Life doesn’t come with a manual and while we all know deep down living life at 100mph isn’t good for us, most of us struggle to slow down and prioritize self-care. With family commitments, work demands, and busy schedules, our own well-being often comes bottom of the to-do list.
You know that has to change! If you don’t make time and take care of yourself, those late-night work sessions, poor food choices, and lack of “me time” will eventually impact both your mental and physical health. Adding some simple and easy-to-follow self-care ideas to your daily routine will make a huge difference to your well-being.
Tips To Practice Self-Care
Take the first steps to a happier you with these self-care tips.
#1 Get Outside
When you start the day by getting outside it lifts your mental wellbeing. It could be something as simple as drinking your first mug of coffee of the day in the garden. I like to do this even when it’s cold!
Wrapped up in a warm coat a blast of fresh air is part of my morning routine. Feel alive and clear your head of any lingering sleepiness.
#2 Move Your Body
Our bodies are designed to move. Take 5 – 10 minutes at the start of the day to stretch and move your body. Think of it as self-love.
Lift one leg at a time and rotate your feet around your ankles, shake out your legs, move your hips, rotate your upper back, and windmill your arms. Doesn’t that feel good?
#3 Just Breathe
Take those wonderful deep belly breaths where you’re breathing into the pit of your stomach. Find a simple yoga breathing exercise and practice it religiously every morning.
Taking time to breathe properly is one of the best self-care ideas to calm you down when you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed. Just focusing on your breath and breathing quietly helps to empty the mind and give you a few moments of inner peace.
#4 Wake Up Fully Before You Eat Breakfast
Too often we break our overnight fast while we’re still half asleep. Our sleepy body fails to recognize that hastily eaten bowl of cereal as food and just an hour or two later we’re craving a second breakfast.
Try delaying your first meal of the day until you have time to appreciate the food you’re eating. Your healthy breakfast will be so much more satisfying.
#5 Practice Positive Self Talk
Your biggest critic? That inner voice. Instead of dwelling on the negatives – did you say the wrong thing at a meeting, forget a friend’s birthday, give yourself credit for your successes too. For every negative thought, counterbalance it with a positive one.
Sometimes it helps to write positive affirmations on a sticky note and place it on your mirror or computer screen. This way, you will be reminded to practice positive self-talk throughout the day.
#6 Try Mindfulness
Becoming more aware of what you do, see, and feel can be incredibly beneficial for your mental health. Try slow walking or simply being present in the moment when you’re eating, talking to friends or just sitting in nature.
Many people find meditation to be a helpful practice in developing mindfulness. Taking even just 10 minutes a day to sit quietly and focus on your breath can help you feel more centered and calm.
#7 Read A Book
When did you last read a book? How about an actual physical book instead of a download version? Reading can be a great way to escape the stress of everyday life and immerse yourself in a different world. Plus, it’s also a form of self-care that doesn’t involve screens.
Try setting aside some time each day to read a few pages or even just a chapter. You may find that it helps you relax and unwind after a busy day.
#8 Take A Cold Shower
This may not immediately appeal but hear me out. Taking a cold shower may benefit your mental health. Cold exposure has been linked to reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. It can also help increase alertness, reduce fatigue, and improve circulation.
You don’t need to immerse yourself in cold water for long – even just a minute or two can have positive effects. Start with lukewarm water and gradually decrease the temperature to build up tolerance.
#9 Try A New Hobby
Doing something you enjoy can be a great way to boost your mood and reduce stress. Consider picking up a new hobby – whether it’s painting, cooking, gardening, or anything else that interests you.
Not only will it give you a creative outlet, but it can also help you stay present and focused on the task at hand, giving your mind a break from any worries or negative thoughts.
#10 Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is a powerful tool for promoting positive mental health. Take a few moments each day to think about what you are grateful for in your life. It could be something big or small – a kind gesture from a friend, a beautiful sunset, or simply having a roof over your head.
By focusing on the good in your life, you can shift your perspective and cultivate a more positive mindset. You can even keep a gratitude journal to track your thoughts and reflect on them later.
#11 Take An Afternoon Nap
Naps aren’t just for the elderly! Many successful people swear by the power of a mid-day snooze. A short 5-10 minute nap can help improve alertness, concentration, and performance. It can also give you a much-needed break from your busy day.
