Mmmm Self Care. A phrase that makes some squirm with discomfort and others sigh with feelings of joy, relief and contentment.
Each persons definition of “Self Care” can vary, but regardless, it is something that we really can’t live without.
Self Care not only helps us to reduce stress and anxiety but can also promote greater happiness by giving our bodies time to refresh, re-energise and recover during the week. This in turn, enables us to perform at our optimum each and every day.
Given our busy schedules, it can sometimes be easier to convince ourselves that we’re “fine”, that we don’t have time for self-care, or that we’re “superhuman”. Yet, it’s during these times that we often need self-care the most.
Despite what some may think, self-care is not an act of being “selfish” or neglecting family or other responsibilities. Nor should you feel guilty about taking some time out to spoil yourself.
Self-care is about looking after yourself and your well-being in the right way so you can perform at your best in all areas of your life.
It also helps to ensure that your internal resources aren’t depleted so you have the energy to reach out and help others when in need.
“You can’t pour from an empty cup!”
Whether you’re in need of some physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual or social love and nurturing, or even just something that stimulates your senses, there are many different self-care ideas you can try.
The main thing I suggest is to strive for a balance between all 6 types of Self Care.
1. Self-Care Ideas for Your Senses
Humans are extremely sensual beings.
It’s amazing how powerful certain smells, sounds, tastes or sights can be, especially when it comes to impacting how we feel emotionally. They can even trigger certain memories which impact how we perceive the world around us.
Indulging your senses and pampering yourself from time to time is an important self-care strategy to promote relaxation and reduce your stress and anxiety levels.
It can also help you to live in the present, instead of constantly worrying about the future or the past.
Here are some self-care ideas to treat your senses:
Touch, warmth & comfort
- Enjoy a peaceful bath with candles, essential oils, calming music and even some Epsom Salts (which can help to reduce muscle tension).
- Visit a Sauna or enjoy a relaxing spa session
- Get a massage or facial. Or even invest your time in doing a DIY face mask or painting your nails.
- Go shopping and buy something you look f.a.b.u.l.o.u.s in
- Treat yo’self with something delicious! – Maybe some chocolate, ice cream or a cheeky glass of wine to satisfy your palate
- Enjoy a cosy mug of herbal tea – Chamomile tea, Peppermint tea or tea with Lavender can be some great options
- Burn your favourite candle, incense or essential oils
- Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers to light up your room
- Turn off the lights in your room, and watch your Himalayan Salt Lamp flicker graciously in the background.
- Go on a walk in a national or local park and enjoy breathing in some fresh air as you observe all the beautiful nature and animals around you.
- Watch your favourite movie
- Listen to a song you love. Sing and dance along in the car even if someone spots you whilst stopped at the traffic lights – Yes, we’ve all been there!!
If you’d like to gain insight into some other daily habits that can help you to live a more organised, productive and happy life, ensure to download your FREE Daily Happiness Checklist by entering your details below:
2. Self-Care to Deal With Emotions
As humans, we naturally experience a large spectrum of emotions.
This is why it’s important to take the time to listen to and become aware of what’s going on in your head and what emotions you’re feeling. This is key for general health and well-being.
By identifying your triggers and tuning in to your emotions, you will gain great insight into what makes you sad, angry, anxious and happy.
It’s never healthy to bottle up your emotions – trust me I know! This used to be my strategy… But, I can tell you now, it’s not healthy and doesn’t work long-term.
Here are some Self Care Ideas to help you healthily cope with your emotions and reduce stress and anxiety levels:
Spread Happy Vibes
- Get started with Meditation or Yoga.
Learn how to meditate for even just 5 minutes a day.
- Stretch your body to help relieve built up muscle tension
- Become more mindful and learn how to practice mindfulness throughout your day.
- Try to focus on the positive.
Adopting a positive mindset and engaging in positive self-talk rather than focusing on the negative can have amazing benefits for your mental health and wellbeing, and help to overcome limiting beliefs.
- Clean and declutter your house
There’s nothing better than a good cleanse and the smell of cleanliness. It will also help you to feel in greater control of your life.
- Sing and dance along to your favourite song with no cares in the world!
Rid Yourself of Negative Energy
- Release emotions through creative activities and hobbies (Eg. Art, Cooking, Singing or Playing a musical instrument)
- Get into writing.
Some people find writing in a journal can with their ability to express what they’re feeling or thinking. Get it out of your head and on paper! This will help to put things into perspective and understand what’s really going on.
