20 Great Self-Care Ideas!
Welcome to the new year! It’s time to put 2020 in the rear view mirror and start putting ourselves first with a self-care routine that gives us the inner strength to deal with whatever the New Year brings.
It’s no secret that people who don’t give themselves the care that they give to others will usually end up stressed and burned out. To stop this happening to you, develop an attitude of nurturing - take care of your mind, body and soul every day, in small ways and occasionally (but regularly) bigger ways too. Self -care is non-negotiable these days, but you have to make an effort to make space for it. Here are a few ideas for things to do that rebalance, reenergize and replenish.
Do something physically energizing
Whatever floats your boat, make time for it if it makes you feel good. This could be a series of stretches, pilates or yoga, a run, a swim or a walk on the beach. Just get that activity up.
Stretch It Out
Hunched over a desk or in a car? Bodies aren’t meant to be cooped up so stretch it out. Find a set of effective stretches that stops your body feeing like it’s ten years older than it really is. Your muscles will thank you for it. If you want to do even more for yourself, get a professional involved; book a massage! (You can ask me about appropriate stretches too!)
Take a bath
It’s a self-care cliché but for a good reason. If you have the time, shut the door, put some music on, and take a magazine or book in with you. Lie back and let the stresses of the day dissolve away into warm, sweet-smelling water.
Try a mini-meditation
Begin or end your day with just one minute of deep breathing, while focusing your awareness into your body, inner thoughts, and feelings. This is an exercise that’s also useful to do during the day when you feel stressed and need to take time out.
Find a quiet place outside, find somewhere comfortable to sit and be still. Pretend there’s nobody else around and focus on the quiet and stillness. Instead of feeling gloomy about the clouds (and we have a lot of them in Ireland) enjoy watching them float across the sky.
Unplug just for a day
We always used to manage without social media and instant messaging, so just for a day, switch them all off and embrace a notification-free existence. It’s very freeing and you may end up wanting to do it for even longer.
Write a Gratitude List
Focusing on all of the things that you're thankful for will put a happy spring in your step. Try to think of three things every morning or evening. Or when you feel down, refocus with three things to be happy about.
Dance Like Nobody's Looking
They aren’t! Dancing is incredibly freeing, so stick on a few dance anthems or whatever makes you want to move and shake your booty. (For me it’s early 90’s music, think CnC Music Factory or Guns and Roses)
Take a walk
Have you really taken the time to explore the area you live in/ Walk around, slowly, and really notice the details. Be curious about your neighborhood. There are lots of great beaches and walking trails in Wexford. Try the new trails at Forth Mountain (lots of parking and flat(ish) areas too.
Make an appointment with a counselor
Find someone non-judgemental to talk to about your innermost thoughts; It doesn’t have to be a therapist or psychologist; it could also be a spiritual mentor.
Are you getting enough? We suspect not. Why not take a quick nap if you feel tired, or try an earlier bedtime give your body a bit more downtime? I often get asked which pillow I recommend and I always go with the Orthorest Comfort Pillow. (https://www.orthorest.com/proddetail.asp?cat=49&prod=100)
Do something new
That thing you’ve always wanted to try? Do it.
It only has to take you 10 minutes – get whatever is on your mind down in writing and out of your head.
Spend quality time with people you love
Hanging out with the people you love most in the world is good for your soul. If they're far away, give them a phone call.
Take a Full Day of Rest
You deserve it and your mind and body will thank you for it. Let go of the guilt and just do it!
Do an activity mindfully and slowly
Pick an everyday activity, like laundry, and focus on it while you’re doing it. Savor the moment, it makes dull things much more absorbing if you’re prone to zoning out.
De-clutter your life
You don’t have to do it all at once, but decluttering is very therapeutic. Start with an email inbox, work up to your desk or a closet, feel the benefits of less clutter. I just unsubscribed from a bunch of email lists and Facebook groups that no longer serve me!
Make a personal mission statement
If you don't have a personal mission statement, create one. Think about this year and what you want to do with it. Who do you want to be? Can you narrow it down to one word?
Enjoy Some Chocolate or Wine
Even better, have both…while writing your mission statement. In the bath!
Book a massage or a spa treatment!
I may have mentioned this before but taking the time to invest in yourself is a supreme act of self-care, and I think you should indulge in it as often as you can.