I’ve been meaning to write a list of self-care activities for a while now. Then this morning, I stumbled upon an article on millennials obsession with self-care.
(You can read it here.)
There was a particular quote in that article that really struck home for me. Author Audre Lorde said that “caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.”
In a fast-paced, stressful world, it’s important to remember to take time for yourself. To take care of yourself and to realize that it isn’t bad or selfish to do so.
I’ve written a short list of self-care activities that you can do that are completely free. Of course, there are hundreds and thousands of other things you could do to show yourself love. I like to make sure I do at least one of these things at least once a week. I mean at the VERY least! Try to fit in at least one thing a day, you’ll see a difference.
I also like to try and steer clear of doing any “self-care” activities that include junk food or spending money, since these things tend to only cause me more stress in the long run. (Although occasionally I do buy a new candle, nail polish, book, or something inexpensive.)
Ask for help. From whoever you need it whether it’s your boss, your doctor, your partner, your therapist, a family member, or a friend. Let people know you need some help.
Hydrate – How much water have you had today? Fill up a water bottle and set a goal for what time you’d like to finish drinking it. Don’t love plain old water? Try adding fruit or cucumber slices and lemon juice!
Breathe – Take a few minutes to focus only on breathing. Breathe deeply. If it helps, count to four breathing in and to six breathing out.
Sleep – Put new sheets on, and go to bed early with a good book and a cup of tea.
Go outside – Get some sunshine. Lay down on the grass and just breathe. Watch the clouds, feel the fresh air. Go to the mountains, to the beach, wherever you feel happiest.
Take a hot bath. Light some candles, bring a good book. (Bath bombs anyone?)
Write it out. Write down what you’re feeling. Don’t hold back, write whatever comes to mind and don’t judge yourself for any thoughts or feelings that come up. Write a list of things that make you happy.
Read – Find a picture book you loved as a kid, a novel, self-help, poetry, whatever you feel will be best.
Meditate – Not sure where to start? I love this list of zen habits. Try a meditation exercise online, there are lots to choose from! Pick one that works for you.
Positive Affirmations (see my blog post on 5 Ways To Stay Motivated)
Unplug – Take a break from social media.
Dress to impress (yourself) – I dunno about you, but I usually start to feel better when I can look in the mirror and be happy with the way I look. So get dressed up in an outfit that makes you feel like a goddess, do your hair, do your make up, take a selfie if you want!
Call a supportive friend or family member.
Go on a walk, a run, a swim, a bike ride, play Pokemon Go, something that will get you moving.
Create a playlist of songs that lift your mood, songs that make you want to sing or dance.
Draw, paint, color, do something creative and relaxing. (Adult coloring books can be great for this.)
Practice mindfulness – Very similar to meditating. Mindfulness is “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations”. My favorite mindfulness exercise is to clear my mind and then focus on my five senses. What am I touching? How does that feel? What am I seeing? What do I taste? What do I smell? What noises can I hear? Take a few minutes to focus on these sensations.
Every Sunday I make sure to do at least one self-care activity. I hope you’ll join me for #SelfCareSunday! Tag me in your self-care posts on Instagram & follow@honestlylauren for more ideas!