Self-care has become such a buzzword lately, but I feel like it’s something we’re being forced to do at this point. How good do you really feel after going through the motions—put on a face mask, binge Netflix—and then bam! You’re supposed to feel better? I don’t think self-care should be these quick fixes of dopamine hits. Self-care should be a lifestyle. We should always be taking care of ourselves!
As we’re globally combatting COVID-19 and practicing social distancing, I want to make sure the self-care I practice actually benefits me. I did some research and learned there are different types of self-care. This has really opened my eyes to how I take care of myself and destress way better. I came to understand why I chose the methods I did and what part of me those activities helped nourish. I’ve grouped up my best self-care tips into categories: physical/intellectual, emotional, and spiritual/sensory, and compiled a list of 28 ways to mindfully practice self-care.
This type of self-care focuses on taking care of your body and mind. Activities that help your physical wellbeing and help stimulate your intellect or expand your knowledge.
- Yoga — a few deep stretches can ground you! Think about the movements and how they’re making you feel.
- Walk — stretch your legs, step outside (briefly & with a face mask!), and get some fresh air.
- Fuel your body with nourishing snacks — fruits, veggies, a smoothie… yum! Here’s one of my favorite go-to snacks!
- Get lost in a book — read something that motivates you, inspires you, or teaches you. One book that always touches my soul is The Alchemist.
- Watch a documentary — sure binging your favorite sitcom is an easy way to pass the time, but immersing yourself in a documentary helps open your world a little more, and Netflix has a fantastic selection!
- Work on a puzzle — any kind! A crossword, jigsaw, sudoku, etc.
- Take a power nap — listen to your body. If it’s lethargic and drained, sometimes resting is the best fix.
- Take a hot bath — throw in some epsom salt or a few drops of essential oil and feel the stress seep out your pores.
- Pamper yourself — do a face mask or paint your nails, and focus on how that’s helping you relax. Don’t just do it to do it because it’s on every self-care list. Do it because it makes you feel better!
- Drink water — staying hydrated keeps both your body and mind alert!
When is the last time you really checked in with yourself? Have you been mindful towards your feelings? Do you pay attention to what triggers your emotions vs. what nourishes your soul? These activities should help you reflect and reconnect with yourself.
- Journal — let it all out with a pen and some paper. You have a voice and it matters, even if it’s just in your journal.
- Practice mindfulness — how are you speaking to yourself? Are you speaking kindly to yourself? Are you remembering to be proud of yourself and how far you’ve come? Don’t forget to uplift yourself!
- Get creative — express yourself through your art whatever it may be. Painting, photography, design, music, etc.
- Call someone you miss and catch up — they probably miss you too.
- Turn off social media — a digital detox is the best medicine.
- Tell yourself positive affirmations — look in the mirror and speak to yourself as you would your best friend.
- Accept your feelings — your feelings are valid. Remember this! If you need to have a cry, then do so, it’s healthy. But remember to bounce back after. 🙂
Don’t forget that a large piece of self-care includes nourishing your soul and inner peace. Focus on the sensations around you and try to really feel them. Get back in touch with your values and what really matters to you. I’ve personally found in this time of uncertainty, I care more about giving back and helping my community. I’m more and more grateful each morning I can open my eyes and freely breathe.
- Light a candle — enjoy the ambiance and let the smells calm you.
- Listen to uplifting or soothing music — create a playlist that puts you in a good mood!
- Find ways to give back — there are so many ways to volunteer during quarantine! Do you have a skill you’re good at like writing? Volunteer to tutor students with their essays for free! Do you have elderly neighbors? Volunteer to help pick up their groceries next time you do a food run.
- Meditate — get in tune with your soul.
- Practice gratitude — when is the last time you truly listed out what you’re grateful for? Are you able to read this? Did you eat today? Do you have clean, running water? Are you able to call loved ones whenever you want?
- Do five minutes of focused breathing — close your eyes and inhale for 3 seconds, hold for 6 seconds, then exhale through your mouth for 6 seconds.
- Pray — this one may not be for everyone, but it doesn’t hurt to try!
What are you favorite ways to practice self-care?