By Haylee Thorson
We live in a society that wants us to go, go, go 24/7. Constant movement is correlated with ambition and drive, while occasional relaxation is translated as laziness and indifference. While there is nothing wrong with working and having goals, it becomes problematic when we let those goals exhaust our lives. When we burn ourselves out, we do ourselves a great disservice. Working to the point of exhaustion is counterintuitive because it leads to decreases in energy, happiness, and productivity, and has a detrimental impact on our mental and physical health. This is why it is unbelievably important to practice self-care everyday. Whether it be through mediation or meal prepping, there are many little things you can do each day to make your day, and eventually your life, significantly better.
So, here are eight easy self-care ideas guaranteed to make your day a whole lot better.
If pumping iron in the gym isn’t your cup of tea, that is completely okay! All you need to do is find an enjoyable activity that involves a bit of movement and practice it for at least 30 minutes a day. This could include anything from walking the dog and roller skating to gardening and at-home yoga. As long as you’re maintaining movement, you’re golden! Regular exercise can ultimately lead to an increase in overall happiness, keep you in great shape, improve your energy levels, reduce risk for disease, and so much more.
2. Practice Gratitude
Practicing gratitude every single day has a wide array of benefits and hardly takes any time. Whether you’re writing down what you’re grateful for in the morning or engaging in nightly gratitude meditation, the act of appreciating the things you have is important. According to Mindful, practicing daily gratitude can improve mental health, strengthen relationships, relieve stress, help you cope with change, and boost physical health. To practice daily gratitude, try starting with a gratitude journal to document the things you feel grateful for and stick to it everyday—even if you don’t feel like it some days!
Doing a digital detox every now and then can do wonders for your mental health. Unplugging your phone and stowing it away—even if it’s just for a few hours a day—can improve sleep, increase productivity, boost self-esteem, and diminish stress. Without constant access to your phone, you’ll be able to enjoy hobbies that make you feel good instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media to see what others are up to. Once you master the art of putting your phone away for a few hours, try going a day without it and see how you feel!
4. Take a Bath
What’s a better way to relieve stress and tension than by sinking into a steaming tub filled with bubbles? Referred to as “hydrotherapy” for centuries, the act of bathing is truly unlike any other. Taking a warm bath every once in a while can improve heart health, reduce pain and inflammation, boost blood flow, balance hormones, and more. Simply carve out 30 minutes of your day to fill up your tub, light some candles, sprinkle in some bath salt, and slide on in! To make it even better, try adding in a few drops of essential oil!
5. Cook a Meal
Nothing is more comforting than a home-cooked meal. Not only is it a great way to relax and nurture your body after a long day, but the process of cooking actually has a wide array of emotional benefits. When you immerse yourself in a calming act like cooking, your body enters a state that is almost meditative in nature. By focusing on each step to create a delicious meal, your body is able to zone out completely. Cooking frequently can help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve your quality of life, boost creativity, and make simple activities seem more meaningful.
It’s no secret that healthy skin is happy skin. While having a simple skincare routine is great in and of itself, sometimes your face just needs a little extra TLC. A good facial can take your skincare game to the next level—whether you create your own, buy one from the store, or get one professionally done. Regular facials come with various health benefits, such as reducing stress, preventing aging, promoting blood circulation, reducing acne, and evening skin tone. If you want to have the full spa experience at home, check out one of our DIY face masks!
Are you one of those people whose mind is always racing? If so, meditation could be incredibly beneficial for you. Practicing meditation for as little as five minutes a day can completely change your life for a number of reasons. Aside from reducing stress and strengthening concentration, mediation has been linked to controlling anxiety, enhancing self-esteem, improving sleep patterns, and leading to a more positive outlook on life. If you’re new to meditation, check out the app Headspace for hundreds of resources and guided exercises.
Sometimes you just need to engage in some deep cleaning whenever you’re stressed or upset. Having a clean home provides a long list of benefits that most of us don’t even realize. From lowering stress and fatigue to providing a calm atmosphere, the act of cleaning is self-care in its purest form. Not only does it keep your home organized and clutter at bay, it leaves you with a sense of accomplishment and productivity that will do wonders for your peace of mind.
Haylee Thorson is an editorial writer who specializes in beauty, culture, and travel. Follow her on Instagram.