The first step for any self-care practice is to acknowledge that it is not selfish and that it is so much more than an annual spa day. Daily self-care allows us to feel better: guilt-free and without breaking the bank.
I love how the WHO defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
I love that explanation because it shows us that what we do matters. We can do things that make us healthier or sicker. And that is important!
Our actions matter.
Self-care isn’t about indulgence. It is about feeling better physically and mentally and that matters. (Those are the foundations of our membership for a reason!)
I want to prioritize my health and prevent disease through small daily actions. I’m sure you do too!
Here are a few ways to begin practicing self-care to feel better.
Numerous studies show that simply being outside can improve our mental and physical health. Spending time in nature can nurture parts of us that we want to improve (such as self-esteem and self-confidence) and quiet the parts we don’t want to control us (like anger or depression.)
Getting outside every day doesn’t have to be extravagant. If you have time for a 5-mile hike, go for it but it can also be as simple as enjoying a cup of tea on your back porch while watching the squirrels play.
Sit next to the plants at a sidewalk café. Listen to the birds as you walk through a park. Go for a walk and notice the dandelions sprouting up in the sidewalk. Watch the sunrise or sunset.
Just get outside and actively notice nature.
Taking time to meditate gives you a chance to reconnect with yourself: your values, your feelings, and, yes, even your thoughts. When you always put the needs of others above your own, it is easy to forget who you are and why you’re here. That’s where a little self-care through a daily meditation practice can help.
Use an app, go to group classes, or develop your own self-sustaining practice. You can even get started with my free guided visualization meditation for gratitude.
Dedicate some time every day to this nourishing form a self-care and notice how you feel one month from now.
Clear Your Environment
Another simple (and free) form of self-care is to clean up our surroundings. I’m convinced that very few (if any) of us enjoy cleaning but there is a peace and simple joy we feel when walking into a uncluttered room.
Exposure to disorganized spaces drains our mental energy and negatively affects our attention span, concentration, and focus. People living in cluttered spaces even report that they are less productive and more likely to procrastinate.
Try starting with a little tidying up every day.
Clean your counter every night before you go to bed, make sure all the dirty laundry gets in the hamper, or put everything on your desk where it belongs before you leave for the day. Your future self will thank you. 😊
Practicing yoga is a beautiful form of daily, self-care because it benefits you both physically and mentally. Recent research has connected yoga with improved brain health, boosting immunity, managing stress, increased pain tolerance, and even better social and speaking skills. And the best part, it’s not selective. You can get all of them!
Roll out your mat and move with your breath for at least a few minutes every day. You can practice with us in the membership or simply get on your mat, move through a sun salutation, and see where your body takes you next.
Give yourself permission to feel better.
You are worth so much more than you give yourself credit for! Spend a few minutes with any (or all!) of these self-care practices today. Your body and mind will feel better.
Check out last month’s article for more simple self-care tips too.
When you feel better, you do better. When you feel better, the people around you will too.
Go ahead. Start your self-care routine today.