Self-care is a concept that has quickly gained popularity in recent years, perhaps as a reaction to the ubiquitous stress that the majority of people experience in their daily lives. Do you feel that stress is affecting your health, your productivity, and your ability to enjoy your life to the fullest? If the answer is yes, consider adding a few self-care practices and habits to your daily routine. This will help counterattack the effects of stress on your mind and body.
Read on to discover five self-care habits with long-ranging benefits that you can easily adopt today.
1. Create a Shower or Bath Routine
Any time spent in the shower or the bathtub is your personal time, so use it to cleanse not just your body but also your mind. Create a shower and bath routine that helps you relax and wash away all the tension and stress accumulated during the day. Some people like to light candles to create a cozy atmosphere, others prefer to listen to music or to read a book or a magazine while soaking in the bathtub. For an experience that touches all your senses, use your favorite bath and shower products. Enjoy their soothing effect on your skin and the fragrances that will carry you away to a place of serenity and calm.
After a soothing shower or bath, change into your softest, most comfortable pair of pajamas to cap off your relaxing routine. Focus on the fabric when choosing pajamas. Cotton and silk are go-to choices for the softness, comfort, and breathability they offer. Sleepwear made from bamboo fibers is naturally hypoallergenic, thermoregulating, and eco-friendly. Flannel, fleece, and wool keep the body warm and cozy during the colder months.
2. Schedule A Workout Session with a Friend
If you have a busy schedule and exercising is not your favorite thing in the world, maybe you can schedule a workout session with a friend. This way you get your dose of daily exercise so you can stay fit and healthy, but you also get the chance to catch up with a favorite person. Exercise and a healthy social life are two of the most important things you can do for your physical and mental health. So, if feel that you don’t have time in your schedule for a workout or for meeting friends regularly, this practice can help you solve two issues at once. Plus, exercising with someone else can give both of you a boost of motivation.
3. Read a Book Before Bed
If self-care describes an activity you do to restore your physical and mental health, bedtime reading fits this concept perfectly. Reading at night is an excellent habit because it keeps you away from screens. If you work on a computer and then come home to watch movies on your TV, or you spend your evening texting friends on your smartphone, this constant exposure to blue light and screens can cause you severe eye strain, not to mention the mental clutter. Excessive screen time before bed reduces your ability to fall asleep quickly. In contrast to that, reading can help you unwind at the end of the day so you can sleep better.
4. Walk for at Least One Hour Daily
We are so used to the presence of cars in our lives that we severely underestimate the benefits of walking. But when you don’t have time for running or intense workouts, walking for one hour can do wonders for your health and wellbeing. Walking promotes cardiovascular and digestive health, and it’s an excellent way to lose weight and stay fit. It can also lift your mood and help you clear your mind by reducing mental fatigue. Besides, walking releases endorphins that make you feel good and joyful, so you get immediate rewards for your effort.
5. Start a Journal
Writing daily in a journal is a wonderful way to practice emotional self-care. By writing about your day, you can identify negative or uncomfortable emotions and gradually develop healthy coping mechanisms. But you can also write in your journal about things that bring you joy and happiness, or express gratitude for the good things happening in your life. Write down your regrets, desires, and accomplishments, so you can keep good track of your growth as a person. Also, write down your favorite moments of the day as relying on your memory alone is not a good idea. Reading about beautiful moments from the past will fill you with joy and a sense of accomplishment and purpose later on when you decide to look back on older journal entries.
It’s easy to feel when looking at your daily schedule that it’s impossible to add any more activities besides work, household duties, and family responsibilities. But you must find some time for self-care habits and activities if you value your long-term physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Although self-care takes time, you gain energy and an increase in mental focus so you can give your absolute best every waking minute of the day.