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Self-care

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Do you remember when you were small how you were immersed in your own world?

You could spend all the time you want for yourself, doing what you love.

But as you welcomed adulthood, you often get caught in the hurry burry of life and forget to give yourself the importance you deserve. 

It is only when you experience a break down you get a wake-up call and think about yourself. People are busier than ever, and the importance of self-care activities is a trending topic these days and rightfully so.

But self-care is not something you do because it is trending.  You do it because you love and care for yourself and it must be made a way of life. 

I hear you. You don’t have time.

It’s true. You may have more pressing matters. If your boss demands you to work overtime, the first thing you would skip is yoga class or you compromise on your family time.

 I have learned that the only way to get anything done is to make it a priority. Write it down. Put it somewhere you can see every day so that you feel obliged. 

You need to implement self-care in all areas of life to maintain a balance. To know more, you can read this article on what self-care is and the different areas of life you should implement self-care.

Here are some self-care ideas you can implement in your life to refresh yourself and bring out the best in you. I have listed them in categories for the ease of reading.

These self-care ideas should be made part of your normal life. You can choose any tiny self-care activity for each day and do it. Remember, most of the activities take only a few minutes.

Physical self-care ideas

  • Sitting is the new smoking. The human body was made to move, so always give yourselves reason to move across your house or wherever you are. Especially if your work involves sitting a lot, get up and take some steps every 30 minutes.
  • Play a sport you love.
  • If you stay indoors more, get out in the sun for at least 15 minutes to soak up some vitamin D.
  •  Do 10-15 squats in the shower.
  • Drink more water.
  • Go for a nature walk on the weekend.
  • Get a massage.
  •  Have a healthy delicious meal with lots of greens. 
  • Drink smoothies.
  • Have vitamin supplements if necessary.
  • Put on a detoxifying face mask.
  • Take a power nap.
  • Make sure you include more fruits and veggies in your diet every week.
  • Go hiking and camping.
  • Do stretching exercises or yoga.
  • Go for a swim. Swimming helps to relieve stress and relax.
  • Take a warm bath. Turn off the lights and light candles around.
  • Practice Pranayama (deep breathing exercise). Read this article on the benefits of Pranayama.
  • Drink green tea.
  •  Increase strength by doing weight training exercises.
  • Have an Epsom salt bath. An Epsom salt bath helps to ease stress and reduce inflammation and pain. Read the benefits of Epsom salt bath here.
  •  Learn a martial art. It’s a great way to move your body and useful for self-defense too.
  •  Play water sports with your friends.
  • Experiment with your hair. Get a new haircut or get your hair colored with a color you have always wanted to try.
  •  As beneficial it is to wake up early, sleep in on some days to recover from any sleep debt you have.
  • On Sundays, prepare healthy snacks for the week so that when you want to munch on something, you have healthy options available.
  • Get a facial.

