Is your search for Instagram-worthy self-care making you more stressed? We can relate. But making self-care part of your daily habits doesn’t have to be as unique as social media might make it seem.
So, instead of stressing about what self-care practices to take up, look at the rituals you already conduct as a way to care for your mind, body and spirit. After all, self-care is all about self, meaning our practices should have a more individualized approach to meet our specific needs.
Up ahead, find some of the most overlooked self-care rituals you probably already practice (or can easily start).
Read a Book: If you love to read, this self-care practice is likely part of your daily (or, at least, weekly) ritual. There is nothing like picking up a good book and escaping into a new world, away from our screens and the noise of our busy lives. For those looking to make reading more of an everyday self-care practice, Courtney Elmer, a stress expert and lifestyle strategist, recommends reading 10 pages of a good book every day. “The average book is 200 pages. If you read 10 pages 365 days a year [that’s] almost two books a month,” she notes. “Imagine what you’ll learn from this simple practice, plus reading is relaxing and nourishing.”
Spend Time Outdoors: Being outside is a great way to ground yourself in nature. And, it doesn’t take much commitment. Whether it be something short and sweet like walking to get the mail or a bigger commitment like watering the garden or going for a hike, make a point to spend time with Mother Nature as often as you can. Breathing in the fresh air and listening to the sounds of wind and birds can feel quite peaceful and research shows a connection between the outdoors and reduced stress, anxiety and depression.
Practice Gratitude: Taking a moment to feel grateful might already be something you do on the regular. But it doesn’t have to be as big of a commitment as journals and other techniques make it seem. Instead of writing in a gratitude journal, Elmer says to create gratitude time. “One of the biggest complaints I hear from people is that they struggle to stay present [and] live in the moment. A simple remedy is to create a new phone alarm and edit the text to read ‘What am I grateful for right now?’ When it goes off, send up some gratitude for whatever is in front of you,” she explains.
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What color gradient would you choose for your rose? Orange to pink or yellow? Purple to blue? Red to orange? Grey to white? I can think of so many pretty combinations! It would also be nice to make the outer layer of the rose super thick and fluffy by using 12 strands of thread! 🥰 (🎵Jeff Kaale – Blue Window)
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Revel in Your Hobbies: Many of us have hobbies we like to participate in. Whether your hobby is a physical activity like an adult soccer league, or you prefer to spend your downtime working on a new sewing project, find time for your hobbies — even if it is just 30 minutes a week. Focusing your mind on activities you love outside of your work and family responsibilities is a great way to unwind and give yourself a mental reset. And, if you don’t have any current hobbies, take the plunge and try something you have always wanted to do — whether that be learning to play the guitar, writing poetry or something sweat-inducing like kickboxing.
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#tbt don’t know about you but it’s been mad bumpy lately. all I know is that we’re all in this together and We Got This. 💚 Let’s keep pushing. We can do this. Our emotions are valid, and whatever we are feeling today, embrace it. It’s not always sunny. let’s just be super grateful for life and having another chance to wake up again today. Love you #YouGotThis ❤️❤️❤️
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Listen to Positive Music: You might already listen to music in your car on your morning commute or while running errands throughout the day. But, when it comes to self-care, the type of music you listen to matters. To boost your happiness, Jeanny Chai, a coach and founder of Bamboo Myth recommends “listening to positive music” like your favorite uplifting pop song or a tune that makes you want to dance. Jamming out (and perhaps singing them at the top of your lungs, too) can instantly put you in a good mood and help take you out of your head for a moment — music is a proven stress reliever.
Eat Lunch: You likely already eat lunch daily, but do you actually take the time to eat it? Or, are you shoveling food into your mouth while rushing to your next meeting? “Take out an hour each day for lunch and for dinner,” recommends Chai. “Never eat on the run [or] during a meeting — we need regular rest and refueling to be our best mentally, physically and emotionally.” If you don’t have an hour to spare, take a half hour of uninterrupted time to recharge and fuel your body for the remainder of the day. And be mindful of your surroundings. Avoid eating in front of a computer and put your phone away for the duration of your meal. Doing so will allow you to truly enjoy your food and not overeat and the stillness that comes with taking a break for yourself.
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Sorry I’ve been so low key lately. I’ve been too busy drinking my water and minding my business 😂⠀ ⠀ Well, this @healthishco water bottle 💦 definitely has been keeping my water intake together, but I’m kind of kidding at the minding my business part. ⠀ ⠀ This is a picture of me in my natural element, people watching 👀 , as a guy talks up to everyone spewing nonsense at them. Y’all see me trying to play it cool with this smirk? 🤦🏾♀️⠀ ⠀ #healthishco #stayhydrated #healthish
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Drink Water: When we think of trendy self-care rituals, water isn’t typically at the top of our list. However, drinking it and making sure we consume enough is an excellent way to ensure self-care. Not only does water hydrate from the inside out, but it can also help reduce headaches, improve your immune system and increase energy levels. If you tend to slip up on your water intake, consider tracking your glasses via an app such as the Daily Water Tracker Reminder, keeping a reusable water bottle with time markings on your desk, or simply keeping a tally on your daily planner.
Meal Prep: Doesn’t everything feel a little better if you are prepared? That is how we feel about our weekly meals. Whether you cook ahead of time or simply plan out your meals by stocking up on the necessary ingredients, being more prepared with your food allows you to make healthier choices and feel less stressed when you don’t have time to stop at the store after work or don’t feel like cooking after a hectic day. On top of that, actually having the time to cook (aka, setting aside time for meal prepping) can be a form of self-care in and of itself. After all, cooking is time you spend away from your phone, investing in yourself.
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