In today’s fast-paced world, we often find ourselves prioritizing everything over our own self care. The issue with ignoring self care is that, as humans, we need self care. While it may sound intimidating at times, self care can be an easy thing to add to your daily routine. Start small, note what works for you, and continue doing those things.
Finding the Right Self Care Ideas
Finding a self care idea that works for you can be a daunting task. What works for some people may not work for you and that is okay! Think about what you enjoy doing naturally and determine if there is a way to do it mindfully. For instance, if you are a foodie, you may find it beneficial to nourish your body with delicious healthy foods. If you are a beauty fanatic, a weekly face mask or dry brushing could help you mindfully focus on your internal and external beauty.
If you can’t think of a self care idea based off of something you are already interested in, think about what your body is lacking. Do you feel fatigued from too much running around and a chaotic life? Try meditation or yoga to ground yourself. Are you suffering from muscle tension and soreness? Try getting a massage or stretching at home.
They key to finding a self care idea that works for you is knowing and listening to your body every single day. Note how you are feeling and what you need to make yourself feel the best it can possibly be.
Try these seven self care ideas this week and mindfully notice how different your body feels. You’ll feel more focused, centered, and energized all week!
1. Eat Mindfully
Food is one of the main self care tools. Next meal time, prioritize healthy foods. Listen to your body and know what it needs.
Foods to Relax:
Bananas are filled with potassium and magnesium, which are both known as natural muscle relaxants.
Seafood contains omega-3, which helps produce calming hormones for your brain.
Dark chocolate can help reduce levels of cortisol and catecholamines, two hormones associated with stress.
Foods for Energy:
Water is one of the best foods for energy. Dehydration often masks itself through headaches and fatigue.
Chia seeds have the perfect amount of protein, fats, and fiber to give you an energy boost without a crash.
Sweet potatoes are high in carbohydrates, beta-carotene, and vitamin C, which all help fight off sleepiness.
Foods for Healing:
Yogurt is filled with probiotics which help with healing and maintaining the digestive system.
Turmeric is a spice known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Try adding it to your morning coffee or using it as a spice in your cooking to fight against acne, Alzheimer's, cancer, and more.
Ginger fights against different forms of nausea, muscle pain, and high blood sugar.
When possible, eat organic or local. Thinking about where you food comes from is a great way to start practicing mindful eating as a self care technique.
2. Dry Brushing
Dry brushing is exactly what it sounds like. It is a self care technique that involves using a dry brush to brush the skin. Dry brushing helps the body naturally detoxify itself, gives you an energy boost, and helps fight cellulite.
Usually, people enjoy dry brushing before showering because it often causes dead skin shedding, especially at first or if you are not dry brushing regularly. After dry brushing and showering, moisturize the skin with coconut oil or your favorite all natural moisturizer.
You can find inexpensive dry brushes on Amazon or at your local health foods store.
Meditation can often sound intimidating for people who have never tried it. Meditation does not have to be a scary or challenging feat. Meditation can simply be some quiet time that you allow yourself at some point during your day.
Even while you sleep, your mind is constantly going. Unlike the body, your mind never gets a chance to fully shut off and rest. During sleep, our minds can still continue to worry and stress about our problems. If you have never meditated before, a guided meditation is a great place to start. Try these apps and see which ones work for you:
4. Pay Attention
Mindfulness is the key to self care. On some days, taking even five minutes to stop and focus on self care can be a challenge. While I always recommend taking that time and prioritizing self care, there is a way to practice mindfulness and self care without sacrificing time.
Simply focus while doing something that you normally do everyday mindlessly, be mindful instead of being on autopilot. When was the last time you really focused on brushing your teeth, moisturizing your body, or making a cup of coffee? Take that time to be one with your body. Feel the sensations on your skin and give gratitude to the world for another day.
Simple switches like this in your day-to-day can turn chaos into calm.
5. Take Yourself on a Date
Be selfish. Schedule a self date once every week. The self date has two benefits. For one, it gives you something to look forward to all week. On the other hand, it gives you a chance to unwind and focus solely on you.
Self dates can be fancy, but they don't have to be. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Spend an afternoon at your local art museum
Find a comfy spot and read a book
Take yourself to a restaurant and turn your phone off
Go get a massage
Take a scenic walk through nature
The key to the self date is scheduling it and sticking to it. Physically write it down and block off the time in your calendar. That way, if something else comes up, you are less likely to schedule over it. One of the keys to self care is simply being selfish. It is okay to say no to someone else if you need time for yourself.
6. Spend Time with Others
In the same breath, too much time alone can be detrimental to your self care. As humans, we are naturally social people. This stems from ancient times when we needed a tribe to survive. Without our tribe, we could not raise children or even find food. Today, humans are much more solitary. We often live and work alone only communicating with others behind a screen.
Make an effort to see a friend or make a friend once every week. You will be amazed by how much another person can inspire you and make you feel energized. Ask a coworker to grab lunch with you or meet up with an old friend for coffee on the weekend.
7. Go Slow
So much of our day to day stress comes from being over scheduled and, in turn, moving too quickly. Focus on moving slower, when possible, this week. Wake up 10 minutes earlier and make a conscious effort to move through your morning routine slowly. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel all day if you start slow.
Mindfully drinking a cup of tea is a great way to practice moving slow because tea is so hot that the only way to enjoy it is slowly. Feel the steam on your face and gently note the flavors as they roll over your tongue.
Practice these self care ideas this week and feel the fog lift from your brain. Self care allows you to feel more connected to the world around you while being the best version of yourself.