Mental/Emotional self-care ideas

  • Start every day on a positive note. When you wake up, feel gratitude and say positive affirmations like ‘ Today is a great day’, ‘Today I focus on what makes me feel good’ or ‘Today I will make progress towards my goals’.
  • Take a 10-minute mindful break to stare at nature through your window. It can be greenery, rain or even clouds.
  • Stop being a people pleaser and learn to say ‘NO’.
  • Schedule “me time” in your journal to do any of the self-care activities. Sometimes, scheduling is the way to get it done.
  • Read fiction for 30 minutes.
  • When you take a break, indulge in creative hobbies like crochet, sewing, art journaling, doodling etc.
  • Coloring is a stress buster. Buy adult coloring books.
  • Create a memories page in your journal.
  • Always learn new things or hobbies to engage your brain. You can either learn from free Youtube videos, blogs or paid courses.
  • Play memory games.
  • Use these apps to learn something new every day.
  • Start journaling habit to record your thoughts, memories and to brain dump. When you feel overwhelmed, you can do a brain dump in your journal and get clarity.
  • Grow your own food (as per your space limitations) in your backyard or balcony. And engage yourself in gardening activities.
  • Go for a vacation. 
  • Go for a day trip in your local area or parks.
  • Have a good cry and release all your pent-up emotions.
  • Forgive someone you hold a grudge against. You will instantly feel the weight lifting from your mind.
  • Always hang out with positive people who are supportive of your dreams. Avoid pessimistic people who have no growth aspirations for life. 
  • Watch comedy videos on Youtube and have a good laugh.
  • Binge watch TV shows on Netflix (of course you should know when to stop).
  • Be mindful of how you talk to yourself. Avoid self-loathing words and be gentle.
  • Avoid bottling up your emotions and have a close friend or family member to confide in.
  • If necessary, consult with a therapist and take medication.
  • Set healthy boundaries and tell people gently about what you can/can’t do.
  • Write down the compliments people give you. Read them when you feel dispirited.
  • Do a digital detox.
  • List all the achievements you have had in life, big and small in a paper/journal. When you feel down, it will be there to remind that life is not all bad.
  • Learn a new language.
  • Go to a restaurant to try a new cuisine with your friends.
  • Try aromatherapy. It has benefits like helping to relieve stress, increases energy levels, improves sleep and immunity, relieves pain etc.
  • Declutter your home. Give away all the unused clothes, toys or any other item you haven’t used in the last year. Decluttering clears your mind and boosts your mood.
  • If you can afford, hire help at least once in a while to have some “me time” or “family time”. Choose a day as “grandparent’s day” so that your kids get to cuddle with them and you can have fun with your girlfriends.
  • Go on an impromptu long drive to somewhere you have never been to. It’s a refreshing break from the boring daily commutes you take.
  • Unfollow all the negative people on social media.
  • Unsubscribe yourself from all the blogs/websites that don’t entice you anymore. Save yourself from the digital clutter.
  • Eat brain foods

List of 100+ self-care ideas and activities to pamper yourself when you are stressed out. #selfcare #selfcareideas

Spiritual self-care ideas

Spiritual self-care need not be something that relates to your religion. It can also be activities that you do to help connect with your spirit or soul, find meaning in your life and grow as a person. You cannot love others unless you love yourself first. 

  • Practice mindfulness meditation daily for at least 10 minutes.
  • Volunteer for a cause that matters to you or donate money to an organization.
  • Practice affirmations.
  • Create morning rituals that include affirmations, visualization, journaling, and gratitude.
  • Spend a day without complaining, no matter how much frustrated you are.
  • Every day, write 3 things you are grateful for.
  • Pray.
  • Write 10 things you love about yourself.
  • Spend time alone in self-reflection. Have random and meaningful conversation with yourself. Connect with your passion.
  • Investing in yourself is the best investment. Have a mentor, take online courses and always strive to improve yourself.
  • Take a day off from all the devices to indulge in spiritual self-care ideas.
  • Watch motivational TED videos on Youtube.
  • Cheer for yourself when you accomplish something.
  • Create a vision board with all the happy things you want to materialize in life.
  • Stop using all the social media channels you don’t need anymore and delete those accounts. Use that precious time to get out in nature and for all the self-care ideas you have wanted to do. You will be surprised by how much time you save.
  • Fast for a day and refrain from negative thoughts for a spiritual cleanse.

List of 100+ self-care ideas and activities to pamper yourself when you are stressed out. #selfcare #selfcareideas

Social self-care ideas 

Like all the other self-care ideas, relationship self-care activities also need to be done on a daily basis for a smooth functioning of relationships. No man is an island. Hence, let’s indulge in some self-care activities to nurture our relationships.

