Self-care is somewhat trendy at the moment, however, just because it is a trend, that doesn’t mean it isn’t also an extremely valuable activity, and one that we should ALL have been doing right from the start. In fact in my opinion it shouldn't be a "trend" it should be an essential component of your life, each and everyday.
Simply, self-care is looking after yourself, nothing more nothing less.... It just means taking a moment to remind yourself you’re doing okay, to enjoy yourself, to pamper yourself, and to eat well.
These simple changes mean you attack life feeling and looking better, and they mean you actually get some enjoyment out of it along the way.
Seems simple, and yet it’s something many people still don’t do. So read on, and let’s take a look at 30 easy ways you can start looking out for number one (that’s you by the way.)
Meditation means finding a quiet moment to direct your attention and focus on your state of mind. It is linked closely with mindfulness, and it can help you to find moments of calm where otherwise they didn’t exist. Not only does this teach you to cope with life’s biggest challenges, it also helps you to develop your grey matter!
I meditate for at least 30 min twice a day and more often than not its an hour twice a day. I have been meditating for a long time though and if your new then take it slow & build up.
Spend Time Outdoors
In beautiful lush environments, ideally! This triggers key hormonal changes, and helps to boost your health. It’s also great for stimulating a sense of calm, not to mention creativity. I know that if Im away from the beach for too long, my mood starts to lower ... we each have our fave place so pick yours and go there regularly.
Keep a Photo by Your Bed
Keeping photos of friends/ family close at hand is a great way to remind yourself of the people you love. We evolved in small tribes, and studies show that seeing “faces” first thing in the morning can release key beneficial hormones. Nowadays we mostly keep our pics on our phones and have less and less physical framed pics... give it a try
Have the Right Grooming Regime
Grooming yourself is important if you want to look and feel your best. Moreover though, the simple act of taking care of yourself is an important ritual that can help you to find calm and release tension. I love my bubble baths and have turned this is a ritual, using candles and bath salts ... at least once a week when Im home.
Exercise improves your health and your looks, but also stimulates the release of beneficial neurotransmitters for an immediate mood boost. It doesn't have to be a full on workout routine a simple walk to the beach for me and some yoga are part of my self care routine.
Keeping photos around does wonders as we’ve seen, but better yet is to call a friend. This is especially important if you feel lonely from time to time. But either way, calling friends can help you to encourage a larger support network which is amazing for your psychological health. The same goes for family. The best part? It helps them too, which is amazing for your own mood.
Why not call on hands-free or jumping on FaceTime while cooking?
Messaging friends is an equally valuable way to stay in touch which can be just as healthy. Send a joke, or ask how a friend is doing, and it can open up a conversation that leaves you BOTH in much better moods.
Use Positive Mantras
Positive mantras are phrases that you can repeat to boost your mood or confidence. The great thing about this, is that it will not only offer a short term benefit, but in the long-term it can actually raise your general mood and esteem. That’s because thinking this way can become habitual and internalized.
Make Note of Complements
It is often said that we give much greater importance to insults and things that go badly, than we do to complements and things that go well. To put a change to this, write down all the kind things you hear people say to you. either grab a notebook or jot it down in your journal. Not only does this help you engage with those comments more, but it means that whenever you need to, you can read back through those comments!
List Things You’re Grateful For
This is called ‘cultivating gratitude’ and it’s something many of us could benefit from. Essentially, it means thinking about things that you’re thankful for, and then taking the time to remind yourself of those things. This in turn allows you to focus on positive emotions and to remind yourself to enjoy what you already have – instead of always chasing after what is next. If you don't have a gratitude journal... get one.
Find Time for “You Time” Every Day
If you go through life constantly rushing from one job to the next, then you will never be able to actually enjoy your time. Not only that, but “you time” will allow you to pursue hobbies and interests that make you happy. I regularly take alone time its essential for me ... remember to switch of your devices!
Get Enough Sleep
Getting sleep is crucial to your health, your mood, and even your long-term psychological well being. You owe it to yourself to get at least 8 hours. Track your sleep routine on your mobile device and use "sleep mode" if your device has it ... its a great reminder to wind down and your won't get those pesky notifications in this mode.
Dress Yourself Well
Dressing well ensures you look better, which in turn means that others will perceive you differently. The “law of attraction” tells us that this can eventually lead to great things happening for us. Not only that, but when you dress yourself well, you send a sign to yourself and to others that you believe you are worth adorning in those nice clothes.
Decorate & declutter Your Home
Decorating your home well can mean surrounding yourself with things that make you happy. A tidy and well-presented home is also great for reducing stress that can come from clutter and disorganization. While you might not feel like you have the time, taking some time out of your schedule to clear your home and make it look beautiful can ensure that everything else you do feels and goes better. Decluttering is essential.
Just take the time off!
Too many people feel they have to work extremely hard all the time, and that they can never take a day off. If they do, then surely it will mean that they’ll be slacking, and that they will look bad in the eyes of their employers. They’ll be shirking responsibilities, leaving it to others, and doing a poor job!
