This list of self-care ideas is meant to inspire you to consistently invest in your own physical and mental health. The act of prioritizing yourself and taking care of yourself is crucial to your overall wellbeing and the people who rely on you. It’s the everyday version of putting on your oxygen mask before helping others.
Do you have friends who do yoga daily, meet friends for happy hour every Thursday, read a book a week, regularly schedule blow outs and can’t stop talking about dining at the hottest restaurant in town?
Yep, me too…
Look, I don’t begrudge these friends, I applaud them. They are doing what we all should be doing, which is making self-care a priority.
Why Self-Care Is So Important
When we don’t take the time to properly care for ourselves, it can have a negative impact on every area in our lives. It affects our physical and mental wellbeing. We may feel drained, lonely, resentful or undervalued.
Or, worse yet, we may feel high-level stress. Stress compromises our immune system, our hormones, our mental and emotional health and more. Thankfully, practicing self-care helps you eliminate stress and feel less emotionally drained.
In addition to stress relief, self-care helps to boost self-esteem and positive feelings. And who doesn’t need more positive vibes in their life?
However, finding time for self-care can be difficult. The struggle is real y’all. But, at the end of the day, you are better for it and your family, relationships and commitments will be better for it too.
Self-care is something you are doing for YOU. I’ve put together a list of self-care ideas that benefit your health and happiness; however, self-care is not one size fits all. Do what feels best for you, making sure to consistently invest in your own wellbeing.
1. Try an Alternative Healing Therapy
Invest in natural healing treatments like cryotherapy, infrared sauna, reiki or acupuncture. A major 2012 study found that acupuncture can ease chronic pain and migraines. And some studies show that reiki is effective in relieving anxiety and stress.
Even if you don’t find a treatment that you want to stick with, you’ll begin connect with your body and learn what makes you feel healthy.
2. Develop a Thorough Skincare Regimen
One of the easiest ways to practice self-care is to establish a quality skincare regimen and stick to it. Like Hagrid said, “Here’s your ticket. Stick to it, Harry that’s very important.”
Each day may have different steps and products – Sundays are my mask days – and be sure to customize to your seasonal skincare needs. Here are some examples:
- Toner (my favorite contains AHAs to brighten my skin)
- DIY Matcha green tea facial mask
- Hydrating facial mask
3. Take a Dip in a DIY Detox Bath
We all know baths are warm and relaxing AND self-care 101. Add some bubbles, candles, stream your playlist and it’s like your own personal heaven. But why not improve your health while you relax?
Step up your bath game with a detox bath. Detox baths can help remove toxins, reduce inflammation and aid in healing skin issues.
Salt Detox Bath Recipe
1/4 cup sea salt – or my personal favorite – Himalayan salt
1 cup Epsom salt
1/2 cup baking soda
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
Plus your favorite essential oils if desired (I use 15 drops of lavender or frankincense)
Note that with any detox bath you may feel lightheaded afterward so be careful. It may also make you sleepy, so plan your bath right before bedtime.
4. Declutter Your Home
Everyone has stuff just laying around their homes, crammed into that small closet, tossed into the junk drawer or hidden in a cabinet. A little mess never hurt anyone, right? Wrong! Clutter can have a detrimental effect on your mental and physical health. In fact, psychologists are starting to recognize that having an organized home is essential to your overall wellbeing.
According to Psychology Today, cluttered spaces overwhelm already-taxed brains with too much sensory information. This makes your brain become easily overwhelmed leading to irritability and stress.
Decluttering can be overwhelming, so start small and organize your decluttering into manageable steps. For instance, clean out that junk drawer one day, then toss your junk mail the next day and so on.
Once you incorporate decluttering into your daily routine, you should begin to see improvements in your mental health and stress levels.
