Many people neglect their self-care and it is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. We often find it selfish to take time for ourselves when we have busy work schedules, families to take care of, and fitting in the social life on top of that. I’m here to tell you that it is anything but selfish. It is so important that you make yourself a priority and having a list of self-care ideas will arm you with the tools you need to lead a happy life.
“You cannot pour from an empty cup.”
Similar to how we recharge our phones when they drain, we need to recharge our bodies. Self-care does not need to be complicated, and it will improve your mental health. If you are happier and aligned, you will be more focused and organized to deal with the crazy that life throws our way.
Here are 10 Self-Care Ideas for a Happier Life:
1.) Wake up 10 minutes before your alarm and take the time to journal.
Journaling is a powerful tool to organize your thoughts. Journaling in the morning allows you to dump anything that may be bothering you. When you do this first thing in the morning, you can move through your day more refreshed. Set a timer and write freely. By the time you’re done, you can read it back or let it sit and simmer.
This practice will not only make you lighter, but it will also start your day off on the right foot.
2.) Take a bath before bed.
From morning to night we are constantly on the go and if you’re anything like me, you might have trouble falling asleep or have bouts of insomnia. A relaxing bath before bed is a great remedy.
First, get rid of any distractions. Put your phone in a different room, have your spouse take care of the kids for this time, and allot the time you need to relax. Even if it is 10-15 minutes, it will help.
Set the mood for relaxation. I like to use Epsom salts and essential oils in my bath. Epsom salts are great for tired muscles and essential oils such as Lavender and Chamomile have relaxing properties.
3.) Take a walk.
Walking is one of the best forms of exercise. It’s low impact, can be done pretty much anywhere and it gets you out into the world. You also get the ability to choose how long you walk for. This self-care idea fits in really well with busy schedules.
Take 30 minutes during your lunch hour to get out and walk. 30 minutes is also all you need to reap the cardiovascular benefits of walking.
However, you choose to walk, make sure to stay present and enjoy your surroundings.
4.) Incorporate a weekly beauty routine.
There’s a reason why we long for spa and pampering days. We feel so zen after a massage or a facial. While we can’t always take the time to get weekly massages (I wish!), a weekly at-home spa day is completely doable.
Pick a time where you won’t be disturbed. Get in comfy PJs, slap on your favorite face mask, and put on your favorite Netflix show. Add in a glass of wine for an ultimate pampering time. My favorite mask is the Aztec healing clay combined with a drop of tea tree oil or lemon essential oil. It’s so invigorating and will leave you with clear, smooth skin!
5.) Take 30 minutes for a hobby you love.
Hobbies are a great way to unwind. You have fun while doing the thing you’re passionate about. I love arts and crafts for my self care time because I find it to be relaxing and meditative. Crocheting is my go to.
There is no rule to what works, just what works for you. Maybe you like to draw or you like to bake. Reward yourself with something you love to do. Research shows that people who have hobbies suffer less from low mood and depression. Hobby away!
6.) Eat your favorite food guilt-free.
Self-care time does not have to be healthy time! If you want that piece of chocolate you’ve been eying, do it! Life is short to deprive yourself of things that make you happy. Moderation is the key.
I’m not ashamed to admit I love eating nachos during my me time. There is nothing like a bowl of comfort food, right?
7.) Read a book.
Reading is one of the ultimate ways to block out the world and escape into another one. While many of us listen to books on audio or read on our electronic devices, try reading a book you can hold. There is just something about turning a page.
It’s also better for your eyes and gives you a break from the digital world.
8.) Meditate for 15 minutes.
Meditation is a great way to center yourself and find inner peace. This is especially helpful if you’re like me and get easily distracted and/or have insomnia. Some people think meditation is a difficult practice, but it’s actually pretty simple.
You don’t have to shut your mind off. Instead take 15 minutes to sit or walk in silence. Focus on what thoughts you have and decide if you want to pursue the line of thinking or discard the thoughts. This will help you be more present with your thoughts and guide the flow of your thinking.
Meditating helps reduce negative thinking, increases creativity and gives you perspective on things that may be bothering you.
9.) Write kind notes to yourself.
We are often our harshest critics and the things we think to ourselves we would never dare say to another person. So why not write kind notes to yourself? Self-love is one of the best self-care ideas.
Write 5 things that you think is awesome about you. You can be as detailed or brief as you want. Hang these notes up where you’ll see them for motivation. Writing and visually self kindness will make it easier for you to believe in yourself. It might seem weird at first, but give it a try and see what happens.
10.) Treat yourself.
Sometimes we just need a splurge. You work hard, raise a family and are busy taking care of everyone else to think about what you need. Treating yourself can be as simple as a dessert from your favorite restaurant, or a extravagant shopping trip. Whatever makes you happy and won’t break the bank, do it! It might be momentary happiness, but it just might make your day.
You don’t have to do all of these at once to reap the benefits. Start with one self-care idea a week and go from there!