15 Self- Care Practices to Nourish the Soul
One of the best things that we can do for ourselves is to take a break, slow down and show our minds and bodies the love they’re worth. Have you ever wonder what it means to really take care of yourself? For some, self-care doesn’t’ get added into the daily regimen due to a lack of time or know-how. But putting it on the backburner can, in turn, create stress, resentment and defer us from reaching our full potential. Because our busy lives are often filled with non-stop hurry and noise, making the change will require intention and effort. But trust us, it will be worth it in the long run. While self-care looks different to all of us, here are 15 simple practices to try out:
The one thing a hectic schedule disrupts most often is our diet. Instead of fully nourishing ourselves we rely on takeout and processed, packaged foods that lack the necessary nutrients our bodies need. But if you making eating well a priority, you’ll feel better about yourself along with gaining energy and clarity. Eating Well has tons of delicious and healthy recipes that take very little time to prep.
Simplify your schedule
Do you often feel like you’re over-committed and overextended? Determine which activities are truly adding value to your life, and intentionally make more space for them while cutting out the ones that aren’t. You’ll form the healthy habit of learning to saying ‘no’.
Along with simplifying your schedule, get rid of physical excess and junk too. Aim to throw out one piece of clutter each week. You’ll be amazed at how a clean, fresh and inviting space can bring on peace of mind. It’s also a good idea to get digitally organized. Say farewell to that cluttered desktop and inbox. If you would like to learn how to declutter and organize your space, we recommend Marie Kondo's book called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
It’s always important to take notice and be appreciative of what we have. Goals and aspirations are no doubt important too, but being grateful can help us to stay grounded. So acknowledge the things you feel lucky for- nothing can be too big or too small.
Get out of town
Skipping out on time away from the 9-to-5 grind usually does more harm than good. If a longer getaway isn’t possible, simply add a few day trips to your weekends. Explore new areas and new interests you never have before.
Indulge in a break away from technology and just allow yourself to focus on the present. You’ll regain clarity and will be able to relish in some true alone time. Whether this is done first thing in the morning or over your lunch hour, just be sure to give your brain a daily break from the constant buzz.
Meditation can be a great way to tune out distractions. Find a dimly lit, quiet space to get comfortable in. Breathe slowly and relax your mind. This will become easier and more enjoyable with time and practice.
Our bodies are made for movement. So whether it’s a short walk around the block or a spin class after work, make some time in your schedule to get your heart rate up. Aside from the physical benefits, exercise is also so, so great for our mental well being.
Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while
Self-care is mostly about paying attention to yourself, but don’t forget that socializing with others is good for the spirit too! Plus, if you make this a habit you’ll likely see many of your relationships flourish.
You’ve been told this one time and time again. But 60% to 70% of our total body weight is made up of water, so it's not hard to understand why. Carry around a reusable bottle to hold yourself accountable. If necessary, set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to keep it full and hydrate.
Laughter truly is the best medicine. Make it a point to spend more time with playful individuals and purposely try to bring humor into daily conversations. If all else fails you can always resort to YouTube for a good chuckle.
Get out of your comfort zone
When we practice doing things that make us uncomfortable or nervous, it’s often quite invigorating. Furthermore, the science of breaking out of your comfort zone can help bolster our self-esteem by showing us that we can do much of what we tend to think we can’t.
Fresh air, sunshine and the beauty of nature can do wonders for our mental and physical health. Try to make it a point to get outside for at least 30 minutes each day. Enjoy your morning coffee on the porch, eat lunch at the park or take your typical treadmill run outside for a change.
There are tons of things that can sabotage our sleep. Maybe it’s pulling a late one at the office or maybe it’s a Netflix binge gone wrong. But rest should be prioritized for both health and happiness, even if this means snoozing all the way through breakfast from time to time.
Last but certainly not least (and definitely the most fun), indulge yourself. Whether that’s through a little retail therapy, a second piece of pie or a much-needed night out with friends. Just make sure it’s something that will bring a smile to your face.
If you don’t know where to begin just start somewhere small and build upon that. Savor a glass of wine, soak in a hot bath or have an ultra lazy Sunday. Just choose something that gives you pleasure, something that will help you stay sane and something that will nourish your soul.