Over the past year or so, whenever the word “self care” enters my personal sphere–which, over the past year, has been an unsettling amount of times–I can’t help but roll my eyes a little bit. I don’t mind it, in theory! It’s just that “self care,” in most of its present-day iterations, often seems to be code for “forgo all of your professional and personal duties in favor of sitting on a couch in a face mask and watching Netflix,” which beyond being a little bit irresponsible and a lot bit rude to any friends and family that one might have, is, on a practical level, hardly even feasible for most people. (Plus, the tangible benefits forgoing all of your professional and personal duties in favor of sitting on a couch in a face mask and watching Netflix? Negligible, IMO!)
Still, just because the idea of “self care” has become irritating in theory, this doesn’t mean that many of its components can’t be useful in practice. Self care has become ubiquitous for a reason, and that is because, you know, taking care of yourself is not a bad thing to do. It just needs a new name! So, while we think of a new one (perhaps you have some ideas?) check out these little things that will help make it a little easier to take care of yourself every day:
1. Give yourself a mantra:
It doesn’t have to be any of these ones. But if there’s a particular phrase or word that you feel helps to ground you and make you feel more calm, use that–if you say it to yourself or write it down, it could help with a lot of things.
2. Devote a day to self care:
Again, you absolutely do not have to do every single thing on this list. (It’s a lot to get through!) But, if you decided to devote, say, one or two days a month to taking care of yourself, and make sure that you stick to it, you might be surprised by just how much your “you time” benefits you throughout the rest of the week.
3. Try to be proactive about taking care of yourself every day:
Not everyone can take a three-hour Epsom salt bath every single day, but it’s important to keep track of the little things you can do every day to make your life better, like drinking water and getting an adequate amount of sleep every night. You shouldn’t beat yourself up if those things don’t happen–we all get dehydrated and sleep deprived from time to time–but thinking about them as part of your daily routine could help make each day a little better.
4. Make traditional self care duties more fun for yourself:
So, you’ve heard you have to do certain things to make your life better–drinking more water, exercising, having clean laundry, etc.–but maybe you don’t like the idea of doing, like, any of that. No worries! You can make it easier for yourself. Don’t like water? Try adding fruit and other things to it to make it taste better. Don’t like exercising? Try to take walks. Know you’re not going to do laundry enough to switch out your sheets every week? Buy a few spare sets.
5. Try a self care “challenge:”
You would be forgiven for thinking that “self care challenge” seems a little bit like an oxymoron. But if you happen to be a goal-oriented, competitive person, it could be just the thing you need –basically, if you like making to do lists and crossing things off said to do list, you’ll probably like doing a self care challenge.
6. Don’t be afraid to be a little selfish on bad days:
Having a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day? Don’t feel like you have to brave it out. You’ll probably feel better in the long run if you wallow for a little bit rather than trying to force yourself to be productive.
7. Start your day off right:
If you devote, say, ten minutes every morning towards some sort of self care ritual (which, again, does not have to be the exact one that you see above) you’ll have a happier and more productive day than you might otherwise.
8. Keep track of the things you like to do in a journal:
If you’re into bullet journals and planners, you can try writing down the things that make you happy each day. This way, if you’re ever feeling a little down, you can just refer to the page and pick out something to do.
9. Do some lazy yoga:
Even if you’re not into yoga or exercise, these poses require very little effort and can be a great way to calm down at the beginning, end, or middle of a day.
10. And try doing yoga before bed, too:
If you find that you often have trouble sleeping, doing some calming yoga poses before you climb into bed can relax you and make it easier to fall asleep faster, thus making your next day feel a lot less stressful.
11. Remember that there’s no right or wrong way to take care of yourself:
Basically, if it makes you happy, you should do it. You know yourself the best, so you do you the best.
What do you think of these tips? Do you have any other ones to share? Let us know in the comments!