There have been many times in my life when the idea of self-care felt overwhelming. I was struggling to get out of bed in the morning and exhausted all day. I was busy at work and had a to-do list a mile long. I didn't have a lot of extra money, and self-care felt like a luxury I couldn't afford.
In my mind, self-care was spa days with massages, mani/pedis, and facials. It was cooking healthy meals from scratch, using only the best ingredients. It was yoga each morning and bubble baths every night. No wonder I was overwhelmed!
The truth is, self-care doesn't have to be a grand gesture. There are many small and simple things you can do to take care of yourself. Here's a short list of things you might try. Pick 1-2 a day to start and see how they feel. If something works well for you, consider making it part of your daily routine. Take care & enjoy!
- Close your eyes, put your hand on your heart, and take five cleansing breaths.
- Drink a glass of water. Add a slice of lemon, cucumber, or raspberries to liven it up a bit!
- Get up and slowly stretch each part of your body.
- Go outside. Walk around the block, put your feet in the grass, or savor the warm sunshine on your face.
- Take a hot shower or bath. Let the day's worries wash away.
- Take a 15-minute cat nap.
- Read a poem or short story.
- Call, text, or chat with a friend or family member.
- Prepare yourself a beautiful meal. Eat it on your favorite dishes or best china. Use a tablecloth or cloth napkins. Light a candle or turn on twinkle lights. Listen to some soft music. Bon appétit!
- Watch your favorite movie, the one that never fails to make you feel good.
- Listen to music. Bonus points if you sing along!
- Laugh. Watch a funny cat or baby video online. Read the comics. Find something to make you really laugh out loud.
- Write in your journal (or if you don't keep a journal, just do some free writing on notebook paper or post-it notes.)
- Buy yourself flowers. It doesn't have to be extravagant, just a single rose or a few daisies.
- Create something. Doodle, write a haiku, take photos.
- Make a cup of tea or coffee and drink it from your favorite mug.
- Eat breakfast. Start the day off right!
- Take a lunch break. No computer, no phone. Just you and your food.
- Dance. Crank up the volume and shake it!
- Make a gratitude list. Jot down 5-10 things you're grateful for in this moment.
- Scour your kitchen sink. Believe me, there's something about a sparkling sink that makes you feel like you've really accomplished something...and it only takes a few minutes.
- Make your bed. It'll feel like a gift at the end of the day.
- Get your coffee ready to brew the night before. It's a gift you can give yourself each morning.
- Unplug. Turn off your phone, tablet, computer, and TV for half an hour. Give your eyes and your mind a rest.
- Give yourself a massage. Rub your temples, massage your own shoulders or feet, use lotion to massage your arms and legs. Your choice. Do what feels best!