  • At the end of the day, share the peak and pit in your day with your partner. It strengthens the communication between you two and helps to create strong bonds.
  • Encourage children to speak about their day and listen without judging so that you gain their trust in opening up whenever they need.
  • Go to a movie with friends or family.
  • Visit your parents and surprise them with a gift.
  • Call close friends or family members to say hi.
  • Have a date night with your spouse once a month.
  • Help your friends or family members in need.
  • Have one-on-one time (at least 15 mins) with each of your kids daily.
  • Hug your loved ones. Studies have proved that hugging reduces stress and boosts your immune system.
  • Visit the less fortunate in orphanages, nursing homes etc. and do little things to brighten up their day. Such acts brighten up your mind too which in turn help in increasing your happiness and self-love.
  • Make meals for the homeless and deliver to them.
  • Bake cookies and give away to your neighbors.
  • Buy gifts for someone you love and surprise them.
  • Learn to forgive and forget. Solve any conflicts you have with anyone. Emotional baggage hinders your peace of mind, affects your mood and overall wellness.
  • Handwrite letters to your loved ones on their special day expressing gratitude for their presence in your life.
  • Call all your friends you haven’t met in a while and get together to laugh over old times.
  • Go through your old photos with family and share those memories. I am sure it will invoke laughter and funny moments.
  • Play board/card games as a family.
  • Do workouts with your kids. Let them have their own workout clothes. It’s a great way to connect with your kids and inculcate good habits in them.
  • Take your kids out to a theme park.
  • Take a road trip with old friends.
  • Have at least one meal a day together as a family.
  • Have a family cooking time. Bake a cake or a pizza with kids and let them help you.

What do you think about these self-care ideas? What would you add to the list? Please comment below.

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List of 100+ self-care ideas and activities to pamper yourself when you are stressed out. #selfcare #selfcareideas

You have come to the right place if you hear the word ‘self-care’ a lot these days, and want to find out what self-care is, and what the buzz is about.What is self-care? If you are a beginner, get started with self-care ideas from this post. #selfcare #selfcareideas

What is self-care?

 oxforddictionaries.com defines self-care as,

The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

Well, I would disagree with this definition a little bit. Rather than waiting for stressful periods to occur, you should start caring for yourself right away, on a regular basis. Yes, regularly, so that you prevent stress in the first place.

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Why Self-care? What are the benefits of self-care?

Let’s face it. When you have a million tasks in your to-do list, self-care is the last thing you want to think about. And it is often the first thing you will procrastinate on your list. 

Even though we know that we need to do exercise to stay fit, and we should eat more fruits and veggies daily, we ignore them. Why? Because we are stressed about our deadlines and we are impatient to reach our goals fast. Those seem more time-sensitive, and you think your body and mind are in good shape now. So, it doesn’t bother you right now.

It has happened to me. I would avoid healthy eating and liked to binge on sugary things most of the time.

Eventually, it began catching up with my health. And it also affected my energy levels. So even when I had the time, I didn’t have the energy. I would experience brain fog, which doesn’t let me think properly or write.

That’s when I decided if I want to have a healthy body, I should definitely take the time out to make that happen. No one else is going to do it for me.

You have to take care of yourself. 

We think we are wasting time or it is not that important to practice self-care. You might feel, “If I could use that time also for my work, I could get faster results”. It might be true. But keep in mind that, what seems like a few days of self-negligence, can turn into months and years fast, and the cumulative effect will burn you down eventually.

And you don’t want to lose your good health and emotional stability when you finally achieve your goals. Your goals are not worth more than your well-being. There should be a balance between all areas of your life. I would suggest using the Eisenhower matrix to set priorities in life.

It is not hard work, but smart work that gives fast results. One hour of focused work gives you more efficient results than 3-4 hours of distracted unproductive work.

And what do you need to stay that productive?

Self-care, of course!

Self-care is giving yourself some love so that you can be your best self to others. Click To Tweet

You cannot pour from an empty cup. So, fill your cup first.

I have understood I am not myself and tend to yell at my kids when I don’t get some “me-time”. So I try to give the attention “I” need when its due.

There are different ways you can do self-care activities. You don’t need to do everything on the list. Identify which area of your life lacks self-care and start with it.

Let’s read about different types of self-care you can start with.

1. Physical self-care

Physical self-care means taking care of your body in all possible ways. It’s a way of thanking your body for carrying your precious life on this planet.

Think about it.

Do you give your body the nourishment it deserves?

Most of us abuse it with a lot of junk food and inactivity. But it still works hard, and we only notice when it starts breaking down.

We can avoid such consequences if we take care of ourselves on a consistent basis. 

