Did you know that self-care is more than just taking bubble baths and buying new candles? Here are 5 ways to practice self-care during the week (that don’t break the bank!)
Make a Gratitude List
Don’t you just enjoy those little moments you share with the ones you love? Maybe it’s sitting next to the fireplace with your partner or watching your children’s imagination run wild. Maybe it’s in the way your favorite coffee shop makes the best lattes or that the fresh market always has the prettiest flowers. Or maybe it’s even in the head nods and soft smiles on the subway to work.
Regardless of what brings you joy and speaks life through you, we all have those small moments where we want to express our gratitude. May it be a person, the environment, or a mix of the two, there is always something to be grateful for. In fact, gratitude is a phenomenal way to practice self-care. When we are able to simply just be in the present and be thankful at the moment, we are able to focus on the positive aspects of life. These small joys are what keep us going through the hard and even mundane times in life.
Next time you’re out running errands or catching up on some work at home, become aware of the people and the environment around you. Take note of what speaks life and gives you joy. The more we practice gratitude, the more we have to be thankful for.
I seriously can’t stress this enough but getting alone with your thoughts and emotions helps keep you centered throughout the week. Again, when we are able to get in the present moment, we are able to focus on the world around us. In these instances though, being okay with the silence and the stillness helps us process how we are feeling and what we’re thinking.
It’s helpful to pray and talk with God. Our very creator invites us to commune with Him and the best part? He meets us where we’re at. If we’ve had a crappy day or we’re dealing with anxiety, prayer is fantastic stress relief. And so is meditation and breathwork. Maybe prayer isn’t your thing or you want to separate your time with God to simply focus on your breath. Meditation is a great way to keep you grounded and focus on your breathing. We can get so bombarded with the stress and anxieties of life that we are unable to simply just be present at the moment.
If you’re feeling blue or stressed out, try talking with God to express how you’re feeling or what you’re thinking. Try a little meditation before heading into work every day.
This is where we get to be creative with our self-care. In fact, we get to be messy and scrappy if we want to. While I believe journaling is essential to decompressing and letting our dreams run wild, it doesn’t have to look perfect. Journaling can literally be anywhere between simply jotting a few ideas down to strategically bullet-journaling all of our goals, ideas, hopes, and dreams. As long as you’re being honest with yourself and having fun with it, it doesn’t really matter.
The same can be said for reading. My preferred genre is exploring spirituality, self-help, and personal development. But you know what? I also really enjoy reading suspense and mystery novels for pleasure! Maybe you read comics in your spare time or you get the most out of reading scripture.
However, we don’t always have to be serious all of the time. Self-care can be fun, exciting, and even adventurous. Why? Because we are adamantly taking care of ourselves. This can look like discipline but this can also look like creativity. Don’t let “self-care” scare you into doing the things that you enjoy. And if you love learning new things? That’s okay! We get to learn more about ourselves each and every time we choose to love ourselves a little more.
Move Your Body!
Girl. We need to talk. I know gym day may not be your favorite day physical education is essential to living our best lives. Moving your body is how we develop into our higher selves.
Okay, okay. I know I may sound super spiritual but I’m being serious. Even if it’s just 30 minutes a day, that more than more people get in a week. Maybe it’s a gym routine or yoga on rotation. Whatever movement looks like for you, do more of that. And no, if you thoroughly do not enjoy running *like myself* you don’t have to do that every day. If it does not bring you joy or give you life, find something else that fills the void for you.
I want to challenge you this week to pick something you enjoy doing and stick with that. And it’s okay if you want to change it up every week or so. All I’m saying is that physical movement is important. And we should be doing more of it.
Create Healthy Sleep Habits
Because of the culture and society most of us live in today, there are seasons of life where we hustle and grind to get stuff done. And that’s great. Chasing your goals is an awesome thing to do. I highly recommend chasing after your wildest dreams. However, there also needs to be time to do just that; dream.
Sleep is essential. None of us actively want to walk around like lifeless zombies with our 5th coffee in hand. And we seriously don’t get enough of it. Or at least we don’t get enough of the good sleep. But we should. Too often we stay on our phones way late into the night or we drink caffeine way past the winding down period. But the truth is, we need better sleep. So, how do we incorporate healthy sleep habits? Well, honestly, that’s for you to decide.
One of my favorite new things to do is yoga before bed. There’s just something about the physical stretch and release that allows our body to rest functionally. Besides yoga, there is eliminating screen time an hour before you actually fall asleep. Maybe it’s turning off the lights as you get ready for bed and only sit by candlelight as you get ready for the next morning. Or maybe you diffuse essential oils while you take a relaxing bath. Regardless of what your specific routine is, it’s important to create healthy sleep habits.
Now that I have introduced 5 ways to practice self-care, where will you start? What ways will you incorporate self-care into your daily routine? Already have one? Do you have a different list of 5 ways to practice self-care? I would love to know what that looks like for you. In the meantime, I want you to know that you are loved and that you are enough. And I want you to start believing that for yourself.