At its most basic definition, self-care is any intentional action taken to meet an individual’s physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional needs. In short, it’s all the little ways we take care of ourselves to avoid a breakdown in those respective areas of health.
Because January is all about starting fresh and settling into new healthy habits, we’re giving you 20 ideas for ways to practice self care.
20 Ways to Practice Self Care
- Pick one thing that you need to do and get it done so it’s off your mental “to do” list.
- Get a manicure or pedicure.
- Get a massage.
- Try acupuncture. Read up on it if you’ve never tried it.
- Get a book from the library (free) or bookstore about some topic you’ve been interested in, but have never taken the time to learn. Afterward, spend a few minutes each day learning about it.
- Use a planner or a calendar to intentionally schedule “me time.”
- Hand write a letter to a friend or relative and start a conversation the old-fashioned way.
- Take an Epsom salt bath in total darkness and silence, or perhaps with just a candle or two.
- Bring a little cheer to your local animal shelter. Pet the kitties and walk a dog. You don’t necessarily have to take one home with you.
- Go for a walk around the neighborhood, or hike a local trail you’ve never been on.
- Cook a healthy and delicious meal using fresh ingredients you rarely splurge on.
- Allow yourself to sleep in a couple of extra hours this weekend; errands and chores can wait!
- Instead of always going to the tried-and-true, try a new restaurant this week. You might discover a new go-to.
- Next time you’re getting lunch, buy lunch for the person behind you in line. Say you’re “paying it forward” and walk away with a smile on your face.
- Try journaling if you’ve never tried it before. There are a lot of different ways to do it and lot of resources available to help you get started.
- Learn how to tactfully say no to invitations or requests at times when you already feel overwhelmed.
- Have a glass (or two) of red wine. Other than temporary stress relief, there are some great health benefits as long as you don’t overdo it.
- Take a bubble bath with a good book.
- Spend an hour this weekend at a soup kitchen or other volunteer opportunity.
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