You know what? If you take a day off today, no one is going to notice. And when you look back on your life years from now, you won’t even remember. What you will remember is being ill from being overworked, or missing out on amazing opportunities.
Cut Out Toxic People
A toxic person is anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself regularly. While you can’t easily cut someone out entirely if you will be encountering them in your daily life, what you can do is to create boundaries and avoid spending more time than necessary with them. You don’t owe these people anything, and they won’t change. So move on.
Learn to Say No
Many of us struggle to say no. This results in us taking on too much responsibility, and committing to too many different things. Learn to say no, and to spend time at home recuperating without a “reason.” Life will get much easier and happier.
Enjoy Healthy Treats
Good food triggers a spike in happiness and reward hormones. If it’s unhealthy, this enjoyment will be short lived and you’ll soon feel stressed and anxious again. But if it’s healthy, then the beneficial nutrients will help to improve your mood long term, not to mention fortifying your mind and body.
Take Sick Days
As before, it is important to recognize that there is no honor in refusing to ever take time off work. This goes double when it comes to sick days. Your health is more important than what your boss thinks of you, so if you’re ill, do everyone a favour and call in sick!
See the Doctor (or your HCP)
Likewise, when you’re ill you should see a doctor. Think about what you would tell a family member. If they were limping and spluttering, you’d tell them to see a doctor. Show yourself the same respect and kindness!
Use Loving Kindness Meditation
Loving kindness meditation is a form of meditation where you focus on feelings of love and happiness that are directed toward yourself. You will be cultivating these emotions, so as to increase their abundance. It’s a great practice that can help you feel warm and content throughout the day.
Pet a Dog or Cat
It’s one of the best ways to trigger the release of feel good hormones. If you have the time and money to own a pet, then this is one of the best forms of therapy out there!
Keep Plants and Flowers in Your Home
Plants and flowers can help boost your mood and health in many ways. Looking at greenery can help you relax and stimulate creativity for instance, while the oxygen production may also be beneficial. Plus, caring for something is another great way to feel better about yourself. I must say Im terrible at keeping plants alive as I work away so much however I always have a fresh bunch of beautiful flowers when Im home.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking water is extremely important for your health. The more water you drink, the more you’ll boost your energy level, mood, sleep, and more. Most of us don't drink enough water. Its all I drink during the day (except for my coffee of course) the trick is to always have it handy and close by... then you will drink it.
Enjoy “Bubble Time”
Bubble time is a term I coined. It essentially means enjoying tiny moments of complete peace and quiet and basking in the freedom you have during those moments.
For example, if you are taking an elevator somewhere, then you can take that time to simply relax. It’s only a 1 or 2 minute journey, but in this ‘bubble time’ you don’t need to worry about anything else!
Eat More Slowly
The more slowly you eat, the more you’ll enjoy your food. This is also extremely good for your health. There is a practice known as mindful eating ... if you practice this you will enjoy your food much more and also eat a lot slower thus decreasing your calorie intake.
Make a Note of Things You’re Looking Forward To
When you spend your life going from one crisis to another, or simply carrying out jobs, it can be hard to remember just how much exciting things there is to look forward to.
These don’t need to be big things like holidays (though that works too of course!). They can just as easily be tiny things: things like new movies that are coming out, the breakfast cereal you will have tomorrow, or finishing that book later on. Don’t have things to look forward to? Get some!
28 Hit Snooze
There are so many self-help articles and books telling you how to wake up on time every time. There are countless entrepreneurs and self-help gurus claiming that you should get up at 4am every day.
And yet, when the alarm goes off early, you always just find yourself wanting to roll back over and go to sleep.
You know what? You’ve earned it! If it’s the weekend, or if you have a bit of time spare, then hit snooze and enjoy those 10 extra minutes. They won’t kill you! In fact, chances are that if you’re that tired, then you actually need the time!
Learn the Difference Between Success and Happiness
This is a bigger one, but it’s essential. Too many of us equate success to happiness, meaning that we think that ‘doing well’ is the same as ‘living well’. It is not. And in fact, for many of us, success is a trap. When you start chasing success to the extent that you are no longer taking the time to enjoy your lifestyle, it means that you aren’t going to benefit from any of that success.
Learn to enjoy each step along the way. And moreover, think about what the lifestyle you’re chasing after will actually mean for your energy levels, your stress, and the time you get to spend with your family.
Use a Daylight Lamp
The last one is another easy one: get a daylight lamp! This is a light that mimics the rising of the sun, and creates a very similar wavelength. The value of such a lamp lies in its ability to affect your hormones and mental state similarly to the real sun. This can combat SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and drastically raise your mood. This is very beneficial if you live in areas of low sunlight.
So, there you have it! 30 easy things you can do to boost your mood, to fix your health, and to be happier and more content. But the most important takeaway is simply that you should be doing something to enhance your mood and wellbeing.
It’s okay to need a bit of TLC from time to time, and it’s okay to be the one to provide it!