5. Have a Deep Conversation With God
This is also known as prayer. I know this is not what some people would consider a typical self-care idea but hear me out. We often get so caught up in our busy lifestyle, that we don’t take the time to really talk to God. We quickly say our standard prayers for our kids, prayers for our friends and family, etc. and then we move on. But we are truly missing out on one of the greatest gifts God gave us, a direct phone line to him, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
When we talk to God and pour out our worries, fears, needs and gratitude, it brings us closer to Him. We feel connected to the loving Father that he is. And this is important not only on a spiritual level, but also on a physical and emotional level as well.
Researchers from Baylor University found that people who pray to a loving God are less likely to experience anxiety-related disorders — worry, fear, self-consciousness, social anxiety and obsessive compulsive behavior — compared to people who pray but don’t really expect to receive any comfort or protection from God.
Be sure to give God a call today!
6. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is a powerful emotion and the benefits are numerous when you practice gratitude daily. Research by psychologist Robert Emmons, author of Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, shows that simply keeping a gratitude journal—routinely writing brief reflections on moments for which we’re thankful—can significantly increase wellbeing and satisfaction in life. There are many ways to incorporate practicing gratitude into your life.
Here are a few examples of practicing gratitude, but you can learn more in my blog post 7 Simple Ways to Practice Gratitude Daily.
- Keep a gratitude journal
- Write a thank you note
- Donate to a charity you have an affinity with
- Be mindful of the “glass is half full” attitude
7. Splurge on a Massage
Are you thinking, “But a massage is too expensive.” Girl don’t argue with me on this one! The benefits of massage outweigh the cost. Research overwhelmingly shows regular massage will reduce stress and anxiety. So look for a Groupon (from a reputable establishment) and book your appointment.
8. Learn to Say No
My entire life I have been a people-pleaser. I based my self-worth on the praise of others. I was terrified of letting someone down, or worse yet, making them angry if I said no. This has led to a lifetime full of over commitments and putting my needs last. Translation, I put self-care LAST.
But I’ve had to learn that saying no does not make me a bad person. So now I say no… a lot. But I don’t say no for the sake of saying no. I evaluate my resources including my time, my plans, my priorities and my energy level. If I can do it, I will. If it’s going to disrupt my plans, drain my energy level, take up too much of my time, or overly stress me out then I say NO.
9. Pretend You’re a Mixologist and Make a Yummy Cocktail
Learn to make a full-fledged adult cocktail, not just a vodka tonic. Creating something can be a meditative act and may bolster confidence when you can make something that you’re proud of. Take the time to figure out what kind of alcohol you prefer and what flavors you enjoy the most. Use fresh ingredients like herbs and fruit using complementary combinations. Think basil and watermelon or grapefruit and rosemary. If you need inspiration take a look at these yummy cocktails.
10. Spend Time Alone
Everyone could use some time alone doing EXACTLY what they want without interruption. Cue my daughter telling me over and over that she is “SO BORED” until she finally has an atomic meltdown while I’m shopping the much-anticipated super-duper once a year storage and container sale.
If we don’t allocate alone time for ourselves, it can easily lead into frustration and resentment, resulting in irritability and anger. Who wants to be angry and irritable? So make time for uninterrupted alone time to just read a book, go to a movie, shop or better yet, take a nap. By the way, this is my favorite self-care idea!
11. Get B-12 Shots
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that benefits your body by boosting your energy level, improving your memory, supporting bone health, improving your mood and depression symptoms and helping to prevent heart disease. Here’s some science:
- Studies have also shown a link between low vitamin B12 levels and poor bone health and osteoporosis, especially in women.
- Another study discovered that vitamin B12 deficiency was associated with twice the risk of severe depression.
- Studies have shown that vitamin B12 helps decrease homocysteine levels, which may reduce your risk of heart disease.
If you have chronic fatigue, anxiety, symptoms of depression, or you are worried about bone density, you may benefit from B12 shots. I look forward to the energy boost I get after each shot.
12. Laugh Often
It’s true, laughter is the best medicine. That’s why I picked this man to spend the rest of my life with.
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