Well, it’s 2018 and that means New Year’s goals and resolutions have been set and laid out. One of the things I wanted to be more mindful of was taking better care of myself – or Self-Care – but who has the time? Am I right? So here are some sneaky ways that I’ve found to fit in some very basic, very needed self-care during the day. NOTE: I am not a therapist, and I don’t know what your stress level is like, but these are some tips I came up with for MY life. If you need help, please seek it out – don’t just think a candle and some veggies are going to solve your problems. Word!
1. A favorite mug or glass
I have two coffee mugs that I adore – one says Writer and has a typewriter on it and one is an artsy mug with a Matisse print on it. They make me smile and give me a sense of feeling special when I drink my coffee. I also use either one of our tall glass glasses for water or my plastic Mickey Mouse cup with bright colored stripes. This makes water way more fun to drink!
As I write this, I’m listening to a playlist I created for myself on Amazon Music (you can listen to it here.) It’s all pop music, really new stuff (like JT from the Trolls soundtrack and Ed Sheeran) because that’s what I was into the day I created the playlist. But if you’re like me and music feeds your soul, then listen to something, sing along, get out of your head and into your heart. It’s the best way for me to instantly feel better.
3. Candles, Incense, and Essential Oils
Basically, light something or use something that smells nice. I got an Essential Oil diffuser a while back and it makes the whole apartment smell nice. I also have a lovely Peach scented candle and some fun sage cone-shaped incense and a tiny holder that makes me feel cool, high energy, and grounded.
To go along with the nice smelling stuff, grab a lotion and keep it by you all winter long. Put that stuff everywhere! It helps keep your skin looking amazing and keeps you smelling nice….and let’s face it, giving yourself a mini massage when you rub the stuff in is an added side benefit (and keeps you warmer!)
5. Top 3 List
I know for me, I can get overwhelmed looking at my massive to-do list, so I started creating a Daily Top 3 of the highest priority items in both my personal life and day-job life categories. Anything else that gets done is gravy. I know, this might not seem like self-care, but keeping from being stressed out all day every day definitely helps me feel better.
I have found a really sneaky way to fit this in – every time I switch tasks I stretch. Holy moly does it feel awesome! I either do a whole body type stretch or I deal just with my shoulders or lower back. Try it, right now…stop reading and stretch just one area – do you feel better?
7. Deep breathing
And when I stretch I take really deep breaths, at least five of them. In slowly, hold, out slowly – rinse and repeat. I try to sync the stretching with the breath but sometimes I do one then the other. Depends, but I do this every time I switch tasks. I take just a few minutes and give myself that pause that my brain and body needs.
8. Healthy Snacks
My biggest vice is snacking and chocolate so I started writing down a list of easy, quick grab snacks and keeping things on hand like cut up veggies, hummus, cheese cubes, fruit, peanut butter, nuts, and hard boiled eggs. This makes it so easy to snack on something yummy, tasty, and healthy. I also want to find a brand of dark chocolate that I like (it’s not my favorite) so I can eat a tiny bit each day with a cup of tea for an indulgent treat. Suggestions?
9. Flowers or something visual and fun
We live in New York and for some odd reason, cut flowers here are fairly cheap. My husband and I both like vases full of flowers, but when my son was little we stopped buying them because he wanted to pull the petals off and we were afraid he would knock the whole thing either on the floor or on his head, but since little man is getting older I think we can definitely go back to buying weekly bouquets. Also, I love having bright colors, images, and inspirational quotes around me – see my vision board for this quarter, it has my main goals at the top and some images to help motivate me throughout my day (and yes, that’s a picture of Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle telling me to write).
10. Accept a complement
I find this so hard to do, but it actually helps your self-esteem. When someone pays you a complement don’t shy away from it – say thank you and let it really sink in. Don’t wave it away or say, No or Don’t….allow them to say something nice and really believe it. The more we accept compliments in this life, the more we receive them.
So, what have you been doing to get a little sneaky self-care in your daily life? Let me know in the comments which tip was your favorite or which one might be tricky for you and why? I’d love to help you!