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Benefits of Self Care
Self care isn’t selfish. Yes, these self care ideas make you feel good, but it’s more than that. Taking care of yourself not only feels nice in the moment, but proper self care positively affects your physical, mental and emotional health. Overall health benefits of long term self care lifts your mood and give you more energy. Keep reading this checklist and see how many self care ideas you can start incorporating into your daily life.
Get Enough Sleep
Each morning are you refreshed or do you want to hit the snooze button again and again? I stopped using the snooze years ago because it was just another way of avoiding the inevitable! Now, immediately upon waking I either open the window blinds or turn on the lights. The bright lights help me adjust quickly.
If you’re like me, you might find yourself going to bed late on a regular basis. After everyone else is in bed, that’s usually the only quiet “me” time I have. But what’s the sacrifice when you’re losing hours of sleep? We don’t all need 8 hours but you probably know your body and what that number of hours of sleep should be for you personally.
There are days when we stay up late or have to get up really early, making it a challenge to get a consistent number each day. If you have a baby, your sleep might be really interrupted through the night. It’s totally okay to “catch up” by going to bed early some days. I aim for every other night so I get an additional 2-3 hours sleep on those days.
Carry A Water Bottle
If you’re thirsty, you’re probably already dehydrated and you don’t even know it. Dehydration can cause sluggishness and headaches. I know I don’t drink enough water during the day. And much of that is in part because I don’t have water with me. Get yourself a large water bottle and fill it each time you leave the house to ensure you have something to sip while you’re out.
If you don’t like the taste of plain water, make an infused pitcher of water to keep in the fridge. Try your own water recipes including sliced cucumbers, crushed blueberries, lemon wedges, or mint leaves. Another easy option is a squirt of Mio, which is a flavored concentrate.
Once a day, I try and organize something that’s cluttering up my life. Maybe it’s dumping out the contents of my purse and tossing out all those gum wrappers, grocery receipts and old school papers. Or it could be clearing off my desk and actually filing all the “must keep” documents into the appropriate folders.
Yesterday I went through the boxes of seasonal clothing I keep under my bed. I put away some of the cooler weather clothing and hung up some summer outfits. Along the way I filled an entire trash bag of clothes that no longer fit or that I just don’t love anymore! Organizing can make you feel great; what could be de-cluttered in your life?
Use Essential Oils
Scents can transport us and truly alter our mood. They can relax us or uplift us! Every home should have a few essential oils, namely lavender, peppermint, tea tree, lemon and eucalyptus. You’ll always want to add drops of essential oils into a blend with a carrier oil (never add essential oil directly to your skin). Try almond oil, coconut oil or jojoba as a carrier.
Oils can be blended with a liquid carrier into a roller ball or spray bottle that you can apply to your skin or in a dropper bottle that you can add to your bath. Add drops of essential oil to vinegar spray as a simple house-cleaner for kitchens and bathrooms. You don’t need a recipe per se, just blend what smells good to you or read up on the benefits of each oil to blend something that works for your needs.
Each afternoon before my family comes home I mix a calming blend of essential oils in my diffuser. Have a headache? Make a self-remedy roller ball with carrier oil and a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Mix eucalyptus into coconut oil then solidify for a congested chest rub. And we all know how relaxing a warm bubble bath is before bed. Trying adding in a drizzle of coconut oil with a few drops of sleep-inducing lavender to your bath water.
I’m a big fan of Simply Earth essential oils for their high-quality and wonderful prices. They sell everything you need from single oils, proprietary blends, carrier oils and containers. If you want to try something fun, consider their monthly subscription box.
Wear Real Clothes
Despite what you’re seeing (or maybe even wearing!) in the grocery stores, pajamas are not intended to be worn outside of the home. Yes, I get it they’re comfy but pajamas also invoke something: SLEEP! And if you’re taking better care of yourself, you want to be fully alert and awake for it.
If you don’t go in to the office, you might wonder what the point of “real clothes” are. Wearing real clothes shows others that you’re taking care of business and can also be taken seriously, whether it’s getting the tires rotated or attending a parent/teacher conference.
There are plenty of comfortable clothes you can wear, while ditching your pajamas in the bedroom. Make it a point to change right away upon waking. Once you find a line you like, consider investing in a few favorite pieces in a variety of colors.
Daydreaming isn’t escaping, but it can be a helpful tool in stirring up creativity or getting you out of a funk. Make up a daydream story and allow yourself ten minutes each day to relax and slip into that. What makes you happy? Is it recalling a favorite memory or past vacation? Fantasizing about parties, book characters or exciting things you want to do? Or even just designing your dream house in your head?
