There’s no skirting around the fact: life is busy. Between work and friendship and fitness and family, we often forget to take the time to think about ourselves. However, in order to take care of your career and relationships, you have to take care of yourself first. Otherwise, you will begin to see the effects on your body — mentally and physically. Practicing self-care daily sounds great in theory, but when you are already busy, it can look like another to-do list item or another day to block off on your calendar. However, self-care practices don’t need to be as a big as a spa day or a solo getaway, self-care can be integrated into small daily practices that quickly add up to huge mental and physical health results. Here are ten simple ways to create a daily self-care routine.
Set Your Alarm Ten Minutes Early and Stretch:
Lay out your yoga mat for ten minutes of simple stretching and work out the kinks so you can move into your day feeling lighter and looser. Extra points if you practice mindfully breathing while you stretch.
Take a Walk:
Get up from your cubicle, queue up your favorite podcast or band and head out for a neighborhood walk during your workday. You’ll feel stimulated and energized when you return to your desk.
Use a Guided Meditation App on Your Phone:
Meditation can sound daunting, and it can be difficult to shut your mind off. Guided meditations help make meditation a little more accessible and a little less scary. Apps like Headspace, guide you through 10-15 minute meditations that can be done anywhere.
Play for 10 Minutes:
Find childlike joy in a 10-minute dance party, an intricate coloring book, or a game of tag with friends. Let the warmth of simple pleasures wash over you.
Set Up a Diffuser:
Mix a few drops of refreshing and calming lavender and peppermint essential oils in a diffuser in your bedroom. Your space will become an inviting retreat.
Squeeze In a Workout:
Fit in a sweat session to experience the feel-good mental and physical state that follows a workout — no matter how short or long.
Have an At-Home “Spa” Ritual:
While it would be nice to have access to a spa every day, give yourself some self-love with an at-home spa ritual. Massage your face cleanser during your morning and nighttime beauty routine, pick an evening to paint your nails, give yourself a foot rub with a lacrosse ball or take a hot bath for half an hour.
Drink More Water:
Dehydration causes plenty of subtle effects, including heightened stress. Fill up your bottle and sip all day long. Bonus: you’ll be killing two birds with one stone by hydrating your skin (no more puffy eyes!) at the same time.
Write in a Nightly Gratitude Journal:
Gratitude journals are proven to increase happiness. So pick up a pretty notebook and write at least three things you are grateful for every evening. You’ll go to bed feeling calmer and more relaxed — especially if your mind typically races at bedtime.
Settle Into Bed With a Good Book:
Replace your phone and TV with your favorite book. Books allow you to escape into a new world, leaving you to feel more refreshed with a new perspective when you return to the real world.
A California-native, Emily Torres is a self-proclaimed PR and social media junkie with a passion for lifestyle writing. Her work has been featured in POPSUGAR Fitness, Elite Daily and LOCALE Magazine. When she is not writing, she can be found in a yoga class, at an art museum, at a summit to view sunrise or sipping on some red wine with her kitten, Walt. To learn more about Emily, visit: espressoandendorphins.com.