We all know self-care is important. But, how do you get started? I'm glad you asked.
1. Let go of perfectionism
This one GETS ME. Trying to be 'perfect' slows your progress and stands in the way of what is really important. Nobody is perfect – it’s unhealthy to hold on to the idea that perfectionism can be reached.
2. Reassess your priorities
Think about the goals you have for the week, for the month, and your long-term goals. Is what you’re doing now working towards what you want in the future? If the answer is yes, keep going! If the answer is no, eliminate whatever is not serving your goals.
3. Make time for exercise
Exercise helps relieve stress and serve as “me” time, so take time out of your week to recharge and re-center at the gym or through a fun exercise class (Goat yoga, anyone?).
4. Take a daily walk
Breathing the fresh air and feeling the sunshine on your face can reenergize and refocus you!
5. Create (& stick to!) boundaries
Establish boundaries for yourself and don’t bend them. Taking care of yourself first is not a luxury, it’s essential for your physical and mental health.
6. Communicate your emotional needs
Keeping your feelings bottled up inside is detrimental to your emotional health. Communicating your feelings and needs will help relieve these feelings and let others know what you want and expect from them.
7. Get rid of clutter!
Having a cluttered living space or workspace can create unnecessary stress and make you feel more overwhelmed.
8. Prepare the night before
Get your lunch ready, set important paperwork you’ll need by the front door, lay out your outfit, etc. Preparing the night before eliminates that “morning panic”. You know what I’m talking about – when you hit snooze for that extra 15 minutes of sleep then all the sudden you have to be out the door in 30 minutes so you’re running around your apartment brushing your hair while trying to get dressed at the same time (No? Just me?).
9. Get more sleep
It’s amazing what an extra hour of sleep or a quick nap can do – sometimes it is all you need to get back on track!
10. Take a digital detox
This one is hard for all of us, but it is ohhh so necessary. Turn off all of your digital devices – only for one hour! And see how you feel. If you dare - try for longer periods of time, or stay off social media on weekends! Whatever sits best with you.
11. Learn to love your flaws
Let's face it, we ALL have flaws. While you don’t have to fall madly in love with your flaws, accepting them will give you more confidence and you will focus on them less – ultimately giving them less control over your life.
12. Essential oils
Essential oils are great because not only do they smell amazing, but research suggests essential oils have many health benefits such as reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, improving sleep, and help digestion.
13. Listen to inspiring podcasts
Sometimes we get lost in the daily grind, stray off track or lose focus of our goals, and start to lose motivation – hey, we’re all human. Listening to inspiring podcasts can re-ignite your motivational flame and get you back on track or moving in a different direction!
14. Learn to say “no”
Don’t feel guilty for saying no or canceling plans. If you don’t feel well, take time for yourself. If you already have a lot on your plate, protect your energy. Saying no isn’t selfish! It’s doing what is best for you so you can perform at your best - and there is nothing wrong with that.
15. Turn to friends or family for support
Sometimes, talking (ahem, venting) to friends or family about stressful situations is all you need. Verbalizing your feelings and receiving advice from loved ones helps you process the situation and move forward.
If you are someone who is better at writing down your feelings, then journaling is for you! Writing down everything that happened in your day will help you visually process what you experienced - and seeing everything written out may help put things into perspective as well. Journaling can also help you identify patterns in your mood and what may have caused negative feelings or bouts of stress.
17. Find a creative hobby
Creative hobbies improve your mood, protect your brain function, reduce stress, and can enhance your social life (paint and pour anyone?).
18. Meet new people
Meeting new people and getting new energy in your life can be so rejuvenating. New ideas to bounce off new creative minds, new advice, and new takes on old ideas.
19. Purge toxic people
Purging toxic people is so crucial. I always view relationships with others as either giving, taking, or a balance of both. Positive relationships are a balancing act – it is always a give and take. You are there for them and they are there for you. If someone is constantly draining you of your energy or bringing negative energy into the relationship, they may be toxic for you.
20. Read a novel
The feel of a book in your hands is quite magical (please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks this!). Getting lost in a good book is a great way to take your mind off things and relax.