Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others. – Christopher Germer
Self Care. Let’s talk about it. A lot of people are severely neglecting this incredibly important habit – and I’m not just talking about taking care of your appearance. I don’t really care what you look like. In fact as I type this I look quite hobo chic… minus the chic. I’m talking about self care that heals and feeds your inner being – your soul. Are you constantly stretching yourself too thin? Are you letting people walk all over you? Are you eating shitty mcbloopin sandwiches from random fast food joints just because you don’t feel confident enough to try to cook a nice lunch for yourself? We’ve all been there. I definitely find myself here quite frequently – and when I notice that my stress levels are reaching Empire State Building heights, I try to take a step back and breathe.
I’ve compiled a list of steps that I think are great for implementing a little self care into your life. Because you are worth it. Because you deserve to live the best stress-free life you can live. These tips and steps range from minimal to a little extra bit of effort. I know we all have a different definition of busy, and we all have different personalities. If you’re anything like me, when I’m stressed it’s too difficult to coax myself into driving to a park to stare at the ducks – so I’ve definitely put a few easy options for my like-minded hermits out there.
START A JOURNAL
I don’t care if you have the handwriting of a serial killer. Get a pen and a piece of paper and write it out. I like to journal in a stream of consciousness style where I don’t even think about judging my mad-woman scribbles or ill formed sentences – I just write. When you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure of what to do in a certain situation, brain dumping on one or two pages can really help.
WATCH YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE OR TV SHOW
I know. Television is not really that great for you in large doses – but I know I have a few very specific movies and tv series that cheer me up almost immediately. So escape reality for a few moments. Watch one episode. Watch a film. Feel the feelings.
EAT FOOD LIKE YOU LOVE YOURSELF
I don’t think eating junk food is a dumb idea. In fact I think it’s a little crazy town to cut out every single thing – but if you’re the type of person who hasn’t eaten a vegetable since 1999 then maybe it’s time to start looking at the food you eat as giving yourself a huge hug or a pat on the back. Food directly affects our mood and our stress levels. Trying to eat less of the bad stuff is an act of self care. Drink some herbal tea. Eat a carrot or two. Take the time to find and research healthy options that you actually enjoy eating.
CALL A GOOD FRIEND
Call that friend who unconditionally loves you. Talking it out and shooting the breeze with a loved one will brighten your spirits immensely. If you have anxiety talking on the phone with people, engage in a text conversation! Choose a person who won’t spend the whole conversation gossiping or zapping your energy levels down.
TAKE A HOT BATH OR SHOWER
Take some candles. Your essential oils. Your favorite podcast. Decompress. I know some people seem to be passionately against baths so I included the shower option. Deep breathing and hot water can help calm your anxiety.
CLEAN YOUR SPACE
I’m extremely unorganized and I know when I am trying to relax among piles of my laundry and old coffee cups it’s almost impossible to unwind. Set a timer. Put on some happy music. Straighten up as much as you can. Make your bed. Open a window. Light some incense, run your diffuser. Make your space feel better.
This one is so incredibly important. If you can do it for five minutes a day even you will see amazing improvement in your stress levels. It’s an instant stress reliever and a good tool to use to ease anxiety. I would start out with guided meditations. There are plenty of awesome ones on YouTube.
If this sounds impossible, try some of the ten to fifteen minute flows all over YouTube. Yoga and stretching can help you feel more in tune with your body and it can set your mind at ease.
LEARN TO SAY NO
There comes a point when you have to start taking care of yourself by not stretching yourself too thin. Do not over schedule yourself. Don’t give so much that you are left without any energy or effort to spend on your own well being. Don’t let people say harsh, uncalled for things about you or to you. Stand your ground. Incredibly important. Your self-esteem will plummet if you can’t even have your own back.
TAKE YOURSELF ON A DATE
Get outside. Go to a coffee shop. Go to an art museum. Take that cooking class. Take that spin class. Go rock climbing. Go to a petting zoo. Take your dog for a walk. Look at the stars, the clouds, the moon. Go window shopping. Get your hair done. Buy a new journal and write in it. Think of a thing that lights you up and go do that!
I know that we are all busy people – but implementing self care into your life is CRUCIAL. Some of these things can take as little as five minutes to complete – and if that seems to daunting, maybe start with a few deep breathes. I hope this serves you and I hope you know that you are a beautiful soul that is worthy of self care. ❤