People from all walks of life; from working mothers/fathers, political activists, business owners, caretakers of the old or young, career driven folks, and everyone in between tend to look after the needs of loved ones before themselves. But it’s important to remember that self-care isn’t selfish. Self-care helps you to manage stress, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a prolonged bout of stress can affect your health and ability to cope with life (source). So, self-care is truly vital to your mental and physical health. Self-care does not have to be expensive or take up a lot of time out of your busy schedule. But it sometimes can be overwhelming to think about self-care rituals with so many other tasks that need to fit into daily life. So if you’re in need of inspiration on building a self-care practice, check out the ideas below:
- Meditate or Pray.
- Sage your living space.
- Take a yoga class.
- Do your favorite exercise of choice (running, swimming, dancing, HIIT, cross training, Pilates, etc.)
- Draw or color in a coloring book (there are plenty of coloring books out there geared toward adults).
- Give yourself a facial with ingredients you have in your kitchen (for example: a yogurt, honey, strawberry mask).
- Wash your hair and do a deep conditioning treatment.
- Pick up hobby you rarely make the time for and devote some time to it on a weekly basis, even if it’s as little as 15 minutes a day.
- Call your bestie, Mom, Auntie, or Grandmom. Then makes plans to meet up with them.
- Cook a favorite meal or order take-out. Try using your best dinnerware, and slowly savoring your meal.
- Take a bath with your favorite bath salts and essential oils. Light some candles and turn on your favorite music playlist.
- Go to a bookstore and read your favorite magazines with a cup of coffee or tea.
- Take a walk, jog, or hike.
- Get a massage.
- Get a mani/pedi with your bestie or by yourself.
- Research and plan your next vacation even if it’s far into the future.
- Take a book to the park and read.
- Watch your favorite stand up comedy special or episodes of TV sitcoms that always make you laugh.
- Write in your journal.
- Write down your favorite affirmations.
- Listen to your favorite podcast.
- Schedule counseling, therapy, or coaching sessions if you feel it would be beneficial to you.
- Get a full night’s sleep.
BONUS IDEAS: Go to your place of worship for a service, have a prayer call or meeting with loved ones, cuddle with your pet, take a social media break, dance around your living room, volunteer for a cause you believe in, congregate with your tribe on a regular basis so your community can lift you up.
There are countless other ideas for self-care rituals, but regardless of what practice you implement, be sure to build it into your schedule regularly.