7 Easy Self-Care HabitsSep 27, 2021
Self-care should be a top priority for everyone, especially if you’re currently recovering from illness, burnout, trauma or any other big life disruption -- which is most if not all of us, given the events of 2020 & 2021.
But let’s talk about what self-care actually is: “any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.” The key work here is DELIBERATE. It’s important for you to make a decision to consciously slow down and prioritize ourselves.
Here are seven of the easiest self-care habits that will make looking after yourself easier, even at the hardest of times.
1. Do something different
By changing something mundane, you can help yourself to feel revitalized and more energetic. This can be a simple change, like trying a new takeout restaurant, driving down a different road on your way home, or exploring a new genre of music on Spotify.
2. Unplug your electronics
You can make a small change by just unplugging all your electronics for 30 minutes. You don't have to spend the entire day without your phone, but just taking a break from the notifications for part of each day can have lots of benefits and will help you make time for relaxation.
3. Take deep breaths
If you don't often remember to sit back and breathe a few times, consider sticking up some post it notes where you normally spend your time. Better yet, download an app like Insight Timer or Calm, which have breathing exercises and reminders to breathe. It’s simple, but effective.
4. Make a small diet change
Commit to drinking just one extra glass of water per day (even if it's your only glass of water for the day), or promise yourself a healthy breakfast one day per week. If you're grabbing a second coffee by 10am, try to cut down, either by cutting out the excess caffeine altogether, or using substitutes to help break the addiction like herbal tea.
5. Do something nice for someone
Doing something small yet kind for another person can immediately boost your self esteem, confidence and overall positivity levels. Even just holding a door open to hear a 'thank you', or helping someone in need with some spare change, or calling your grandma to check in can help you feel better.
6. Take yourself on a date
Not everybody feels in the mood to go out by themselves, but if you feel in the mood to do something, take yourself somewhere interesting. This could be a museum in your home town or nearby that you have never visited before, treating yourself to ice cream, or maybe a movie has recently come out that you’d like to see. It can feel weird at first, but you deserve to make yourself feel special.
7. Ask for help when you need it
Although this involves other people helping you out, it's all part of the self-care process. Recognising when you need help and having the courage to ask for it will ensure that you maintain a healthier and more positive outlook. The next time somebody says “Let me know if you need anything”, take them up on it.
Self-care is not selfish
You’ve probably heard it before, but self-care is not self-ish. Quite the opposite - Imagine for a minute your car having a conscious mind, and despite needing gas it continued to prioritize driving you to your destination over refueling itself. Not only would the car not accomplish its goals, but you’d be frustrated with it as well.
Though you may feel like you always need to take care of others -- especially those of you who are parents, own a business, or are in high level management -- taking care of you first is CRITICAL for you to show up fully in other aspects of your life.
Self-care is “something that fuels us, rather than takes from us.” -- Agnes Wainman