I don’t know about you, but I am S-T-R-E-S-S-E-D.
I’m swamped at work, my home is a mess, and all of my friends and their kids keep having birthdays, so I’ve spent significantly more time around clowns than I ever thought possible.
But of course, whenever my schedule gets too full to handle, the very first thing to get removed is anything related to my own self-care. When so many other things need to get done, taking time for yourself feels kind of selfish, right?
Well friend, I’ve gotta tell you something, and I want you to say it with me:
Self-care is NOT selfish.
In fact, it’s a necessary part of a happy, healthy, well-balanced, fulfilling life. How productive are you when you’re exhausted and stressed? Hmmm? That’s what I thought.
I’m guessing that something is stressing you out, too. I’m also guessing that you don’t make as much time for yourself as you should. It’s time to change that, my friend! This week, I’m challenging you to schedule a little “you” time, because you’re important too, you know.
To help you get started, I’ve made a list of 10 things you can try in your own self-care routine.
Put Time On Your Calendar (And Treat It Like Your Friend)
Like I said before, my own self-care is the first thing I get rid of when I feel like I have too much to do, and if you’re reading this blog post, you probably do the same thing.
But when it’s on your calendar, it’s official. It’s written in pen (metaphorically, if you’re using your smartphone…), and there’s no going back. Besides, you wouldn’t cancel this quality time with a friend, right? Don’t cancel on yourself, either.
Plus, it gives you an honest excuse if someone asks you for a favor. “Oh, Saturday afternoon? Sorry, that doesn’t work. I’m totally booked.”
Switch Your Phone to Airplane Mode
Okay, this one might be a little scary, but stay with me. We’re trying to de-stress, right?
When your phone is on, it can be a lightning rod for stressful things: calls from work, billing reminders in your inbox, social media notifications, news updates… It’s a lot to deal with all the time, and if you’re constantly checking your phone, you’re being inundated with tons of new information to process. Your brain doesn’t have any space for the fun things.
So turn off your phone and give your attention to something more positive. The stuff you missed will still be there when you come back.
Make a List of Things You Like About Yourself
Self-care is more than just peace, quiet, and bubble baths (don’t worry, I’ll get to those). It’s about taking care of your whole self: mind, body, and spirit.
Writing a list with all the good things you see in yourself not only creates a positive space where you can relax, it can also be really encouraging when you’re having a bad day in the future. Put that list somewhere safe and reread it when you need to be reminded that you are amazing. (Because you are.)
Go for a walk in the park, make a playlist and dance, do your favorite yoga sequence (or try one of ours). Release those endorphins!
Put Away Your Calorie Tracker
Give yourself some space to not worry about the food you’re eating. Have you been craving chocolate cake all week? Have a piece and enjoy it because it’s delicious and you deserve it, damn it.
It’s important to make time for unimportant things, so enjoy wasting time doing “nothing.” Catch up on a ridiculous book, enjoy a cute Netflix romcom (or two), do some cloud gazing and just enjoy the fresh air.
Try That Thing You’ve Always Wanted to Try
Is there a cute new coffee shop that you keep passing on the way to work? Maybe you’ve discovered a cupcake recipe that sounds amazingly delicious? Or a hiking trail you’ve been thinking about for weeks? Now’s your time to shine.
Take a Bath (Or at Least Wash Your Face)
I know that baths are cliché when you’re making a list of self-care tips, but there’s a good reason this cliché exists! Light some candles, play a little music, grab your favorite bath bomb, and help your tired muscles relax. Concentrate on your breathing and let the world slow down a little.
If you don’t have enough time for a full bath, a skincare routine works too! You might have noticed that multi-step skincare routines are rapidly gaining popularity, and for good reason-- It’s relaxing, it’s really good for your skin, and it gives you a healthy glow even when you’re makeup-free. You can find some great guidance on developing your own routine here.
No matter what path you choose, pop on your favorite sheet mask for the grand finale!
Go to Bed Early
Sleep is underrated, and the vast majority of adults don’t get enough of it. But starting a new day with the right amount of sleep does wonders for your mood and productivity.
To make this extra self-care-y, make sure to have freshly cleaned sheets, comfortable pillows, and cozy blankets. Stay away from electronics, read a chapter of your favorite book, make a cup of tea (no caffeine). In the morning, you’ll wake up with a smile on your face and a song in your heart. (Okay, maybe not that extreme… but at least those bags under your eyes will be a little smaller.)
Give Yourself a Break
I don’t just mean taking time for self-care. I mean that you should be kind to yourself, especially with the things that are stressing you out. Remember that you’re human, you won’t do everything perfectly, and that’s okay. Give yourself permission to make mistakes, waste time, and indulge a bit without having that guilt hangover, because we’re all just out here trying our best.
Thanks for letting me share my 10 favorite self-care tips with you! You’re free to mix and match these to suit your needs and schedule, but I hope you eventually try them all at least once.
Are any of your favorite self-care tips left off this list? I’d love to hear about them!
Hey, did you know that Big Raven Yoga designs and sells yoga mats? And that they're actually super gorgeous? Check out one my favorites here, or take a look at our whole store!