Self care is SO important. Just like you need to take care of your body, you also need to take care of your mind as well. For the past two years I’ve taken control of my mental health by applying a dedicated self care routine every.single.day. While that may seem daunting to some, I believe you, because it was. When I started my routine it was hard enough to just get out of bed not to mention work on self care. But after the initial hump of getting used to it, eventually it became second nature and without it now I feel sluggish and unmotivated.
If you’re looking to be your best self and start a self care routine this new year, here are 6 ways you can do just that:
1. Break a sweat.
I started barely being able to exercise once a week, and now I can’t go a day without it. Instead of trecking to the gym every morning, I exercise beside my bed, warming up with a routine of stretches, yoga and exercises like push ups for about 20 minutes. I first began by visiting a personal trainer and learning a routine that I could take home with me, and now I don’t need to spend money on gym fees. After my workout I feel energetic and ready for my day, and it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done.
2. Remember to breathe.
I have generalized anxiety disorder, and because of this I take a lot of time to breathe my way through it. Meditation is a great way to reduce stress whether you have an anxiety disorder or are just stressed out about life. By practicing meditation in the evenings before bed you’ll build a self care routine that won’t just reduce stress daily but will make you feel more relaxed long term. Since I’ve started meditation, my anxiety levels have gone way down, and I know yours can too.
3. Enjoy the outdoors.
It can be difficult to get outside in the winter when it’s cold out and you’re stuck in school or at work, but making the time is so rewarding. Since I work from home, the only time I really leave the house is when I go to the grocery store or when I commute to see friends, so I make sure to go for a 10 minute walk every day to enjoy nature. A great way to do this is to blast some music, run errands or meet up with a friend who has a dog.
4. Run a bath.
I never used to like baths because I didn’t know what to do in them, but now I cherish the time where I get to lay in lavender-scented water and do nothing. Baths are a great way to warm up after a cold commute home and unwind after a long day. I started listening to podcasts such as Women of the Hour and adding a few drops of essential oils in the water to leave my skin smelling amazing afterwards, and I highly recommend you do as well.
5. Feed your brain.
What you put in your body is extremely important for your mind, so treat yourself to a big green juice or a fruit smoothie packed with lots of nutrients that’ll boost your memory and motivation. There are tons of recipes online for juices and smoothies, such as thisrawsomeveganlife.com or fullyraw.com My personal favorites are the coconut pineapple smoothies from Planet Organic or a homemade green juice packed with apples, spinach, celery and cucumber.
While you’re discovering what self care routine works for you, remember that everyone’s routine is different and it may take time to discover the best plan of action for yourself. So on the days you’re feeling like skipping your routine, listen to your body and go easy on yourself. Instead of feeling guilty, remember that I’ve been in the same place as you and it can get better with time, dedication and patience.
What are some ways you practice self care? Let me know in the comments below!