We all know that self-care is important. Yet, often it slips down our priority lists as work, family, social lives and other commitments take over. However, it is important that we make self-care a routine part of our daily lives.
People often ask how they can fit self-care into their busy life – here is my advice on doing just that:
1) Find your rhythm
Everyone has a different way of regulating their moods. Some people are natural night-owls, while others need to be up with the lark in order to function properly. It is essential that you find out what works best for you and where your most productive hours are spent. If you have children, this may mean trying to fit in some time when they are sleeping or at school.
2) Say no
You are not a machine, you cannot fill every hour of the day with activity. If someone asks you to do something that doesn’t fit in with your work/life balance or is going to make you feel overwhelmed, politely decline and suggest an alternative time. Remember, it isn’t selfish to look after yourself – being kind to yourself is something we should all be aiming for.
3) Take breaks
The most important thing you can do for your wellbeing is to take time out of the day – even if this is just five minutes. This could include washing your face, having a drink, or making yourself a sandwich – anything that brings some calm into your life.
4) Prioritise sleep
We might not be able to do everything on our ‘to-do list, but we can prioritize sleep. We all know that being tired adds stress and causes us to behave in a way that isn’t always helpful. Set yourself a time when you will stop working and get into bed whether this may mean going to bed a little earlier for some people, but you might find that it makes the next day easier.
5) Make time for yourself
Take half an hour every day just for yourself, read a book, listen to music, or take up a relaxing hobby such as knitting or sewing. Schedule this into your diary and do not let yourself cancel it.
6) Start right now
The first step to improving your wellbeing is to start taking care of yourself today – even if you only do one thing differently it will make a difference. So go on, make a cup of tea and sit down for five minutes – you deserve it!
Types of Self Care:
There are different types of self-care these include
Physical Self Care
Physical health care includes taking care of your body so that it runs efficiently. This includes things like getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising. It is important to take out time regularly for these things.
Social self care
Social self-care includes spending time with people. This is important because human beings are social beings, therefore they need company. Also, we need people to be able to discuss our problems with. Therefore Spending time with friends and family is a good way to improve and maintain social self-care.
Emotional self care
Emotional self-care includes taking the time to check in with yourself. Self-awareness is important for this type of self-care, including knowing what you are feeling and why you are feeling it. Emotional self-care can include activities like meditation or journaling.
Mental self care
Mental self-care includes taking your time to relax your mind. This means not overloading yourself with information or activities that will cause stress and anxiety. Activities like yoga, journaling or just sitting quietly can help with mental health issues.
Spiritual self care
Spiritual self-care includes finding meaning in the world and in life. It can be a religious practice or a community-building activity. This type of self-care is often personal and unique to you so it is important to find what makes you feel relaxed, calm, and purposeful.
How to develop your self care plan
Remember that self-care doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or a difficult goal. Sometimes just making time for yourself can help you feel refreshed and relaxed. Your plan could include things like going for a walk, reading a book, spending time with friends or family members, cleaning the house, or watching a movie. It’s important to remember that you don’t need to be spending all your time working or taking care of other people.
If you can start gradually, this will make it easier to develop your self-care plan and stick to it over a longer period of time. For example, if you want to start exercising more but don’t have much free time then try going for a ten-minute walk at lunchtime or doing some simple stretches before you get out of bed each morning.
Maintaining your self care plan
You may find it easier to maintain your self-care plan if you make a list of things that you enjoy and find relaxing. Put the list on your fridge or in another place that is easy to see and add to it when you find something new that will help you relax.
Note that your self-care plan can change over time just like everything else in life, so don’t be afraid to try new things and do what makes you feel happy and fulfilled. If there are things on your list that aren’t working for you anymore then get rid of them and replace them with something else.
40 Days of Self Care Ideas
See the following list of self-care ideas to develop your own personal plan. Remember that it’s important to do things that you enjoy and will make you feel relaxed, comfortable, and happy. If you struggle to find things that relax you then try the activities that are most appealing to you.
Day 1 : Get outdoors
It is important we get outdoors every day for our mental being. This can be just stepping outside for 5-10 minutes every day just to get some fresh air.
