Is it possible to add a little more self-care in to your life when you’re already flat-strap juggling everything else? Absolutely! The Woman Rising definition of self-care is:
The action of adding a dose of simple pleasures in to your life to create a happier, more content and positive you.
As the Southern Hemisphere officially enters Winter next week, I’m personally feeling the need to up the anti in my self-care duties, to recharge, reset and rejuvenate my mental, physical, emotional and spiritual state in preparation for a big, bright and beautiful Spring (i.e. welcoming Bubba #2 and launching new Woman Rising products).
With that in mind, I have created the following list of 30 ways to add more self-care in to your (and my) life, to help you feel great and boost your energy. These 30 tips just so happen to coincide with 30 days of June, so you can enjoy a full month of healing pleasure that won’t take too much time out of your day.
In all its various shapes and sizes, self-care can only be genuinely effective if you willingly and whole-heartedly give it a go. That is, give yourself permission to take control of your life, slow down, replenish your energy and give back to yourself, because only then will you be in a position to give to others.
If you’re keen to maximise this opportunity and really open yourself up to a great transformative month, I highly recommend writing down your thoughts and feelings on a blank sheet of paper or special journal at the end of each day. Consider, how did the activity make you feel? What you enjoyed about the experience and what you learnt about yourself in the process, if anything.
Here’s to your month of self-care, happiness and an increased positive outlook on life! Let’s get started…
1. Let others help you: Say ‘yes please’ if an offer of help is extended your way and take the burden off yourself to do it all.
2. Don’t let friends get you down: It’s easy to take on your closest friend’s concerns and pressures because you love them, but you’re not a magic fairy that can wave her wand and make everything better. Yes, provide the emotional support they require but don’t make someone else’s issues your issues.
3. Enjoy a special treat: Reward yourself once a week during the month with something just for you. It could be a new book, a manicure or coffee with friends. Whatever it is replenish your soul with something small and feel the happiness and positive vibes flow back to you.
4. Don’t return judgment: If you feel under attack or pick up on harsh criticism, simply refuse to join in the fight and avoid lashing out in revenge. Other people’s opinions are their own and are not a reflection of you. Don’t fall to their level and maintain your happiness.
5. Change your mind: Listen to your heart and it will tell you what is the right decision. If you’ve said ‘yes’ but really mean ‘no’, you have permission to change your mind.
6. Give a compliment: Influence the happiness of others and pay a compliment to someone you come across. Watch as their face lights up with genuine appreciation.
7. Live simply: Ask yourself, “Is my schedule really a must-do list of priorities or is it full of nice-to-dos?” Clear your calendar of any non-essential tasks and simplify your life (even just for a few days) and take a load off.
8. Take a walk: Get outside and reconnect with nature. Take your shoes off in the park or walk around the block. Walking is simple, free and most importantly a great stimulant for happiness and energy.
9. Declutter your closet: What can you purge? Take a few minutes to select 5 to 10 items you can pass on to charity or ask a friend if they would like your items. Physically removing unnecessary pieces can help you feel emotionally lighter, and is also a nod to the universe that you are ready to make way for a new phase.
10. Donate to charity: It can feel really good to do something for someone else without any expectation of receiving in return. There are hundreds of people getting active to raise money for good causes at Everyday Hero. Visit today and make an anonymous pledge and support their mission.
11. Enjoy a bath: The healing powers of water has been enjoyed since the Roman era. Soak in a long hot bath, read a book or play soothing music and allow the hot water to remove toxins and relax you.
12. Reconnect with friends: Are there ghosts of girlfriends past lingering in the distance you’d love to reconnect with? Commit to making a surprise telephone call or Skype them this month and be uplifted by the energy of reforming an old friendship.
13. Be creative: Play with words, music, paint or anything else that once stimulated your senses, but you no longer have time for. Whatever your preferred method is of creativity, do that, and leave all judgments and preconceived ideas at the door.
14. Step out of your comfort zone: The fastest way to stir up tired old routines is trying something new. Drive a new way to work, visit a different shopping centre or cook something you’ve never tried before. It doesn’t need to be significant or expensive, it just needs to be different to your daily grind to get your brain functioning in a new way and your body enjoying new sensations.
