Got hygge?! (Funny enough, in Denmark and Norway it’s pronounced “hoo-ga”) Self-care, self-love, self-support, self-nurturing or hygge… whatever you want to call it, it’s one of the greatest investments you can make for your physical, mental and emotional health & wellbeing.
Because when you nurture yourself, you’re better equipped to help others. But, self-care isn’t all about rewarding yourself at the end of a hard day or stressful week. It’s about engaging in something that is self-supportive and looks after your own needs first.
“Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s mandatory. Fuel your soul so you can give your best to your people. We need all of YOU!”
~ Dr. Sara Gottfried MD, Author of The Hormone Cure
And if you’re someone who actually finds it hard to care for yourself, and give yourself permission to carve out that time, then you probably need it more than anyone else!
Your Daily Self-Care Routine – 50 Easy Ways To Start One TODAY! Here’s a quick story about a fascinating study.
If you’re not in the habit (yet) of nurturing yourself regularly, here are 50 ways to begin your self-care practice. Start small and START TODAY!
Our list was inspired by, and adapted from the following – and if you want even more ideas, please check out each of these self-care blog posts:
1. Spend time in silence and stillness – to recharge the body, mind and spirit.
2. Write down 10 things you’re grateful for. Say thank you out loud. Then say it again.
3. Start a “smile file” – a list of nice things people have said or written about you.
4. Say something nice about yourself in your head – then stand in front of a mirror and repeat it out loud.
5. Give yourself a pedicure, manicure or even just a foot scrub to refresh your feet
6. Take a bath or Epsom salt bath – light a few candles and play some calming music.
7. Read a book or magazine for an hour – and don’t just flip through, really get into it.
8. Go to the library or bookstore and sit in a comfortable chair and just read.
9. Sit on a porch or patio – take in some sunshine and listen to the sounds of nature.
10. Buy yourself a bouquet of fresh flowers – or cut some from your garden.
11. Go for a leisurely drive with no destination in mind – where could it take you?
12. Take a leisurely walk without a destination.
13. Go for a hike – with a destination.
14. Put on a homemade face mask – see recipe!
15. Give yourself permission to binge watch your latest ‘flix show.
16. Take a nap in the middle of the day.
17. Order in a healthy dinner – and make sure there’s leftovers for the next day!
18. Take a mini-meditation break – just 5-10 minutes needed. Even a deep breathing session does wonders!
19. Do something creative or crafty – writing, poetry, coloring, knitting, painting, drawing, woodworking.
20. Watch funny YouTube videos – preferably of animals doing funny things.
21. Go star-gazing or sit in the grass and watch the clouds go by.
22. Have a dance party in your kitchen to your favorite tunes. Better yet grab a loved one to join you.
23. Play hooky from work (mental health day!) —and don’t let guilt enter the picture.
24. Use an essential oil diffuser and mix up the blends you use. Rosemary is great to boost your brain!
25. Sit in a coffee shop and slowly sip on your favorite drink.
26. Try that new yoga, pilates or martial arts place that just opened – or try a video at home.
27. Get up extra early and quietly sip on a coffee before anyone else gets up.
28. Sing loudly – and not just under your breath or in the shower!
29. Listen to a podcast – and not just while you’re cooking dinner or have something else going on.
31. Digitally unplug for ONE hour.
32. Digitally unplug for ONE day.
33. Unfollow people on social media – if their stuff doesn’t bring you joy, make the cut.
34. Don’t go on social media for 24 hours – turn off notifications.
35. Find a playground and play on the swings, the slides and the monkey bars! Be a kid.
36. Declutter a closet or the “junk drawer”.
37. Bake that dessert you pinned 3 months ago – then eat it.
38. Watch the sun rise or set – don’t post it either, just watch it happen in real time.
39. Have a picnic in the backyard.
40. Go to bed early, really early – or sleep in late, really late.
41. Drink a smoothie for all 3 meals – no meal planning required. Make it ahead too!
42. Go to a museum or take in an art show
43. Watch a really funny movie or show – laugh until it hurts.
44. Get a massage – just because it feels good, not because something hurts.
45. Spend time out in the garden – get dirty!
46. Fancy up your water with some fruit, mint leaves or cucumber slices – and sip on it all day.
47. Connect with an old friend.
48. Sit around in your bathrobe or pj’s all day.
49. Cook a fancy meal… for yourself or someone you love.
50. Say “no” to something or someone.
As you can see, self-care doesn’t need to be complicated – in fact, the simpler the better. By practicing it regularly, if not daily, you’ll not only feel more balanced physically and mentally, but it will help you to take responsibility for the way you want to feel all the time.
Making Self-Care “Stick”
When your goal is to stick to a regular self-care routine, only seek out and implement the ideas that fit your personality, lifestyle, and of course – your schedule. Some ideas take more time and effort than others, so be sure they’re a good fit and that they’re something you truly enjoy doing.
Scheduling and planning out your “me time” is what usually makes a regular practice stick. By practicing at least one (or two!) of these activities every day, you’ll soon realize that self-care is indeed a necessity – and you’ll wonder where it’s been all your life!
Hopefully with this great big list of ideas, you’ve gained some inspiration to start nurturing, supporting, and loving yourself more often – the way you deserve.
“When you discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.”
~ Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D. Author
Coffee “Mud” Mask Recipe – for face & body (for guys and gals, don’t be shy!)
Even if your busy schedule prevents you from scheduling in a well-deserved spa treatment once in a while, you can still get your natural beauty on at home with this quick & simple face mask using just a few ingredients from your kitchen!
Ingredients: (2 applications for face or 1 application for larger area)
- 2 tsp coffee grounds (caffeinated; hang on to the coffee grounds from your morning cuppa!)
- 2 tsp cacao powder
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (ACV, unpasteurized; can substitute with witch hazel or rose water if you have extra-sensitive skin)
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp filtered water (or more if needed)
- In a small glass bowl mix coffee grounds & cacao powder with a silicon spatula.
- Add wet ingredients and mix until a paste forms. If it’s too thick, add a bit more water until desired consistency is reached.
- Using your fingers, spread mask over face or desired area, and let sit for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Rinse off with warm water using circular motions to get some gentle exfoliation of the skin.
- Pat dry with a clean towel and apply a rich moisturizer – perfect routine before bed