There are too many people who say “tomorrow” or “next week.” This is what we said to ourselves yesterday and last week. We can just start today.
In today’s go-go-go, busy and overwhelming lifestyle, it is more important than ever to set aside time every single day for some self-care. When we are expected to work long hours and pass on vacation days, there is an underlying belief that we must always be productive – which can ultimately take away from opportunities for self-care. But by taking some time out to engage in self-care, we can relieve the pressures of everyday life and reset ourselves to get back to a healthy point where productivity is once again maximized.
Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve concentration, minimize frustration and anger, increase happiness, and improve energy–to name just a few. Ultimately, self-care enhances our well-being by keeping us connected to ourselves and reminding us of what matters most to us.
There’s a Chinese proverb that states, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second-best time is now.” This is true for a lot of things, but nowhere truer than when it comes to our health. Would you like to tell your teenage self to take better care of your mind and body? You can’t; but future you would love to pass that same message along to your present-day self.
So start now. Start implementing self-care habits and rituals into your daily lifestyle. Although self-care is not a one-size-fits-all approach, there are some core habits that will greatly benefit us all:
Pay attention to your physical health
Get enough sleep
Eat a nutritious, diverse, and balanced diet
Identify the things that matter to you
Show gratitude and appreciation for the little gifts in life
Learn to say No
Remember that self-care is personal, and no general principle will always work. What motivates you and inspires you is different from the person next door. Look for the things that make you feel alive. Make dates with yourself; when you commit to working out or doing something for yourself, keep that commitment you make to yourself.
Now here are some self-care ideas to get you started on your own self-care journey:
Journal about how you’re feeling
Listen to your favorite music
Go for a nice walk in nature
Read a book
Have a cup of tea
Do a digital detox
Organize or rearrange your space
Buy yourself flowers
Turn on a diffuser with your favorite essential oils
Watch the sunrise or sunset
Sleep with a weighted blanket
Try an adult coloring book
Get crafty–scrapbooking, puzzles, etc
Donate to a cause you care about
Cuddle with a pet
Call someone you love and care about