Each year, July has a “Self-Care Day,” this year landing on Friday, July 24th. We want to help you celebrate!
What is self-care and how do you practice it? Self-care is when you say “YES” to yourself before others. It’s the act of giving your body what it needs, mentally and physically. Maybe this comes off as “selfish,” but we can assure you it isn’t selfish to show yourself compassion and listen to what you need. Remember: You can’t pour from an empty cup.
Self-care looks different for everyone, and there are plenty of ways to have a self-care-filled day or to get it done the leftover hour on a busy day. Of course, the glamorous self-care practices of spa days and shopping sprees are plastered across social media, but there are tons of ways to effectively practice self-care at home for free. Listen to what your body, mind, and soul need: And give it.
Here are 12 simple ways you can practice self-care on self-care day and every day to follow.
1. Say, “NO”
Do you find yourself agreeing to plans because you don’t want to disappoint a friend? Let’s re-write this idea. If you’re saying no, that is not doing anything bad to a friend, it’s doing what is best for yourself. You will be the best person and friend you can be when you put your needs first.
If you’re someone who has been agreeing to plans you don’t want to do for your whole life, it might take some practice to feel comfortable saying no. Start small, practice saying no to small things that don’t bring you joy.
2. Prioritize Your Health
It’s easy to forget about taking that meditation or setting up that therapy appointment. Self-care is your way of showing yourself love and giving it what it means. A super effective way to practice self-care and see the benefits is to put time aside to take your meds and catch up on any other health needs.
3. Sleep with Care
Woo-hoo… An excuse to get those 8+ hours of sleep! The truth is, a bad sleep schedule will hurt you mentally and physically. There are ways to get proper sleep even if you struggle to sleep from anxiety or other stress.
Sleep-related self-care practices can include:
- Setting a strict sleep and wake time
- Investing in an app to help you get to sleep
- See a doctor about your trouble with sleep
You will see positive change in other aspects of life when you get the right amount of quality sleep, you owe that to yourself.
3. Social Media Break
Don’t panic, this doesn’t mean purging your phone of any social media apps (unless you want it to be). Think about it, the time spent scrolling on social media is no good for your mental or physical health. People don’t post their failures, and it can be damaging to see other people’s *seemingly* perfect lives day in and day out which you will subconsciously compare yourself to.
A popular way to give yourself compassion is to take a break from social media. You can take a break for a day, or go a step further and deactivate for a month. If you’re not at that point, an awesome way to protect your mind is to unfollow accounts that make you feel bad.
This simple habit can be done in the morning when you wake up, at night before sleep, or during the day to document how you’re feeling. Journaling offers ample benefits for your health and is a simple way to practice self-care.
Plus, you can journal in your own unique way! You can use photos, words, lyrics, drawings, just about anything that will get the job done. Use your journal to reflect and empty the heavy feelings you have inside onto the paper.
A popular self-care practice is to dedicate time each day to meditate. Meditation and mindfulness can be used to prevent and even treat stress and anxiety, so it’s a great way to show yourself the love and compassion you need.
Google a meditation or head to the Mooditude app for guided meditations!
6. Eating Habits
You can’t overlook the nutrition aspect of self-care. Now, this is two-fold; You should be eating enough and eating nutritious foods, but it can also be self-care to treat yourself to your favorite meal or dessert!
Having a positive, healthy relationship with food is so important for your health overall!
You are probably familiar with the skin-care regimens of some celebrities and influencers… Do you have one? A calming and loving way to show yourself compassion is to allow yourself the time to have the hygiene and regiments you want.
If skincare is something you enjoy, allow yourself to dedicate 20 minutes in the morning and night to taking care of your skin with serums and masks. Maybe you’re more into taking a nice bath? Give yourself permission to lay in a soaking bath a few times per week.
8. Stay Connected with Loved Ones
The people you trust and love should be a part of your week. Be sure to stay connected through text, call, or email. It is a comfort and important piece to mental health to know you have people who care and love you.
Also, a great way to show yourself compassion and love is to reach out when you need it. Please remember: You don’t need to get through life on your own!
9. Plan a Vacation
Ok, this might be a bit more of a “glamorous” option for self-care, but it is a fun way to give back to yourself. Looking forward to something and giving yourself the space and time to recharge is crucial in mental and physical health.
Burnout is a real thing, and can be avoided by giving your mind and body the time to get away and put yourself first! Don’t feel guilty about that. Your vacation can be a stay-cation at home, watching your favorite movies, or a vacation on the beach. Whichever you feel is most relaxing and right for you.
10. Cry It Out
First and foremost, you need to know that crying is not weak. Crying is a natural way to release the negative emotions you have bottled up. It’s a simple way to practice self-care and you should allow yourself that cry if you need it!
11. Create a Self-Care Plan
Self-care is simple: Show your body and soul the care you give to others. You cant be the best friend, family member, employee, or anything else without giving your mind and body the care it craves. Don’t wait – Set up a plan for your self-care that maps out when and how you will give back to yourself!
Learn from trusted therapists each Tuesday on our Instagram for self-care techniques, breathing and meditation practice, and tips for living a happier life!