Since we have been talking about habits, I thought I would dive a little deeper into my daily habits of self care. I never really understood the value of self care until I was forced to. With all of the outside demands and expectations placed on us from children, work, and social media, making the time to care for ourself is essential. The practice of self care ensures the health of our mind, body, and spirit so that we may properly handle life’s stressors both big and small.
Self care does not have to be something we devote a TON of time to. There are plenty of simple acts we can easily incorporate into our daily schedules to live happier and more fulfilled lives. Here are some of my favorite ways I practice self care in my daily life!
- Know Your Worth
This very well may be one of the most fundamental acts of self care. It is crucial for one to sit down and be clear about their values. When you are clear about your values, you know how you deserve to be treated. Knowing what you value means you know when to say no and when to say yes. Being in touch with your most authentic self is crucial for a happier life. You are able to make decisions and choose relationships that honor what you truly want and need. Being unapologetically yourself is the foundation of self care because it shows yourself and others that you really do love and accept every part of yourself.
2. Express Gratitude
I personally sit down every morning and write out ten things I am grateful for. Although a seemingly small and insignificant task, ever since I started implementing this practice into my daily routine, I have noticed a great increase in my overall happiness. Being grateful for both big and small things has the power to shift your mindset from a negative space to a positive one. It is the difference between thinking from a place of lacking to a place of abundance.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is essentially the act of being fully aware of the present moment. It is the practice of not letting your thoughts trail off and letting your mind control you, but instead being in control of your mind. When we are able to be fully present–stress, anxiety, and fear tend to melt away because they do not exist in the present moment; they exist in the past or the future. However, in this moment, everything is ok. Meditation is a way we can teach our minds to focus on the present moment. There are tons of great meditation apps such as Insight Timer to help beginners. Another way to practice mindfulness is to focus on the sounds, sights, smells, and feelings around you. For example, when conducting an everyday task such as washing the dishes which for most is a mindless activity, I like to focus on the smell of the soap or the feeling of the water on my hands to make sure my mind is focused on the present rather than trailing off to my list of things to do, the rude remark from a coworker, etc.
4. Prioritize Laughing
There is nothing quite like a good laugh when tears are running down your face, your abs hurt, and you’re not sure if you’ll able to catch your breath. For me, laughter can be one of those “fake it ’till you make it” acts. If I am ever feeling like I need a pick me up or just a moment of joy, I will either call one of my best friends who always makes me laugh or scroll though memes on Instagram. Prioritizing laughter throughout our days is one of the easiest ways to make sure we are taking care of ourself and ultimately living a happier life.
5. Make To-Do Lists
For me, my never-ending list of things to do is probably one of my top stressors. As soon as I finish one thing, it seems like three more things were added to my list, To avoid unnecessary stress, I started writing everything out even it is something as simple as washing my hair. (All of my mamas understand how necessary it is at times to schedule washing your hair–hahah!) With that to-do list, I will then decide what I need to prioritize and then schedule everything in my planner accordingly. With this exercise it is important to note that your personal to-do’s such as working out are just as important. Having everything I need and want to get done in a clear schedule immediately relieves some of my stress. Plus, knowing I completed everything on my list for that day gives me a sense of accomplishment which ultimately leads to a happier and more fulfilled life.
6. Edit Your Social Media Accounts
This is probably one of my favorite tips! I am a huge advocate for what you are feeding yourself, you will cultivate. So, if your feed consists of accounts that make you compare yourself, feel jealous, insecure, or like you are not doing enough–you should probably unfollow them! Social media has the power to positively influence our lives as long as you use it correctly. I make sure to only follow accounts that inspire and motivate me. That definitely can look different for everyone so I challenge you to be mindful of your thoughts and feelings the next time you are scrolling through Instagram. If you find yourself consistently comparing yourself and putting yourself down in response to someones picture–unfollow it immediately! It is not worth taxing your mental and emotional state over.
7. Get Moving
Whether it be in big or small ways, moving our body is a great act of self care and can immensely increase our overall happiness. Get outside and take a walk! Go to a yoga class or just opt for the stairs instead of the elevator! Getting active in some way not only helps you mentally, but it is also a way to make sure you are taking care of your body! Plus, who doesn’t love those natural endorphins?!
Everyday, after my gratitude list, I journal whatever is on my mind. It can be anything from how I am feeling, to what I am currently stressed about, my dreams, or even something I have just been thinking about a lot. Nothing is “too insignificant” or “silly” to journal about. Ever since I started journaling, I have noticed an increase in my mental state. I can almost physically feel the release as I get everything out of my mind and onto paper. Journaling is a simple task you can prioritize everyday to make sure you are taking care of yourself by being aware of your thoughts and emotions. As a result, you will feel lighter and happier.
9. Be Quiet
I never quite understood the value of quiet time until I became a mother. Now, at least once a day I have to lock myself in my room and just take some time for myself to be alone, still, an quiet. This allows your brain and body to unwind, calm down, and process the events of the day. You can use this time to listen to a guided mediation or just lay there breathing deeply. It’s important to be able to listen to yourself and know when you need a moment to be alone and quiet. When I start to feel overwhelmed, sometimes just a few minutes of quiet time can rejuvenate me to tackle the rest of the day.
10. Get Enough Sleep
This is probably another one of the easiest ways to prioritize self care in your daily routine. I know personally if I do not get enough sleep, I do not feel as adept mentally or physically to handle the tasks of the day as efficiently. So, no matter what is going on, I make sure to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. This is absolutely crucial for your overall happiness and wellbeing.
Although our lives are infinitely busy, it’s crucial we prioritize taking care of ourselves to ensure we are equipped to efficiently handle our every day tasks. Self care does not have to be this massively time consuming thing that we dedicate a whole day or even go on a week long retreat to experience as long as we implement self care habits into our daily routine. I challenge you to start with at least one of these tips and notice the positive influence it has on your overall happiness!
//What are ways you implement self care into your daily habits?// Let me know in the comments below!