I say the word “self-care” at least five times a day. After having spent my 20s as Type A person with unrealistically high expectations, I've learned the art of refueling mentally, physically, and spiritually. Many people spend so much time caring for others or working toward a goal, they feel guilty about caring for themselves beyond the basics of exercising and eating right. We tend to think of self-care as an indulgence.
A self-care activity can be anything that make you feel recharged. So, creating a routine is highly personal because what feels calming and centering to me might be terrible for someone else. For example, taking time to organize my work space or kitchen helps me relax. The same activities might be your most dreaded task.
Self-care is not trying to numb or distract yourself from your feelings. Be present and aware of what is driving your actions. Examples of activities that can be mindless include: emotional eating, alcohol, shopping, gambling, overexercising, or consuming lots of media. For many people, it can be challenging to manage their time in these areas. Aim for an activity that isn't a trigger for you. Remember, self-care isn't a guilty pleasure; it's an important part of your wellness.
To encourage you in finding and practicing your own self-care routine, try this challenge. Take a selfie or quick video of you practicing self-care and post it to Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag, #30daysofselfiecare and the day you're on (#day1). The days don't need to be consecutive. We're not about stress. This is just a fun way to challenge yourself to explore more and stay accountable. Don't forget to tag your post with @danielleorner so I can encourage you on your journey.
These aren't the activities you have to do. That's up to you. But here are some ideas for your #30daysofselfiecare.
- Take a long evening walk.
- Listen to your favorite album with the lights low and a candle burning.
- Nap outside.
- Dance — by yourself, in the kitchen, in a class, out on the town.
- Write in your journal.
- Make a meal, set the table, and enjoy without distraction.
- Go to your favorite coffee shop and order a special drink in a mug.
- Snuggle a pet.
- Visit a museum or window shop alone.
- Draw or paint.
- Do your favorite activity from childhood (color in a coloring book, swing on a swingset).
- Spend time on a hobby.
- Do yoga. If you already practice, try a new class or do it by yourself.
- Take a bath. (You'll want to take this picture before you get in.)
- Bake, just for the sake of it.
- Have a spa day at home.
- Meet up with or Skype someone who makes you feel supported.
- Watch a funny film or a beloved classic.
- Take a picnic or have breakfast in bed.
- Reread a book you know you love.
- Knit, do a crossword puzzle, or play an instrument.
- Try something fun or relaxing you've always wanted to do but haven't gotten around to yet.
- Sit in nature.
- Enjoy a hot tub or sauna.
- Get a massage.
- Watch the sunset or sunrise.
- Use lavender aromatherapy.
- Mindfully, eat some dark chocolate or fresh berries.
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