Reduce stress and improve your mood each day by practicing self care! So many of us spend hours and hours in various roles supporting the people around us – whether family, friends or co-workers – so finding time to care for ourselves and our bodies can feel challenging and almost impossible! That being self – self care that focuses on mental and physical health in all the different areas is SO important. Below are 10 ways to practice self care everyday:
Of course exercise is number one because this is my FAVORITE form of self care and my ultimate go to way to reduce stress. The biggest thing is finding a type of exercise you love so that you can enjoy moving your body. If you hate to run, you do not have to run — there are so many ways to get your heart rate up and grab some endorphins that will be enjoyable to you as well…try a Zumba class or go for a hike with your dog!
Sleep is one of the most underrated forms of self care. Americans get on average 6.8 hours of sleep a night and the recommended amount is 7-9. Make it a goal to track your sleep and improve the amount and quality of sleep you get each night. Sleep actually cleanses the brain during the night and removes toxins so you can think better, function better and live your whole life in a healthier way!
Guided meditations are amazing to help center yourself, relax, and calm your body after a long day. There are so many wonderful guided meditations available on Youtube at all lengths and with all themes. I love to keep them bookmarked on my phone so when I need a relaxing few minutes away from the world I have them ready to go. There are also a ton of great meditation apps you can try as well!
Positive self talk supports self esteem, self confidence, and self care. Google “positive affirmations” and scroll through the many wonderful positive sayings you can find online. I like to take my favorites, type them out on a piece of paper and tape them on my mirror, on my refrigerator, or keep in my car for a moment when I really need it. One of my favorites that I learned from a friend is: “I and love and accept myself, deeply and completely just the way I am.” Such a great message!
Our bodies take on so much physical stress everyday, whether you are sitting at a desk all day, walking through the city, typing on a keyboard or hunched over a desk. Our muscles can get tight and actually shorten from too many hours at a desk – stretching is an amazing way to show your body some LOVE. Check out my 20 minute home stretching video you can do on my Youtube >> https://youtu.be/iGqB-y2YI88.
Sometimes we just need to give ourself a little bit of relaxation and pampering time in the name of self care. When I have a hard week, having a hot bath with one of my favorite bath bombs from Lush…plus maybe a glass or wine or kombucha is exactly what I need. Don’t be afraid to take time for yourself – the more you care for yourself the more you are able to care for the people around you! #WineNight
Some people find cooking relaxing…and some people hate to cook – but taking time to eat a healthy meal is definitely I think a form of self care. Sometimes when our schedules get hectic the first thing that goes is healthy food and real meals. Self care is also about what we put INTO our bodies so take a look at your food and make sure you have plenty of clean fruits and veggies in your week.
Music can be an amazing form of therapy, and nothing makes you feel better on a bad day then listening to your favorite song! I like to make different playlists on Spotify for various moods…and next time you feel stressed find your “relaxation” playlist or “happy” playlist – put in your headphones and prepare to change your mood!
Deep breathing can actually physically change your arousal state. When we are stressed we spend an increased amount of time in our fight or flight activated state – deep breathing can help bring our nervous system back to the parasympathetic resting state. The patten of breathing that I have found most effective is inhale for 4 counts, hold for 7 counts and exhale for 8 counts very slowly. Focus especially on the exhale because that is what will help calm your state.
Different essential oils have been shown to have healing properties, stimulate brain function, and are used to relieve pain, improve mood and have many other benefits. Aromatherapy is great way to care for yourself in a holistic and natural way and improve many symptoms of stress and burnout. If you love your space to smell good, consider buying a diffuser to diffuse various scents in your home and get the benefits of essential oils and a home that smells incredible!
Let me know in the comments section below what YOUR favorite form of self care is! Let’s all encourage each other to live health, happy and positive lives.