Physical self-care means to have healthy and nutritious food daily, drink enough water, exercise often, get enough sleep, taking care of your appearance etc.

Seems too ideal, right?

I know, We are all busy. But it’s not that hard. 

My secret for getting things done is scheduling.

And I do not get things done most of the time if I don’t schedule it in my journal. (I use a bullet journal for all my planning).

So, take your planners out (or whatever system you are using), and schedule time for yourself.

It is not selfish, or it is not a time waster either.

It is absolutely necessary if you want to live a well-balanced life.

What is physical self-care?

  • Eating healthy food
  • Daily exercise (or at least 3-4 times a week)
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Staying away from bad habits like smoking, drugs etc.
  • Getting routine check-ups and dentist visits
  • Taking care of your appearance (your dressing and your looks). It doesn’t mean buying expensive dresses or makeup. It means taking care of your personal hygiene and skin care.
  • Getting medical assistance in time, when you are ill
  • Moving your body more instead of sitting all the time (sitting is the new smoking)
  • Taking a power nap

The more you take care of your body, the more it gives you back. You will have increased stamina, energy levels, focus, productivity, confidence (because you feel good) and what not!

What is self-care? If you are a beginner, get started with self-care ideas from this post. #selfcare #selfcareideas

2. Emotional/Mental self-care

Emotional self-care is so important because it is about acknowledging your feelings and taking care of it, in a positive way. 

It is when we don’t deal with our emotions in a healthy manner, we experience stress which leads to a whole lot of diseases or a burnout. You could fall into depression, and even a mental break down. 

The first step in emotional self-care is understanding your feelings. Try to find out why you feel so. Acknowledge you have them. If it is something avoidable, try to do preventive self-care. 

For example, if the stress at work pulls you down, find out why you have stress. Is it because you procrastinated and now you have a lot of workloads? 

If so, try to plan your days in advance. Try to work on big and intimidating projects first thing in the morning. So that you feel calm and relaxed for the rest of the day.

Do the same thing when you feel angry, sad or nervous. Acknowledge the fact that they are only human emotions, without getting carried away. Emotional self-care is about developing a good coping mechanism.

Also, to feel good emotionally, how you talk to yourself matters. What you tell yourself depends on how much worth you give yourself. 

I am guilty of living with low self-worth for the majority of my life. Now, I realize It came from many childhood experiences. 

Some time ago, I read a book called ‘The Magic of Thinking Big’ by David J. Schwartz. It changed my way of thinking. I started thinking big about me and I can tell you, it makes a big difference in your confidence and in your abilities.

What is emotional/mental self-care?

  • Saying ‘no’ to others when you need time for yourself. 
  • Taking the effort to work on your emotions. Go to the root of your emotions, identify what triggers them. It can help you to be more prepared and conscious of your response.
  • Practicing mindfulness and meditation to live more in the moment and have control over your emotions.
  • Taking time to reflect on your worrisome thoughts in a journal (very helpful to unwind).
  • Saying affirmations to change limiting beliefs.
  • Spending time to explore your creative talents.
  • Scheduling time in your week for relaxing activities.
  • Creating a support system to help you cope with your emotional challenges.
  • Getting professional help when you absolutely need it.
  • Accepting yourself for who you are and learning to love yourself every day (again, affirmations can help here).
  • Having a good cry and release pent-up emotions.

3. Spiritual self-care

What is self-care? If you are a beginner, get started with self-care ideas from this post. #selfcare #selfcareideas

I am a true believer in the mind-body-soul connection. It is necessary to take care of each, to enhance a holistic well-being. 

Spiritual self-care can be defined as,

The activity we engage in to find and nurture a sense of connection to a Higher Power and deeper meaning for our lives -Desert Alchemy

Spiritual self-care can mean different things to different people. Everyone doesn’t have the same belief system when it comes to spirituality. 

Do what you think nourishes your soul.

It could be praying to your God and letting it all out, doing meditation or as simple things like walking in nature and truly appreciating everything it has to offer.

I have seen many people who think there is no meaning to life. It is because they haven’t found a sense of purpose in their life. It’s a very deep topic.

