When you have an endless to-do list, tons of meetings, and other crucial commitments, taking the time to practice self-care is usually placed on the back burner. This is a huge reason why we often feel stressed, overwhelmed, and burnt out.
Need some help getting back on track? We’ve rounded up eight healthy habits to add to your daily routine. These are all wonderful ways to practice self-care and self-love! Ready to return to a restored sense of Self? Here you go.
1. Press pause and give yourself a moment for your Self.
When you’re feeling lost and overwhelmed, taking a step back can be the best form of self-management. It may sound counterintuitive, but taking a little time to reassess what matters to you can help destress your mind and body . . . and express what’s in your heart.
Show some self-compassion by crossing something off your to-do list that’s been rolling over for months. You’ll probably never get to it anyway, right? But that’s okay. And before moving into your next task, show some gratitude by vocalizing what you are thankful for in this moment.
2. Treat yourself to healthy rewards.
Treating yourself to healthy indulgences is another great way to practice self-care. Whether it’s taking a bath or getting a massage, allowing yourself something out of the ordinary is a surefire way to lift your mood and reduce stress. And a little splurging is a remarkable way to value yourself and improve your self-esteem.
Don’t have the time? Elevate something that’s already in your daily routine. If you drink tea in the afternoon, pick up a good book or article you’ve been wanting to read to go along with it. Even a small reward can change your outlook on the day.
3. Go outside, move your body, and enjoy the sunshine.
Spending time outside is an effortless way to practice self-care. Research shows that being outdoors surrounded by nature significantly reduces activity in the parts of the brain that are responsible for repetitive and negative thoughts.
In addition to the benefits of being in nature and exercising, spending just ten minutes out in the sun per day promotes your body to produce all the vitamin D it needs, which fights disease and depression while promoting weight-loss.
Just remember to apply sunscreen if you’re going to bask in the sunshine for long periods of time!
4. Be curious and invest time into trying new things.
Whether it’s visiting a new part of town or trying a new food, changing up your routine will take you off of autopilot and increase your present moment awareness. Every new experience is a chance to learn something about yourself or others which will foster your self-worth and self-identity.
What are you interested in doing differently this week?
5. Connect with the people in your life.
Spending time interacting with the world around you is an essential form of self-care. Smile and maybe even strike up a conversation with the person behind you in line at the coffee shop. Write a letter to someone you care deeply for. Make a nice dinner for your loved ones and don’t look at your phone during the meal.
Hone compassionate communication . . . it’ll help you be more present and feel more connected to your family and community.
6. Focus on what you want to accomplish.
Actively keeping yourself focused will help you tackle your day with clarity and direction. There are many different exercises you can do to help yourself focus, such as guided meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga. As little as five minutes of guided meditation per day can help clear the mind and focus your thoughts.
Breathing exercises can be used to calm yourself down in a moment of stress or even to help you fall asleep. Practicing yoga helps you slow down, be in the moment, and focus on your mind and body.
Also, keeping a daily planner can help you focus on what needs to get done. Write down all of your appointments you need to go to, future events, and things you have to get done that day. This will help prioritize the tasks that need to be done quickly and leave the ones that can wait for another time.
Draw a little checkbox next to each task to tick as you complete each one. This will help you feel more accomplished and, in turn, will motivate you to get more done by eliminating that feeling of being overwhelmed.
7. Practice mindfulness on a daily basis.
Taking time to be mindful throughout your day not only takes you off of autopilot, but it helps you get in tune with yourself. Studies show that mindfulness reduces stress and depression, improves your Sense of Self, and keeps your mind on track.
Want to make a bigger commitment? Focus on being mindful of how you spend your time by making a plan that will bring you joy once per week. Whether it’s going on a hike, trying a new restaurant, or signing up for a dance class, the more happiness and gratitude you have in your life, the more likely you are to make healthy choices and take care of yourself.
8. Keep a journal of your reflections and emotional experiences.
Reflecting back on your day by journal writing is an excellent way to remind yourself of all the joy in your routine. Maybe you powered through a workout or met a new friend at work? Reminding yourself of your accomplishments will help you develop self-awareness and emotional intelligence . . . and improve your self-image.
Also, write about your goals to help you learn how to stay motivated. You can also journal the not-so-great things that happen as a cathartic release.
When you feel empowered to take care of yourself, your perspective will shift to include more of what you want to attract. And when you practice self-care on a regular basis, you heighten your emotional intelligence and enliven your mind-body-spirit.
The above suggestions will help you learn how to sustain a healthy, natural sense of Self . . . your true Self.
What further actions you can take to practice self-care and develop a healthy Sense of Self?
Learn more about your current level of self-awareness and emotional intelligence by taking our free quiz.