case. I ended up breaking out in hives from top to bottom on my body from the Biotone oil that was used. Upon researching, it has many toxins in it including formaldehyde, “fragrances”, and known carcinogenic material.
I will be mindful about asking more specifically what types of oils are used in the future, or I will bring my own jojoba oil. Don’t be afraid to ask them for the product label.
44. Visit the dermatologist. I always feel great when I visit Livonia Dermatology. They make my skin look good and it makes me feel good. Our skin is our largest organ, we have to make time to care for it properly.
45.Bake something and then enjoy it!
46.Buy yourself that special item you have been saving for.
47.Get a financial health checkup from a professional to help fix any issues, help you become debt free, reduce stress and plan for your future.
48.Allow yourself to feel feelings and express them.
49.Keep your routine simple.
50.Let go of trying to be perfect. Be you, un-apologetically.
When Should I Begin Self-Care?
Now that we have talked about the why, what and how, of practicing self-care, the “when” is just as important in making certain that you make yourself a priority. Set aside a defined time each day or a self-care day of the week. Don’t stress yourself out with ways to practice and see it as just another task for you to complete, rather, look at it as a time just for you to recharge and remind yourself you are worthy. This is not a selfish practice as it is of utmost importance to stay focus and running on all cylinders in your life. You deserve to feel like your best self so that you may continue to share all of your beautiful gifts and express your love to all those around you. Take a little time just for you to regenerate and watch how things begin to feel more positive and harmonious in your life.