In its most basic sense, self-care is about taking care of your own mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being before taking care of someone else. It's not a one-size-fits-all approach; it's about taking the time to nurture yourself, making yourself a priority. Do something your future self will thank you for!
Here are five easy ways to exercise self-care on a daily basis.
1. Start each day with gratitude and give thanks
With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. You can practice gratitude by making a list of things that you are thankful or grateful for, adding one item per day; or you may choose to spend a few minutes when you wake up to think of something that you are thankful for. Whatever you choose, this practice will put you in a positive emotional space. Done daily, you’ll notice over time that it’s not the individual items that you reflect on that have an impact, but the cumulative effect of the things and/or moments you give thanks for! At a minimum it means that every day you will spend time reflecting on the positive things happening around you.
2. Wake up early to create your daily to-do list
Do you feel a sense of accomplishment when you check an item off your to-do list? If you answered yes, then this one's for you! A daily to-do list can create a sense of purpose for the day, as well as accountability. Make a list of 3-5 items you'd like to achieve. Review it throughout the day to measure your progress. You may be surprised by how much more productive you are.
3. Speak affirmations
An affirmation is a small but powerful tool that, when used consistently, can provide a positive boost to your mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. At its core, an affirmation is a short, positive statement that can be used to rewire your thoughts to promote self-confidence and positive outcomes. The power of affirmations lies in repeating them to yourself often and actually believing in them. What better way to start your day than by standing in the mirror and saying "I am beautiful and radiate with light from within?"
4. Take time to breathe
Sometimes taking 15-30 seconds to close your eyes and inhale a few deep breaths is enough to reset your thoughts, calm your nerves and clear your mind. Couple this with relaxing essential oils such as lavender or ylang ylang to maximize the effect and elevate your calm! If you need a more guided breathing practice, there are several apps available to help get you started, such as Breathe (free on the Apple App Store) or Prana Breath: Calm & Meditate (free on Google Play Store).
5. Go to bed early
One of the easiest ways to practice self-care is to prioritize sleep. Most adults require 6-8 hours of sleep per night, but few adults actually get enough sleep. Turn off the tv, put your phone on do not disturb and aim to go to bed an hour early. You will feel more refreshed in the morning and able to start your day more productive. You may even be able to wake up early to create your daily to-do list! Get them ZZZs!
These are simple ways to practice self-care that can have a major impact and your future self will thank you! Comment below with your favorite ways to practice self-care.