Daydreams absolutely can be productive too. For instance, I like to plan faux vacations and make travel plans that are nowhere near my immediate future. But dreaming about them can help me to work out logistics and help me figure out if it’s something I really want to do.
Daydreaming can also be another way of manifesting and working out issues. If you’re having a problem or are on the fence about something, consider letting your mind relax and see where a daydream will take you.
Move More, Sit Less
Exercise isn’t just good for physical health. Yes, long term commitments to moving more can change your physique but almost immediately, you’ll see improvements in your energy and mood by adding in physical activity. You don’t need a ton of time – just 30 minutes daily can make a big difference. To etch out the time it might require waking a half-hour earlier or removing something unimportant from your day. A challenge, yes, but worth it!
But like many busy moms, I struggle with motivation to exercise. It’s way too easy to talk myself out of it. There are a few things I do – Put my gym clothes on right out of bed (if I’m already dressed to workout, I’m more likely to just do it). Make an appointment to meet a friend for a workout. Involve your kids to encourage you in your workouts. Take them to the park to kick the ball around or for a hike.
Social Media Detox
You knew this was coming. It’s another one of the self care ideas that everyone knows is a good idea (but nobody wants to commit to!) Social media can do a lot of great things, including bring us closer to friends and family and tell inspiring stories. But for many of us, social media can be a major downer. Rough news stories, jealousy, fear of missing out and toxic relationships online can make us feel worse.
Consider taking a social media detox. It can be really hard, I know, social media is a big part of my business! I feel like I’m constantly checking emails or notifications. Getting offline cold turkey would probably backfire but we can all find ways to cut back.
Try this – Turn off all notifications or turn down the volume, then put your phone on the charger. Set a timer for yourself, then don’t touch your phone until the timer goes off. Give yourself a certain amount of time to go online (set another timer for that too!) Extend the amount of time until the next time you pick up the phone. Once you break the habit of only using your phone with purpose and without set limits, you’ll see that your time for other (more important) things opens up!
Do Your Hair
99 percent of the time my hair is in a ponytail with a bobby pin to hold back the wild frizz that frames my face. It doesn’t take that long to do my hair and it looks so much better when I do. A little anti-frizz serum, a quick blow dry and flat iron to those frizzy sections and I go from bedhead to Instagram-ready. Seriously, less than 10 minutes and I feel so much more put together with tidy hair.
Pray or Meditate
If you feel like something is missing, you’re probably right. Instead of trying to fill that empty spot with earthly things, try filling it with connection and prayer. A few minutes of daily reflection can go a long way towards boosting a bad mood or offering deeper introspection. Try journaling along with prayer to visually see your progress.
If you think about it, how much “real food” makes up your daily diet? I eat 99% of food that’s been prepared in my own home, but even then quite a bit of it is processed. When I aim for a healthy diet that includes real food, it’s amazing how much better I feel, almost immediately!
Deep down if you know that “we are what we eat” is true and you’re feeling the effects of a diet that’s less-than, consider ditching everything that’s overly processed. Forget about the worries of “natural sugars” in apples and know that fresh fruit is always going to be a better choice than a manufactured product with additives to make something sweet with less sugar.
Put on Make-Up (Even If It’s Just Lipstick)
After I stopped working in an office, I suddenly had no reason to wear a full face of make-up. Most days are now spent home with the kids or just running errands. I started noticing that I was avoiding the mirror and not wanting my picture taken. I felt a little drab.
Even if a full face of make-up is unnecessary, try putting on a swipe of lipstick each more after you brush your teeth. I love the long-lasting versions like Revlon ColorStay Overtime Lipcolor and COVERGIRL Outlast All-Day Moisturizing Lip Color. They put a bit of color on my face and I’m more likely to smile too!
Check out Greater Ink for the Kindness is Contagious tee
More Quick Self Care Ideas
Here are some self care ideas that have immediate results!
- Floss your teeth
- Take a walk
- Rub lotion on your feet
- Read a chapter from your favorite book
- Lay down and close your eyes
- Use an exfoliating mask
- Turn on music and dance
- Clear everything off your desk and put it in a box to deal with later
- Shave your legs
- Sit outside
- Wax your eyebrows
- Deep breathe for 10 minutes
- Doodle or color to spark your creativity
Looking for more self care tips? Check out these extra self care ideas for busy moms.