Self-care is essential for a happy and productive life. If you want to reduce the stress in your life, try these meaningful ways to practice self-care.
Self-care is an essential part of life. It’s the ideal way to manage your stress and make sure you’re not getting overwhelmed. With such limited time in your busy day, it’s crucial to get the most out of your self-care routine.
Below, we’ll discuss nine meaningful ways to practice self-care. These activities will help you feel productive while giving you the energy boost you need.
1. Schedule Your Self-Care Time
Make a point to block out time for yourself. Unless you schedule relaxation into your day, you probably won’t get any. It’s human nature to prioritize everything else over ourselves. But self-care is not selfish.
Give yourself enough time to practice self-care, even if that means getting up a little earlier in the morning or shutting things down a little earlier at night.
When you figure out a time that works for you, make sure you communicate your plans to the important people in your life. Prioritize that time so you don’t have to stress about fitting your self-care routine into your day.
2. Use That Frustrating Downtime
Are you still finding it difficult to work self-care time into your schedule? Look for tiny windows of time during your day where you can sneak in some me-time.
It’s inevitable to find yourself in situations that aren’t necessarily fun. For example, everyone gets stuck in traffic sometimes, and we all have nights where we can’t fall asleep.
Put that time to work by turning it into self-care time! Practice mindful breathing while you wait for traffic to get moving. Take the opportunity to journal or go outside when you’re bored. Meditate to help yourself fall asleep. No moment is too small to treat yourself.
3. Practice Deep Breathing
Being mindful of your breathing is one of the simplest ways to employ self-care, and you can practice it just about anywhere, anytime. By focusing on your breathing, you’ll anchor yourself in the moment.
Deep breathing and mindfulness help reduce your stress and introduce calmness to your day. There are plenty of breathing techniques you can try. Experiment with them all to find the right one for you.
For something quick and easy, try the 3-4-5 technique: Inhale for three seconds, hold it for four seconds, and then exhale for five seconds.
4. Meditate Every Day
In a way, meditation is the more advanced version of deep breathing. It serves the same purpose to calm your mind and make you focus on yourself. It keeps you present in the moment, taking away the unnecessary stresses of life.
Regular meditation may boost your immune system, reduce your stress levels, improve your concentration, and even slow down the signs of aging.
Sitting in soothing silence and focusing on your breathing is a good way to meditate. There are also tons of guided meditations on YouTube and various meditation apps that will help get you in the right state of mind.
5. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is crucial for your health. It promotes physical well-being, which in turn boosts your mental and emotional health. It’s a great way to make yourself feel good all over.
Being active releases endorphins that make you feel good, even if you’re not a fan of it. A solid workout program will improve your self-esteem, help you sleep better, and keep your stress levels at a minimum.
6. Start a Gratitude Journal
Reflecting on the good things in your life will help you realize that there’s a lot to be grateful for. When you focus more on the positives than the negatives, you’ll see that there are plenty of reasons to be happy.
So, take a few minutes in the morning or before bed to write down three things that you’re grateful for. Whenever you’re having a bad day or need a reminder of the good things in your life, you can go back and read all the things you’ve written down in your journal.
7. Spend Time Outside
Get out in the sunlight and let it fill you with warmth! Use your self-care time as an excuse to go outside. Take a walk in the sunshine or go on that hike you’ve been thinking about going on for a while. Go soak up some of that good vitamin D.
There are many benefits to going outside. It is shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, help you sleep, and lower your risk of depression, anxiety, and burnout.
8. Say No When Necessary
Self-care involves protecting yourself when you know something won’t benefit you. Never feel obligated to do anything you don’t want to do. Just because it’s your day off doesn’t mean you have to accept an invitation to hang out. If you’re already overwhelmed, don’t agree to take on more work just to be nice.
Know your limits and stay comfortably within them. When at all possible, say no when you need to say no.
9. Ask for Help
Collaboration makes the world go round, and it’s invaluable to your self-care.
If you’re having trouble with a project at work, ask someone with more experience to lend you a hand. It could turn hours of frustrating work into a much shorter task that doesn’t make you want to pull your hair out.
Plus, you could learn a new skill while you’re at it! You should also ask your friends and family to help keep you accountable. They may be better equipped to let you know when you’re pushing yourself too hard and need to scale it back.
Self-care means doing your best to keep yourself happy, positive, and away from crushing levels of stress.
Treating yourself is an important part of life. That means you’re perfectly entitled to that extra cupcake you’ve been eyeing.
With so much going on, you may find it difficult to focus on yourself. But you should take five minutes a day to stop and breathe. Even the smallest self-care practices can have a big impact on your day.
Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at Broadstone Sawyer Yards, a community of luxury apartments in Houston, Texas.