Day 2 : Journaling
Journaling is a great way to get things off your chest and let go of emotions. This also helps to calm you down emotionally.
Day 3 : Take a bath
Taking a nice warm bath can soothe your muscles after exercise or help you relax before bedtime. It’s up to you how long you take the bath but remember to be quiet and calm while you are doing it.
Day 4 : Listen to music
Let’s get rid of the stress and strain with some good relaxing tunes. Choose songs you enjoy and dance around your living area if you want to.
Day 5: Clean your home
Cleaning your house can be a great way to focus on the task at hand and let go of stress.
Day 6: 10 minute meditation
Take some time every day to sit down and meditate for 10 minutes. This can be done just before bedtime or in the morning when you wake up.
Day 7: Read a book
Reading is relaxing and helps to stimulate your brain so take some time out of your day to read for 30 minutes.
Day 8 : Get off the couch
Let’s not be lazy, get up and do something useful. This can be preparing lunch, calling a friend, or doing housework. The thing is to get active anywhere you are in the house or outside.
Day 9 : Spend time with family
Spending time with our family members is important for mental health and wellbeing so let’s make an effort to plan some quality time together every day no matter how short.
Day 10 : Listen to your body
Let’s not over-exert ourselves and take rest when we need it. If we feel tired or sick then let’s stay home and relax for the day so we can get stronger and healthier.
Day 11: Spend time in nature
Spending some time in nature helps us to re-energize ourselves by getting us in touch with Mother Earth. Head out to the park, beach, or even a forest if you want to go hiking.
Day 12: Do something creative
Doing creative things every day will stimulate our minds and make us feel good about ourselves. Try drawing, painting, or dancing for today’s creative activity. There are other things you can do as well so think about what sort of creativity you want to try today.
Day 13: Help someone out
Helping others is a great way to fill ourselves up with positive energy and happiness which will help to uplift our mood. Do this for anyone or any group that needs your help, whether it’s cleaning the environment or helping someone in need.
Day 14: Spend time with yourself
Let’s take some time today to do something special for ourselves. This might be doing our nails, reading a book, having a spa day at home, or just spending some quiet time alone. It is important that we spend quality time with ourselves so we can recharge and feel rejuvenated.
Day 15: Focus on your goals
Pick one of your goals and focus on making it more detailed. What steps do you need to take to achieve this goal? How can you strengthen motivation or commitment towards this goal?
Day 16 : Go out for dinner with friends
Tonight let’s go out for dinner with our friends and family. This can be to a restaurant, through online food delivery, or just take out for tonight.
Day 17: 40 minute nap
Take a power nap for about 40 minutes to help you recharge your energy levels. Make sure that you are sleeping comfortably in bed or on the couch with your blanket over you before falling asleep.
Day 18: Organize something
Make a list of things that need to be organized in your house. These might be toys, magazines or old clothes that you want to get rid of. Try and sort them out today and throw away what you don’t need anymore. If there’s anything broken then let’s try and fix it.
Day 19: Dance to your favorite music
Put on your favorite song and dance around your house for a bit. Don’t worry about how silly you look, the important thing is that you feel good and have fun while doing it. You can also invite any children in your house to join you so they can express themselves too.
Day 20: Read something funny
Read something that is light-hearted and makes you laugh. This might be a joke book or article, just make sure this doesn’t contain any adult content. If you work in an office then try reading some comics out loud with your co-workers to break the ice and have a bit of fun at work.
Day 21: Cuddle with someone you love
Go out and cuddle with your family members or friends today. This can be a pet, other children, or an adult. Let’s focus on the physical contact today by holding hands, hugging, or just sitting close to each other so we can strengthen our relationships with others.
Day 22: Focus on your breathing
Take some deep breaths and be mindful of the way you are exhaling. Feel free to repeat a mantra or affirmation to yourself as you breathe in and out. For example, it might be “I am strong” or “I love myself”.
Day 23: Read something inspirational
Find a book or article that has some words of wisdom or inspiration in it. This might be a quote from someone famous, an inspirational poem, or anything else. Try and focus on how you can apply these messages to your daily life today.
Day 24: Plan something for tomorrow
Take some time out today to plan something fun or adventurous that you do want to do tomorrow. Make sure you are specific with details, locations, and time frames. Try to make this something that will bring you lots of happiness in the future.
