Just like taking care of your car to ensure it can dependably fulfill its job of getting you where you need to be, taking care of yourself is equally important. And, just like taking care of your car doesn’t just mean giving it a wash, self-care isn’t just taking bubble baths and hitting the nail salon. Since so many of us have a lot of extra time on our hands and those who don’t (ENORMOUS THANK YOU to those of you working!) need to be taking extra good care of themselves, we have compiled a list of some common and not-so-common self-care ideas for you to explore!
1. Meal Plan
Meal planning is an excellent way to help take care of yourself, saves money, and saves you time during the week. Create a list of meals you want for the coming week, make a grocery list of ingredients you’ll need, and then either prepare the food all at once or divide it up into your own meal kits to simply grab and prepare in the moment throughout the week! You can even up your meal planning game by drafting out a plan for the entire month! Pin your weekly grocery lists to your calendar to stay organized and efficient! Check out this guide to help you get started!
Clearing the clutter, donating unused items, and organizing your living space can actually lower your stress and save you time! Having a clean, organized space lets you access what you need when you need it, rather than having to search for things, and has a calming effect on your mind! Housework may not be the most exciting form of self-care, but it’s definitely worth the effort!
Whether you read on your smartphone, ipad, laptop, a book, newspaper or magazine, taking a moment from the day to read something longer than a meme is a great self-care practice. In a world where our minds tend to jump between twenty different things every minute of the day, it’s good for our brains to focus on reading and focusing on one thing for even ten minutes a day. It builds our capacity for concentration and downregulates the nervous system.
Speaking of concentration and chilling out, meditating for even five minutes a day can help to manage stress, and with all the options available to us on the internet and through apps on our phones, there’s no reason to not take advantage of this centuries old mental health practice.
Exercise could not be more important right now, and even though the gyms and studios are closed, you still have options to keep your physical health in check during quarantine! Many trainers, yoga teachers, and other health professionals are offering free classes online or through social media for us to do at home! Yoga is a fantastic at-home exercise, as is just going outside for a walk if you’re able.
Having a creative outlet is a wonderful form of self-care. Performing a craft we love allows us to express ourselves in a non-verbal way. Whether you knit, sew, do woodworking, welding, pottery, music, or gardening, whatever your craft, try to carve out some time each day to do it. You can also learn something new, double self-care points!
Journaling, writing poetry or stories is another great way to practice self-care. Getting your thoughts out of your mind and onto a sheet of paper can be extremely therapeutic and offer clarity to difficult situations. Even if you’re not “into” journaling, grab a notebook, set a timing for ten minutes and write down everything that comes to mind. It might just become part of your self-care routine!
Going over your finances definitely does not qualify as one of the more fun types of self-care, but still deserves to be mentioned! Creating a budget, working toward paying off debt, setting up a retirement fund, or setting up automatic bill-pay to keep your financial life organized are great ways to take care of yourself and your loved ones.
9. Tackle the To-Do List
Having a list of unfinished tasks can actually cause you stress. Grab a pen and paper and write down all the things you’ve been needing to get done and try to accomplish one or two each day. This is another way of decluttering!
10. Practice Gratitude
Tell someone you appreciate them, start a gratitude journal, post something on social media that you’re grateful for. Expressing gratitude in any way helps to boost your mood and can have lasting effects on your mental health. Check out our blog on Gratitude!