60 Simple Ways to Practice Self-Care

60 Simple Ways to Practice Self-Care

You know it’s a rough day when there’s a shoe missing…

The picture above was sent to me a few months ago by my sister. It’s of my young nephew inside his cubby at school. His teacher sent the picture to my sister and she knew what it meant. This picture says 1,000 words- two of those words being “not today.”

We’ve all had those days. Days where you want to crawl inside a hole and not move. Days when you can’t wait to get home and go to bed. I know I’ve had those days. A few weeks ago, I was not having a good day at school.  It started with the laminator going rogue on me and ended with me trying to hold back tears as I was grading math assessments that weren’t all 100%. In between those two events were a series of terrible things that occurred (which probably weren’t that bad but because I started the day off on the wrong foot, the incidents were horrible in my mind. It was like the adult version of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.)

I kept telling myself to just breathe and I can fall apart in the car.

Which I did.

Self-care is very important, especially around the holidays. Holidays can be a huge trigger for many people and for various reasons.  Four years ago, my father died the week before Christmas and it’s a tough time for my family.

Also, dealing with infertility around the holidays sucks. Thanks to social media, it’s in my face more than ever. Recently, I opened Facebook and a baby announcement was the first thing I saw (which was the second one I saw that week). I immediately logged off and stayed off for a few days.

While I love Christmas: the decorations, the food, wrapping gifts and the traditions I have with my family and husband, it’s also a time I need self-care more than ever.

When you think of self care, do you conjure up images of fancy spa days, with coffee and mani/pedis? I did as well until I learned from my therapist that taking a 20-minute nap is considered self-care.

In my quest to help better myself, I came up with a list of 60 simple ways to practice self-care, many of which don’t cost any money. It was super easy, and I’ll keep adding to the list as time goes on. These are all things that I have done or are currently doing. Except knitting. I don’t know how to but my mom does and she likes to knit to relax.

Here’s the list:

  1. Read a book
  2. Write in a journal
  3. Nap
  4. Meditate
  5. Take a walk
  6. Take deep breaths
  7. Eat a healthy meal
  8. Dance
  9. Listen to music
  10. Color with crayons
  11. Organize your belongings. Donate items you no longer use
  12. Take a bath
  13. Sit next to a body of water
  14. Star gaze
  15. Go outside
  16. Call a friend
  17. Watch a comedy
  18. Pet an animal
  19. Turn off electronic devices
  20. Find a relaxing scent and inhale
  21. Exercise
  22. Garden
  23. Draw and/or paint
  24. Drink a glass of water
  25. Walk barefoot in the grass
  26. Go to bed early
  27. Surround yourself with supportive people
  28. Practice yoga (YouTube has some great yoga videos)
  29. Go to the library
  30. Cry
  31. Treat yourself to your favorite meal
  32. Perform a random act of kindness
  33. Stop and smell the roses (or buy some and keep in your room)
  34. Sing
  35. Forgive someone
  36. Choose your favorite quote, write it on a post-it & display it
  37. Cuddle up with a soft blanket
  38. Wear comfy clothes
  39. Make a to-do list and try to mark off at least one item
  40. Clean your living space
  41. Make a list of things you are grateful for in your life
  42. Buy something small for yourself
  43. Go for a drive
  44. Enjoy a cup of coffee or hot tea
  45. Wake up early and enjoy the silence
  46. Say no
  47. Brush your teeth
  48. Brush your hair
  49. Play a game with a friend
  50. Enjoy the sunshine
  51. Do a puzzle
  52. Diffuse essential oils
  53. Try a new recipe
  54. Take your medicine
  55. Stretch
  56. Combat negative self-talk with positive words
  57. Make a list of 25 of your best qualities
  58. Start a new hobby
  59. Knit
  60. Shower and put on fresh clothes (even if you return to your bed)

While getting a pedicure is something I like to do, I don’t need it to practice self-care on a daily basis. The important thing is to listen to your body, respond to its needs and go from there. Tune in to your feelings and take care of yourself, however you see fit.

And if you feel the need to hide in a cubby hole, so be it.

What are some ways you practice self-care?

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