If you have avoided self-care for so long you’re not even sure what you want, here are 8 Simple Self-Care Practices for a Healthy Mind, Body & Soul.
Do something relaxing first thing in the morning
From the moment the alarm blares to the immediate glance at your inbox to the mad dash out the door for work, mornings are no longer sacred. We’re on a race to get to the rat race. In the process, we forget that we deserve to enjoy every second of the day. Mornings are the absolute perfect time to bring the focus back to yourself. What would bring you pleasure right when you wake up? For a few rare breeds, it might actually be diving head first into the work day—which is totally fine if that genuinely excites you. But for most of us, reading a few pages of a book in bed, brewing a cup of coffee, or even going for a walk and listening to the birds is much more idyllic. Whatever it is, give yourself that.
Call your mom …
… or your best friend, or just someone you love and who gets you. It’s easy to lose yourself if you’re frequently away from your people and are more often surrounded by toxic acquaintances. Keeping close contact with those who know you best will help you remember who you are.
Choose a mantra
It’s OK to have no interest at all in meditating, but it doesn’t hurt to have a mantra to repeat to yourself throughout the day in stressful moments. One traditional Sanskrit mantra is So Hum; it translates to ‘I am that (all of creation),’ which signifies your connection to everything in the world. But don’t worry, it can be an English phrase! Whatever brings you peace. For myself, I like the words “blue sea” because everything about it is calming, from the sound of it to the imagery it evokes. Phrases like “I am love” or “I am grateful” are a good start.
Write a gratitude list
This is super easy, and over time it can really shift your thinking to focus on gratitude instead of things you desire or lack. As often as you want—every day, every week, every month—write out a list of things you’re grateful for. Your dog, your team making it to the Super Bowl, vegan donuts. This list better be long because, no doubt, there are tons of awesome things in your life.
Pick a workout you actually like
Let’s be real—if you dread running, even if it gets you in the best shape ever, it’s not self-care. You’re allowed to exercise in ways that are actually fun. If restorative yoga is more your speed, cool. Surfing, for sure. Dancing for hours at your fave hip hop night counts, too.
Cook healthy meals
Few things are more nourishing than cooking yourself nutritious, life-giving meals. By choosing real organic foods, you can protect your body from toxins and processed ingredients that sneak into our daily diets. Eating well shows through in your energy and appearance—and increased confidence is the byproduct.
Try at least one new wellness trend
Experimentation is a great way to discover new things about yourself. In the process, you can acquire some healthy new habits. Ever been curious about Candle Care? Nourishing skin routines? Fabric Refresheners? Now is the time. Or, learn about medicinal mushrooms or Chinese herbs. Whatever floats your boat.
Create a bedtime ritual
Bedtime is the other most perfect time to do you. Instead of working up to the last minute you can keep your eyes open or drifting off into a dream, wind down right. Consistently giving your body cues that it’s time for sleep can be relaxing. It could be as simple as reading a book, brushing your teeth, washing your face, and slipping into cozy nightwear. Make this a nightly routine.