Day 25: Green smoothie for dinner
Today’s dinner is going to be a green smoothie made from vegetables that are packed full of vitamins and minerals. You can add some fruit to sweeten it up but make sure the bulk of this drink is vegetables.
Day 26: Go out for a walk
Today’s activity is to go out for a walk in nature. Explore your local area or find a new path to follow. Try and walk for about 20 minutes but stop whenever you need some rest or water.
Day 27: Relaxing bath
Take an hour-long bath with Epsom salts, eucalyptus oil, and rose petals. Light a candle and play some soft, relaxing music in the background to help you feel calm and relaxed.
Day 28: Wear your favorite outfit
Today let’s wear something that makes us look great or is our favorite outfit. This isn’t about impressing anyone it’s more about making ourselves feel good on the inside as well as on the outside.
Day 29: Practice Gratitude
Write down three things you are grateful for today. This is not something that you have to share with the world but rather just keep in your head to remind yourself how lucky you are. On days when everything seems to be going wrong then this will hopefully help bring some positivity into your life again.
Day 30: Watch the sunset
Today is all about taking the time to watch the sunset. This can be in your home or in nature. Try and find a quiet place with no distractions, just you and the sunset. Take some deep breaths into your lungs and try to relax as much as possible while watching this amazing spectacle unfold in front of you.
Day 31 : Color or paint something
Today is the day to pick up some art supplies and color or paint something. It can be a picture of your family, an abstract idea or anything else you feel like creating with your imagination. Try and take things slowly today as we will focus on enjoying the process as well as the end product.
Day 32: Play a board game
If you can get the entire family into this then this is one of the best ways to bond and strengthen relationships. It doesn’t matter if we don’t win or lose we just want to focus on having fun together today.
Day 33: Cook something new
Today is all about trying out some new recipes for food. These can be dishes that your family enjoys or something new that you have discovered. We are just trying to eat together as a family today so anything works.
Day 34: Eat what you love
Today is all about eating whatever you feel like eating. Don’t let anyone tell you what to eat or force food on you because ultimately this is your choice as a human being. Today it’s time to focus on the joy of eating and experiencing new tastes experiences rather than any kind of potential guilt or anxiety around food.
Day 35: Drink 8 Glasses of water
Today we are going to try and drink 8 glasses of water throughout the entire day. It doesn’t matter if you don’t measure them out but just try and get in this habit today and see how it feels. We might be more thirsty than usual for a little while but we will experience some amazing health benefits by doing this.
Day 36 : Try a new workout
Today we are going to try a new form of exercise. This is something that we have been putting off for far too long and it’s time to try something different. Whether this is yoga, swimming, or even running it doesn’t matter what matters today is that you get out there and enjoy the process.
Day 37: Think Positive
Today we are going to spend the entire day finding ways to be positive and cheerful. This can involve practicing mindfulness meditation, writing things we appreciate about our lives, or surrounding ourselves with people who lift us up and make us feel better. We aren’t trying to do this forever but just for today.
Day 38: Treat yourself
Today we are going to treat ourselves. It can be something like a bubble bath, a visit to the movies, or buying that album you have been wanting to listen to all this time. You can go wild with this one today because it’s all about making yourself feel good after a tiring month so far.
Day 39 : Sleep in
Today is all about sleeping in. If you are always rushing around getting things done before work then you might not realize how amazing it feels to wake up after a full 8 hours of sleep. Try and make yourself as cozy as possible today and maybe even take a nap if you feel tired throughout the day.
Day 40 : Stay away from devices
Today is all about staying away from devices. This means no computers, cell phones, or even the television. Today it’s time to spend some real quality time with yourself, your friends, and your family without all of these distractions.
Final words on 40 days of self-care
After going through all of these steps it’s important to realize that self-care is not a one-time thing. It should be something that we practice every day and constantly find new ways to make ourselves feel better as human beings. It doesn’t matter what kind of shape you are in, how much money you have, or who you know because it’s all about taking the time to make you happy. We guarantee this will change your life in more ways than one and hopefully, if nothing else, remind you of how amazing it feels to take care of yourself for a day.