I believe everyone has their role to play in this world. It doesn’t mean you have to become famous doing it.

It just means finding out who you are and what you are meant to do here.

When you are born into this world, you are expected to play many roles. As of a son/daughter, husband/wife, father/mother etc. And you have your responsibilities in these roles too.

But you should do something ONLY for yourself. You may be having some talents that need to be dusted. Explore them and grow them. It is another way to connect to yourself.

Maybe you are most happy when you get to help others. If it gives you a sense of purpose in life, do it.

Another question you can ask yourself is, what do you want to be remembered for? Do those things, or be that person.

Find ways to reconnect with your soul, your spirit. Connecting with your soul gives you a sense of purpose in life and a meaning to your life. 

What is spiritual self-care?

  • Doing meditation (it produces a sense of calm and better thinking ability)
  • Expressing gratitude
  • Praying to the power you believe in
  • Having a mindful walk in nature
  • Showing small acts of kindness to random people
  • Helping those in need
  • Engaging in creative pursuits
  • Writing in a journal (expressing your deep thoughts can help you discover who you are and what you want to be)
  • Focusing only on the bright side of things
  • Doing what pleases you, and not others

4. Personal self-care

If you are reading this article and reached this point, I know you want to bring a positive change in life. You want to start taking better care of yourselves. 

Trying to improve yourselves constantly is a form of self-love. It’s when you love yourselves, others can love you too.

Staying stagnant and the same for 75 years of life doesn’t give you growth. If you are happy with the way you are, you’re good. If not, welcome to the self-improvement journey!

To better yourselves, try to make small positive changes daily. When you want to relax, you can read a personal development book, or listen to a podcast. 

Try to discover who you are meant to be and take action. In your spare time, engage in activities that will maximize your potential.

When you engage in self-improvement activities, you develop your strengths and it naturally reflects in all other areas of your life too.

So do something to take care of yourself every day. Do something that makes you a better person every day.

Related: 7 common things you do that waste your life

What is personal self-care?

  • Joining self-improvement classes or seminars
  • Buying a self-paced personal development program
  • Reading books, articles or listening to motivational podcasts
  • Developing new skills
  • Devoting at least 10-15 minutes daily to any activity you are passionate about

5. Social self-care

What is self-care? If you are a beginner, get started with self-care ideas from this post. #selfcare #selfcareideas

We are social beings, and we need our social circle to live. Extroverts usually like to be surrounded by people. And it’s easier for them to indulge in social self-care.

But even if you are an introvert, you need people in life and should care for the relationships you have.

As an introverted mother, I get how difficult it is to spend time with kids all the time. Or even other family members. But I make it a priority to set aside quality time to spend with kids or have deep conversations with my spouse.

Like with your close family, take time once in a while to visit other family members or attend family gatherings, to keep the relationships alive.

Also, it is a good idea to join any community of like-minded people, and try to stay active in them.

I am part of an online community for blogging and it is amazing to be with people who are on a journey same as yours, sharing struggles and supporting each other.

Social self-care is also removing negative people from your life. If someone decides to hurt you repeatedly, maybe they are not worth to be in your life. 

Make a bold move and end the relationship. If it is a family member, you can communicate with them about what hurt you and set boundaries.

What is social self-care?

  • Caring for your relationships and taking the effort to maintain them
  • Healing relationships that are valuable to you
  • Visiting family and friends or making phone calls once in a while
  • Going out with the people you love
  • Taking your time alone when you need it
  • Setting healthy boundaries

6. Practical self-care

Practical self-care means anything that supports all the other areas of your life.

Like,

  • Financial self-care: Paying bills on time, living within your means, saving for the future, having an emergency fund etc.
  • Self-care for the home you live in, your surroundings and the vehicles you use.

Not every type of self-care shall appeal to everyone alike. Every one is different and our needs are different. Therefore, spend some time and decide which area of your life deserves more love!

What is your favorite self-care idea? Share in the comments below!

If you like what you are reading, please take a moment to PIN and SHARE!

What is self-care? If you are a beginner, get started with self-care ideas from this post. #selfcare #selfcareideas