It’s been a pretty busy summer and I have been paying close attention to my self-care needs as often as I can. One thing I notice is that self-care does not have to be a big event or expensive! Recently I wrote about ways to show up for yourself each day and practicing self-care is also an act that can be done each day.
Self-care can become an important part of your lifestyle as opposed to something that’s only done on weekends or a special occasion. Most times, when we think about self-care the image of spas, expensive vacations, or retreats may come to mind. Self-care is really a broad concept that can include taking care of much more than your physical health. The World Health Organization defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider”. Self-care can be a holistic approach that you practice individually which may also have an impact on your environment!
Here are a few ways you can practice self care even when life is busy!
Drink water: the ideal would be to have 8 glasses of water daily, however if you are busy and unable to get in as much water during the day, be sure to keep a bottle or glass with you to sip throughout the day. Sometimes, it may be helpful to get in a glass of water first thing on mornings.
Move your body: while you may not be able to get in a full workout each day, you can find brief moments to move around during the day. Here are some suggestions: take the stairs, park a bit further, get up from your chair on the hour, move your feet around while you sit, do chair yoga, take a walk after lunch, or do some spinal twists while sitting.
Rest your eyes: if you are staring at a screen for most of the day, your eyes are probably craving some rest. set a reminder during the day to close your eyes for a few seconds. If possible, give your eyes a gentle massage before bed. You can also rest your eyes during moments of prayer, contemplation, meditation, or a mindfulness practice.
Make a budget: you may not make a daily budget, however if you create a weekly budget it can influence your daily spending. Consider the financial goals you set and each day think about your purchases from the perspective of want/need and how the purchase may impact your financial goals. Some ways to save money might be to make your breakfast/lunch/dinner in advance and take your meals to work, fill up your water bottle at home before heading out, and making homemade snacks.
Create meaningful connections: each day find one person to connect with. This may be someone you live with or someone outside your home. Some ways you can stay connected to others outside your home: send a text, send an email, brief phone call, voice note, or social media message. Within your home, you can: eat a meal together and talk about your day, watch a movie or tv show, play a game, or sit in each other’s company while working on individual tasks. The goal is to not isolate or be withdrawn. Also, consider how your connection or time on social media may be impacting your relationship with others and yourself.
Pay attention to your health: set reminders to take daily medication or supplements and pay attention to your hygiene. This may also include time for exercise and attention to nutrition (you may consider reading about intuitive eating if you are interested in being more attentive and mindful about your relationship with food each day)
Sleep habits: consider creating a simple bed time and wake up routine to help you wind down and start your day feeling grounded and well. Getting enough sleep and feeling rested upon waking is an essential part of self-care and general wellbeing.
Gratitude practice: find one thing each day that you are grateful for and at the end of the week, reflect on the moments of gratitude you experienced. Gratitude is a powerful practice that can even change your brain!
I hope you can start finding simple ways to practice self-care each day and notice how paying attention to self-care impacts your quality of life!