It's January 2020. Gym memberships are at an all time high for the next few weeks, and everyone's resolutions have taken over your social media feed. You may have even made some yourself. Whether you are killing it and sticking to the goal you set for yourself or struggling, we encourage you to add TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF to the list, because no one else can.
The concept of prioritizing and taking time for yourself has been around for centuries. Philosophers like Plato proclaimed the benefits of reflection and contemplation. Mindfulness has its roots in Buddhism. Ancient Greeks were all about self love – or Philautia, as they called it then.
But what is self care? The dictionary defines it as ‘the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness’. It also mentions that this is particularly important at periods of high stress. As it feels like the entire planet (including the climate) are feeling strained at the moment, it’s maybe unsurprising that Google searches for self care have doubled over the last two years.
What a person defines as their version of self care changes from individual to individual. For some it’s a bubble bath and a good book, for others it’s a kale smoothie and 1000 burpees....Burpees?! No thanks! However you choose to do it, at its core, self care is all about listening to what your mind and body needs and giving it to yourself, guilt free.
Here are a few of our favorite suggestions for self love and care to add into your daily routine.
7 ways to practice self love and care everyday:
- Practice gratitude. Start your day by saying 3 things you are grateful for, perhaps even before you get out of bed. Write them down. Each day your brain retains a pattern to look for the positive.
- Speak more loving words about/towards yourself. Look in the mirror and say 3 things you love about yourself, physically and/or mentally. You yourself deserve your love and affection just as much as anybody else.
- Exercise. Get in some kind of movement for your body and your brain everyday, be it running, lifting, cycling, playing tag with your kids, or walking the dog. Take care of yourself with movement, so you will have energy to keep taking care of yourself and others as well.
- Get outdoors more. Fresh air can help give you an energy boost and Vitamin D helps boost your mood. Take a little walk outside to clear your head, it can help when you're feeling anxious.
- Put down your electronics and unplug. There is so much happening on the Internet and social media these days, and it can be very overwhelming and addicting, so it's important to turn it off and unplug for a while. Focus and do something else. Read a book, chat in person or call a loved one, draw, go for a walk outside, and spend time with your friends, family, or yourself!
- Spend time alone. Journal. Take a walk. Take a bath. Meditate. Give yourself a few minutes of YOU time.
- Drink more water. This may seem like a simple task, but most of us don't drink enough water. Take a water bottle to work that you have to refill, track how many glasses. Pro Tip: drinking more means you'll have to get up to go to the bathroom more, a great way to make sure you are getting up from your desk regularly.
Have fun! Get out there and do the things that light your fire. Enjoy them, enjoy being you and enjoy your life. Oh, and always eat cookie dough. That's our favorite form of self care.