Just make sure not to nap too close to bedtime as it could disrupt your nighttime sleep schedule and keep your nap to no more than 20 minutes or you’ll wake up feeling groggy.
#12 Make An Effort To Look Good
Looking good isn’t about vanity or competing with the beautiful people on Instagram, it’s about making the best of yourself to lift your mood.
It could be as simple as wearing a favorite outfit, using a new lipstick, or styling your hair. When you look good, you feel good and it gives you more confidence. So make a little effort in the morning and see how it affects your mood throughout the day.
#13 Set Small Goals And Reward Yourself
Big goals can be daunting. If a big work project or life goal is freaking you out, break it down into smaller steps.
Aim to hit one small goal at a time and reward yourself for it. The rewards don’t have to be extravagant, they could be as small as treating yourself to a cup of coffee or taking a break to do something you enjoy.
#14 Take Time Out From Social Media
Are you a slave to social media? Does checking your accounts make you feel good or are they wreaking your emotional health?
Sometimes it feels as if everyone you know on social media is living the dream and you’ve been left behind. Don’t go there! Remember most people post about the good things in their lives and leave out the bad.
If you find yourself constantly comparing your life to others. it might be time to take a break. Take time out from your accounts for a few days or even a week – it’s a self-care idea your mental health will thank you for.
#15 Clean Up Before You Go To Bed
Do you ever wake up in the morning to a messy house and immediately feel stressed out?
By taking just 10 minutes before bed to clean up, you can start your day with a clear mind. It will help you sleep better too, as clutter and mess in the bedroom can be visually stimulating and disrupt your sleep patterns.
So take a few minutes each night to tidy up and wake up feeling more relaxed and in control of your day.
#16 Make The First 20 Minutes Of Your Day Screen Free
Start your day on a positive note. Instead of reaching for your device the minute you wake up take time to focus on yourself and set intentions for the day ahead.
Screen-free time in the morning can greatly benefit your mental health and increase your productivity throughout the day. Use this time to meditate, read a book, or write in a journal – anything that helps you start your day with a clear and positive mindset.
#17 Plan Your Day The Night Before
Instead of reacting all the time to events in your day – take control. By planning ahead the night before, you can make sure you focus on your priorities and avoid getting sidetracked.
Make a to-do list to stay organized and on track. Tick off items on your list as you complete them, and enjoy the satisfaction of making progress.
#18 Improve Your Sleep Quality
Most of us don’t get enough sleep. We stay up late hitting work deadlines, socializing, or just watching TV and groan when the alarm goes off the following morning.
Ideally, you should be getting 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep per night and wake refreshed and ready for a full day ahead. Set a reminder for yourself to go to bed early, and create a pre-sleep routine that helps you unwind before bedtime. These tips will help you sleep well.
#19 Keep A Self Care Journal
Reflecting on your thoughts, emotions, and experiences can help you keep a positive mindset. An easy way to do this is by keeping a self-care journal.
Make it part of your self-care routine by spending 5 minutes at the end of the day writing down your daily activities, any challenges or successes you faced, and how you felt throughout the day.
This will not only help you track progress toward your physical health and emotional health goals but will act as a prompt for your own self-care.
#20 Take A Daily Walk
We’re all in favor of daily exercise here at Love Life Be Fit. A daily walk is something that helps you both physically and mentally even when you’re tired.
Feel too drained for even a short walk? Just put your trainers on and tell yourself you’re only going to walk slowly for 5 minutes. Once you’re out of the house and in the fresh air you find your tiredness melting away and before you know it you’re walking for 30 minutes a day.
#21 Make Time For Fun
One of the most forgotten about self-care ideas is having fun. When did you last do something spontaneous that made you laugh or feel upbeat?
Plan fun ideas with friends or family. It could be doing something you would never normally do, visiting a local attraction, or just having a karaoke night.
Or try these fun running ideas for size!
Thoughts From Love Life Be Fit
Hopefully, you’ll find a self-care idea or two in this list to add to your own self-care routine.
Remember self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary for maintaining a happy and healthy life. So make some time for yourself each day and prioritize your well-being. You deserve it!
Love challenges – Take our 30-Day Self-Care Challenge!