When many people think of self-care, they think about massages, plush bathrobes and delicious wine within an arm’s reach. While those are amazing ways to practice self-care, they’re not the only ways. In fact, there are some really simple ways you can cultivate a self-care routine that will support you in your journey through life. Review the following tips to see if any resonate with you.
1. Keep a journal
Whether it’s a gratitude journal, a food journal or a prayer journal, it’s great to keep track of some facet of your life. If you don’t like to use a pen and paper, you can always keep a digital journal by typing your feelings into a Word document. As you write in the journal, you’ll be able to look back and see how you’ve overcome certain obstacles or improved in certain ways. If you need to improve, you can look to see what you’ve been doing. You can also learn how to tweak your routine a bit more. A journal is an excellent way to check in with yourself on a physical level.
During a recent interview following a tour stop in California, Oprah Winfrey noted that the Los Angeles audience was the only one that really knew how to breathe. This is a significant observation because a lot of people really don’t focus on their breath at all. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to subconsciously hold their breath for longer periods of time. Get into the habit of learning how to breathe deeply. There are tons of deep-breathing exercises and meditations that will guide you through the process. Not only is breathing essential for life, but it helps you release pent-up stress and stabilize or lower your blood pressure. Whether you’re in the middle of working on a stressful assignment or on the car ride home, remember to breathe properly and deeply.
3. Improve your nutritional habits
Proper nutrition is essential to self-care and optimal health. Take care of yourself by increasing the nutritional value of the foods you eat. No one is going to take away your beloved slice of pound cake for dessert. However, make sure that dinner is filled with lots of colorful roots, fruits and vegetables. Instead of eating instant oatmeal, prepare overnight oats with steel-cut oats, fresh fruit and a natural sweetener like honey. It’s also wise to take your vitamins and supplements. A great multi-vitamin will give the extra boost that you might not find in a day’s worth of food. In order to help yourself relax and let go of stress, consider various supplements or CBD capsules in order to unwind.
4. Move your body
A sedentary lifestyle mirrors a lack of self-care. Keep in mind that a person can be skinny and still sedentary. Movement is so essential for self-care. When you don’t move your body regularly, your joints will get stiff and brittle. Your heart health will decline. Weight gain can happen as well. If you have a sedentary lifestyle, start with a walk in the neighborhood for thirty minutes. You can also do an at-home workout by logging on to sites like YouTube. There are millions of workouts online. You can also do push-ups, pull-ups and jumping jacks when you get out of bed. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get creative as you find small ways to infuse movement into your daily lifestyle. Your body needs it. Plus, it’s excellent for mental health.
5. Learn to say no
Self-care doesn’t just involve saying yes to that relaxing nap on the couch. Self-care also involves maintaining the discipline to say no to things that don’t serve you. Self-care involves ending toxic friendships, standing up for yourself when a boss tries to tear you down or avoiding that extra cookie you don’t need. Be mindful of where you tend to be a little too lenient. As you develop the habit of saying no, you’re simultaneously saying yes to protecting yourself in the long run.
Self-care is essential because it allows you to prioritize yourself. It’s very easy to focus on serving others, your job or other important facets of life. However, if you don’t take good care of your mind, body and spirit through self-care, you won’t be around to serve anyone well. As you use these tips, you’ll receive the benefits and continue implementing more.