15. Breathe: Slow down and breathe. On the inhale count to five and on the exhale count to five. Feel the air in your lungs and appreciate the moment.
16. Say ‘Thank You’: You may think it, but how often do you say it? In our hastiness to get things done and move from one task to the next it is easy to forget the common pleasantry of ‘Thank You’. Your appreciation and kindness will hopefully spark others to act similarly – besides it feels good to show genuine thanks.
17. Talk Positive Be Positive: Your words fuel your actions, so consider how you want to behave today. If you consciously choose powerful, positive words over belittling, negative ones, your self-care can only benefit.
18. Be Mindful: Mindfulness is easier than you think. It’s the simple task of concentrating on one thing at a time and giving all your focus and positive attention to the task at hand. For example, when you’re talking to your kids, are you also cooking, cleaning or watching the TV? Practice mindfulness and feel the reward of a fully engaged and loving moment.
19. Eat Slowly: Slowing down to enjoy your food is a simple pleasure that takes little-to-no real effort. Chew thoroughly, enjoy the taste and eat calmly to savour the dish and the time you have to nourish your body.
20. Practice Gratitude: At the end of the day, consider one thing you can truly be grateful for that day. What sparked a joyful connection for you or was simply your favourite part of the day? Write down why you are grateful for the moment and how it made you feel.
21. Host friends for dinner: Beautiful food, good music and great company is an excellent recipe for happiness, however because this is your self-care month, ask each person (or couple) to bring one course each so you don’t have to do it all.
22. Set yourself a goal: One way to stimulate self-care is to ask yourself what do you want to achieve in the next few months or year. Setting goals, then breaking down how you’re going to achieve the goal is a healthy way to take a look at your life and empower action. You don’t need to complete the goal this month, just know that you’re serious about getting started and investing in your own self development.
23. Smell yourself happy: The power of an enticing fragrance can have a healing effect on your mental, emotional and physical health – just look at the success of aromatherapy. Burn a scented candle, shower with a flower infused soap, dab your favourite perfume on your wrist and neck or burn oil in a diffuser to reduce stress and boost energy rapidly.
24. Enjoy Flowers: The beauty of flowers can instantly transform any mood. Place a fresh vase of flowers in your house or on your desk at work and enjoy the joy their natural presence brings.
25. Let go of comparison: Self-care starts when we can let go of the need to compare ourselves to others. We are all unique, different and on our own journeys, that does not make your journey any less valid or special. When you let go of comparing yourself with others you are free to enjoy everything you have and open to the opportunity of welcoming more.
26. Sleep: Easier said then done for some, but sleep is a vital ingredient to any self-care program. Work can wait, television shows will be repeated and Facebook will still be there tomorrow. Close your eyes and replenish your energy the best way possible.
27. Remove Technology: I sleep with my phone next to the bed as much as the next person, but this habit has formed the nasty side effect of always checking my phone when I waking during the night and first thing in the morning. Toxic! For a loving, calming and positive zone remove your phone, TV, laptops and other devices from your bedroom and reclaim the space as your own, not the outside world’s.
28. Accept the quiet before the storm: Sometimes the space between making plans and achieving them can feel like nothing is happening at all or it’s not occurring fast enough. Accept this lull period as the natural ebb and flow of life. You can’t be going 100% all the time. Remember, you are where you need to be in this moment. It will happen. If you are constantly pushing and controlling the outcome it may just backfire.
29. Be Time-Free: If you don’t have any appointments or urgent priorities, take off your watch, turn off your phone and enjoy the sensation of ‘timelessness’. Follow your intuition and see where the day takes you. You are no longer constricted by the hours of the day, so what will you achieve?
30. Eat Well: A nourished body is a happy body. Take care of your mind, body and soul by eating a varied diet of wholesome foods and drinking plenty of water. When you love your insides the outside will naturally shine too.
Have I left any thing out? Let me know how you like to nurture your self-care in the comments below.
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