- Go for a walk to get some fresh air
- Create a safe haven like a meditation room, where you can let go and relax.
- Engage in regular exercise to release negative emotions and release endorphins.
- Watch a sad movie and cry it all out
- Learn to say no
It’s ok to say no to people sometimes. Saying yes to everything requested if you will only result in additional stress or burn out. If your initial response to something isn’t “Hell yeah!”, then say no.
“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”– Eleanor Brownn
3. Self-Care for Your Mind
In addition to looking after our bodies, we need to look after our mind too. Find things that you enjoy doing and that are mentally stimulating.
This is not your work. I am referring to other hobbies or activities that you like doing outside of your 9-5.
This type of self-care is all about learning new things, developing your skill-set, finding your passions and expanding your knowledge.
Here are some self-care ideas you can look into:
- Watch a documentary or informative Netflix Series
- Write out your 5-year goals. Take time to think about you, your life purpose and your needs. Consider where you want to be and what you need to put in place to get there.
- Complete a Sudoku, puzzle or brain teaser
- Read a book
- Start learning a new language or skill
- Take a course on a topic of interest. It could be for personal or professional development.
On the topic of courses, I actually offer a FREE Meditation for Beginners eCourse to help get beginners started with Mindfulness Meditation – If interested, you can sign up for the Meditation course here.
4. Self-Care for Your Body
This is probably the most commonly promoted type of self-care in our communities.
Whether it’s eating a healthy and balanced diet or exercising throughout the week, caring for your body in the right ways is important for proper functioning and long-term vitality.
Our bodies are like machines and we’re only given ONE! This is why you must fuel it with the right things, so it can perform at its best.
To prevent procrastination, find something that you enjoy and that works for your routine. This will ensure that you don’t see it as a burden every time you need to do it.
Here are some Self-care ideas you can incorporate into your daily routine:
- Get your 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
If this requires going to bed earlier than normal, good! Aim to get the right amount of sleep every night and your body will love you and you’ll feel more rested and rejuvenated.
- Eat a balanced diet containing lots of lean meats, fruits, nuts and vegetables.
- Reduce the amounts of sugar, coffee and alcohol you consume on a daily basis.
- Aim to drink 8 glasses of water each day
- Start group fitness, Yoga or Pilates classes
- If you’re not very self-motivated get a personal trainer (PT). They’ll help to get you back in shape.
- Start social dance classes
- Get your hair done
- Paint your nails
- Look after your skin with relevant cleansers, moisturisers, exfoliants and sunscreen.
- If you can’t fit it in before or after work, go for a walk or run during your lunch break
5. Self- Care for Your Soul
Nourish your soul by becoming more spiritual, finding inner peace and meaning in life, identifying your true purpose, and developing an awareness of things and people around you.
Many assume that being spiritual means you need to be “religious”. But that’s not true.
Sure, some may use religion as their spiritual outlet, but there are many other activities you can try if you’re not into that kind of thing.
Here are some Self-Care ideas to help you nurture your soul:
- Practice Mindfulness meditation daily – even if it’s just for 5 minutes.
- Volunteer or donate to a charity you love and support
- Express gratitude daily, or at least once a week.
- Get out in nature. Go hiking! Or even just a casual walk in a nearby park.
- Appeal to your sense of adventure – try something you haven’t done before.
- If religious, you may like to engage in prayer
- Unplug from Social Media for 24 hours
6. Self-Care for Your Inner Social Butterfly
As humans, we naturally crave a sense of belonging and social connection with friends and family.
This is why it’s so important to surround yourself with a strong support system of friends and family who you trust and who make you feel good about yourself, exactly as you are.
Develop positive relationships with people who encourage you to be the best version of yourself and cut those who don’t.
Toxic people should have absolutely no room in your life. They not only suck your energy but will deliberately try to put you down. These people have to go and yes that does mean gradually distancing yourself which can be hard at times.
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, here are some self-care ideas to help you satisfy your inner social butterfly:
- Catch up with a close friend for a coffee and have a laugh
- Join social groups or communities that share similar interests and that encourage you to meet new people
- Volunteer and help others in need
- Play with your pets. It’s amazing how happy our furry friends can make us feel.
- Spend more time with family and loved ones
Ok, so you should now be equipped with some great self-care ideas to help reduce stress and anxiety symptoms and encourage you to live a happier and more balanced lifestyle.
I’s recommend scrolling back through the lists again and write down any self-care ideas that would work well with your routine and lifestyle.
“Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean me first, it means me too.” – L.R Knost