Ten Simple Ways to Practice Self-Care For Busy Women. Number Six Is One You May Have Never Tried!
Stress. There is no denying there is a high level of tension and stress felt worldwide right now.
You know stress is bad. But it’s just a part of life, right? You’ve been pushing through. Putting on a brave face and dealing with every new challenge thrown at you. Putting everyone else’s needs before yours. Self-care? Not on the agenda. You don’t have the time, resources, or the mental energy to even think about it.
Be careful, because that way of thinking will eventually cost you even more. According to the National Institute of Mental Health “Over time, continued strain on your body from stress may contribute to serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other illnesses, including mental disorders such as depression or anxiety.”
Do not underestimate the power of giving yourself some extra TLC. You know that expression, you can’t pour from an empty cup? It’s cliche, but true. It’s so important to care for yourself so that you can be able to care for others. Let’s talk about ten simple and affordable ways you can add a little much-needed self-care to your life.
1. Comfort Food
Alright, I know what you are thinking. “Encouraging pigging out on junk food?” But that’s not what I’m saying… unless that’s what you want to do. In that case, do your thing. It’s natural to find comfort in food. Some people love the process of making food. The smells that fill your home when you are making your grandma’s famous bread recipe. It brings back memories of your childhood. Or you may not love to cook food, but you adore the takeout place down the street that serves the best Pad Thai. Whatever meal it is for you, allow yourself to indulge. Savor the flavors and aromas of your favorite comfort food.
2. Spend time outside
Now I’m not saying you need to become Bear Grylls. But spending some time outside with fresh air and some natural scenery can do wonders for your mood. There are countless studies done about how spending time in nature can be beneficial. Positives include; boosting your mental outlook, reducing anxiety, increasing mental focus, and improving creativity. If you aren’t ‘outdoorsy’, it’s alright. Even a quick 10-minute walk outside can change your perspective. Nature’s own Prozac.
3. Have some fun
Let loose a little. You could listen to music, read a book, watch your favorite movie or tv show, do a puzzle, play a game, draw, paint, or dance. You get the idea. Anything to get your mind off of current events and your list of to-dos. Focus on something creative and exciting. Something that makes you forget all your troubles and puts a smile on your face.
“You have to let go of the rope to have more fun.” Anonymous
4. Have a drink
Along the same lines of comfort food, you may have a favorite comfort beverage. Some people love tea, some love coffee, some enjoy an adult beverage. Whatever it is that is your personal favorite, make an occasion out of it. For instance, the process of brewing a cup of tea requires some time and intention. You will be conscious of the fact that you are making the tea for you to enjoy. You can get yourself a fancy new mug or glass to drink out of. You can try a new flavor or variety that you’ve never tried before. Also, remember to stay hydrated with water. This is crucial to feeling your best, albeit not as exciting to talk about.
5. Pray or meditate
You can customize this to fit your own beliefs. But it’s important to take some downtime to be quiet and reflect on what is important to you. We live in a very fast-moving world. If you aren’t intentional about taking downtime you can become overstressed and burnt out. Carve out some time in your day that you can use to pray or meditate. This will drown out all the busyness around you and it’s a great way to practice self-care.
6. Heat/cold corn bags
Aches and pains bringing you down? Try some heat therapy. There’s nothing quite like the comforting feeling of hugging a toasty warm corn bag. Check out these awesome microwavable heat corn bags from The Jack’s Meow on Etsy. They come in all kinds of sizes and styles and can even be custom made with some herbs to add to the self-care element. One customer says, “These neck wraps are awesome!! I especially like the comfy flannel feel. Also, you can use these corn packs anywhere on your body that needs warmed up or cooled down.”
7. Decorate your space
Is your space cluttered? Is your comforter five years old, fading and tattered? (Hey, I’m not judging.) You are a practical person. Spending time and money on things that aren’t necessary isn’t something you do. But doing something as simple as freshening up your space can have such an impact on how you feel. A fun new throw pillow, a colorful art piece, fresh flowers in a vase, or a cozy blanket. You don’t have to do a complete room makeover, pick one or two things to start with and see how it makes you feel. Taking care of the space around you is a way to take care of yourself.
Adding a relaxing or invigorating scent to your space is a great way to boost your mood. The article “Influence of Fragrances on Human Psychophysiological Activity” states that our sense of smell plays an important role in the physiological effects of mood, stress, and working capacity. You can light a candle, burn some incense, or use some essential oils. This is a quick and easy way to change your atmosphere. It can make you feel like you are doing something special for yourself. Try a zesty citrus scent, calming lavender, or energizing peppermint.
9. New comfy clothes
At the end of a long day, there’s nothing better than coming home and changing into some comfortable clothes. Sometimes these clothes are not the cutest though if we are honest. A super-sized old t-shirt, some baggy pregnancy leggings, socks with holes at the heel. (Again- not judging!) Think how much better you might feel if your comfortable clothes were cute as well! Invest in a new matching pajama set, some soft slippers, or a plush robe. The difference when you look and feel amazing will be immense.
10. Pamper time
A little pampering can feel so luxurious and is a great way to practice self-care. You can take a bubble bath, put on a face mask, do an exfoliating treatment, paint your nails. It can be something very simple and inexpensive but can make you feel extra special. It tells you that you are worthy of getting special care and treatment. And you know you could use some of that right now!
Keep rocking it. You are doing amazing taking care of so many responsibilities and helping so many people. You get stuff done! But don’t forget to add self-care to your to-do list. What’s your favorite way to practice self-care? Pick one to try this week. You can even combine a few into one. A night at home with a bubble bath, a glass of wine, take-out food, and a warm corn bag to tuck into bed? Checking off your to-do list never looked so good!