13 Self-Care Tips That Are Actually About Self-Care
An unfortunate fact of life: expect to feel some level of stress every day. With so much out of our control, we don’t always know how to deal with that uncertainty. Throw in the myriad of pressures brought on by this new age of social media, and you’ve got a recipe for a mental breakdown. So, it’s no wonder why self-care, which has been around forever, has turned into something of a movement, especially among millennials.
With life’s ever-increasing demands, a moment of zen just won’t cut it. Today’s solution to decompress is self-care, and it’s not just a trend. Negative vibes from stress or anything bogging you down affects the way you carry yourself and how you interact with others. But so do positive vibes. We all know someone whose chill demeanor puts us at ease. Incorporating self-care into your daily life can help you become that person, for yourself and those around you.
What Self-Care Is (and What it Isn’t)
In a nutshell, self-care is whatever you want it to be, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Self-care is meant to be a stress reliever; a way to recharge and find peace of mind. Self-care practices have different health benefits including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. People are always talking about “holistic health,” and self-care is crucial for maintaining your overall well-being. It’s all about balance.
What self-care definitely isn’t: selfish. Nor is it something you should feel like you have to do in order to feel better. If anything you do in the name of self-care leaves you feeling depleted or over-exerted, then self-care it is not. The goal is to improve your well-being. On the opposite end of the spectrum, getting some R&R shouldn’t be confused with being idle (not that you would!).
To do anything to the best of your ability means knowing your limits. Helping others is pretty much impossible if you’re running on empty. Self-care is a healthy practice, not a guilty pleasure.
13 Self-Care Tips
Need some self-care inspo? Here’s a list of simple self-care ideas anyone can try and start doing anytime:
1. TURN UP (OR DOWN)
This self-care tip is pretty simple: let out some steam, but do it the way you want to. Like to turn up? Go to a spin class or another form of cardio and enjoy a good sweat sesh. Want to turn down? Hit the mat and go to yoga instead. Meditate for a bit before bed while you’re at it. Find an outlet that works for you and make it a habit.
2. SAY “SPAHHH”
Unwind with a soothing and relaxing day at the spa. Go in for a quick massage or stay and enjoy the works. Plus, you can do a spa day in different ways. Try going to an onsen, a Japanese bath house, and give your experience that added layer of discovery.
3. CATCH SOME ZZZs
A number of studies have shown that the average person is underslept and (silently) suffering in a number of a ways because of it. Giving yourself a non-negotiable window for sleep, especially after years of a wonky sleep schedule, can be difficult. For all our moms out there, we know this can be even more challenging. But did you know there’s no such thing as trying to “catch up” on sleep? That’s why it’s so important to give yourself every opportunity to get at least 8 hours of sleep. Your mind and body will thank you.
4. QUIET TIME
It’s basically putting yourself on time-out, but far from a punishment. Whenever you can, go to your favorite comfy spot (ooh, that lounger by the window looks nice), and simply just be. Light some aromatic candles, maybe put on some ambient music, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Do this for about 15-20 minutes. Use this little break to clear your mind or reflect on something occupying your mind. In such a noisy world (BTW, quiet time is a phone-free zone!), we easily forget how refreshing peace and quiet can be.
5. GET WRITING
Journaling is underrated if you ask us, and writing letters too. Now that we’re living in such a digital age, something about writing things down has become novel. Journaling or writing a friend is a great way to slow down and really think through your thoughts, letting them trickle onto the paper. No need to write anything lengthy or Nobel Prize-worthy. This is about you, remember – self-care. So write what comes to mind and let go of stress with every word.
6. TREAT YOURSELF
When it comes to self-care ideas, this is an obvious one. There’s really no right or wrong way to treat yourself, but in this case, we’re talking about actual treatments. Schedule a mani-pedi, hair appointment, facial, or something that makes you feel pampered. Indulge in a little retail therapy, too and enjoy that “Christmas morning” feeling as you dig into your new buys at home.
7. GO OUTSIDE
Even if you’re not the outdoorsy type, fresh air does a body good. Try to go on a walk daily, even for 5 minutes. Make some time to go on a scenic hike and explore new surroundings. Can’t get away? Give gardening a try! There’s no substitute for TLC from Mother Nature and her power works wonders.
8. GET COOKING
A lot of hands-on activities can be therapeutic, especially cooking. Find a healthy recipe you’ve been wanting to try and whip it up. The whole process of shopping for each ingredient and turning them into a gourmet meal from scratch is enough to make anyone feel accomplished. Plus, you get to enjoy the finished product! If you’re feeling really motivated, try meal prepping for the week. Bon appetit!
9. MAKE PLANS
Can’t remember the last time you took a vacation? Might be time to change that. Everyone’s allowed time off, so take it! Whether it’s a quick weekend getaway or a faraway adventure, start dreaming up your next escape and book it.
10. DRINK UP
Grab a drink or coffee, tea, whatever … and catch up with a friend. People are so busy these days that we often sacrifice spending good, quality time with our inner circle. Try to set up a recurring date to meet up so you don’t have to worry about finding time.
If you have the opposite problem and need a break from your crew, enjoy your sips solo. Alone time doesn’t have to be quiet. This could be a great chance to crack open up your journal or sketch pad and do a little people watching in between.
11. SAY NO
FOMO is an epidemic. Full stop. We’re so quick to say yes to invites that we don’t realize we’re doing too much until it’s time to do it all! Saying “no” is liberating when you decide to do something you actually want to do as opposed to something that would have felt more like an obligation.
12. GET CHECKED
Start booking those eye exams, pap smears, dental cleanings, therapy sessions, etc. To really see the benefits of self-care practices, you need to take a well-rounded approach. A busy lifestyle shouldn’t be an excuse to overlook your physical and mental health. Plus, if work is what’s stressing you out, the last thing you’d want to deal with is taking a poorly-timed sick day, or worse, trying to power through pain or sickness (not advised!). If you tend to put these appointments off, tsk-tsk. Routine check-ups and preventative care is a must. True&Co.’s orders.
13. GO SHOPPING
Work-life balance is a big deal to us at True&Co. As a team of mostly women, with home lives as busy as the office, we believe that investing in yourself results in a win-win for everyone. Part of that investment involves your wardrobe.
Buying clothes, especially bras and underwear, that you feel good in and even look forward to wearing is a form of self-care. When something as simple as the right bra makes you feel comfortable in your own skin, that boost in confidence and self-esteem shows. Sounds trite, but we’re 100% serious. In a ModCloth survey, 90% of their customers agreed that what you wear can affect how you feel. We agree, and so does science!
The best thing about self-care is that it’s a way to improve your health by doing the things you love. The hard part is finding the time to practice it. Whether it’s a bubble bath or a yoga retreat, self-care is recognizing your own needs and taking the time to fulfill them. Sometimes that means spending less time on something else. Self care = loving yourself. Instead of spreading yourself thin, start spreading the love!