When you’re a kid, you can’t help but think to put yourself first. But somehow as you grow into an adult, it can be easy to put your own needs lower on the priority list. Responsibility takes over and you can’t help but prioritize those you work for or share your life with. So, how do you refresh yourself in a world where you give so much time to others? Read on for a list of great self-care ideas.
Self-care practices are important. You need to give your mind and body some figurative fresh air from time to time. Self-care is not selfish. Self-care is preservation. You’d never forget to fill your car with fuel, so why would you let your personal fuel tank hit empty?
Check out the following ways to refresh yourself.
Self-Care And Preservation For Numero Uno (That’s You)
Life gets in the way. That’s life’s job. However, you can take measures to set up a routine that includes caring for yourself and making sure that even when life surprises you you can still carve out a little time to stay centered.
If relaxing isn’t a regular priority, make it one. Actually block out a half-hour each day (or every other day) in your calendar. You’re essentially setting up a meeting with yourself. You can tell your family, friends, or even work colleagues you’re in a meeting. (They don’t need to know you’ve simply shut your door for a bit to enjoy the quiet and a cup of green tea.)
The following self-care practices should be implemented as part of your everyday routine. Pick one or two of the ideas below that seem most refreshing to you. It only takes a half-hour to give your body, mind, and soul the break they need to feel refreshed.
Refresh Your Body: Go for A Walk, Take A Warm Shower Or Bath, Or Make Time For A Needed Nap
- Get Up And Move — More people than ever are living a sedentary lifestyle and that’s concerning when it comes to your health. Physical inactivity is the new cigarette — its dangers to your health can be troubling. Recent studies show that engaging in moderate physical activity significantly lowers your risk for heart health issues.1 Your body was designed to move. If you have to sit all day at a desk for work, try to move every half hour.
Take small breaks to climb the stairs in your building or go for a brisk walk around the periphery of your office. Even keeping a glass of ice water on your desk and promise yourself you’ll get up for ice cubes every time you notice they’ve melted. 50 steps to the freezer are still 50 more steps than you would’ve taken.
- Play A Sport Or Game You Love — The keyword here is “play”. Whatever makes you feel like you’re playing — go for it. (Video games don’t count.) Ping pong, dodgeball, body surfing… whatever gets you excited to be outside soaking up a little sun and vitamin D is an awesome way to get your body moving.
Hiking or taking a nature walk might do the trick too. Just remember to pack some drinking water. Bottom line: Get yourself outside and get your body moving.
- Tune Into A Relaxation Station — Sleep is massively important for the human body. For instance, sleep is critical when it comes to waking cognition — aka the ability to think clearly, to stay vigilant and alert, and hold focus. Moreover, memories are consolidated while you sleep and sleep plays a central role in emotional regulation.2
Make catching your Zs a priority. Whether you take a twenty-minute power nap under your desk or sleep in on the weekends, you’ll be allowing yourself to recover from whatever sleep deficit you’ve acquired through the week.
A bedtime ritual may help take the day’s edge off, too. Try using a detoxifying face mask before bed or consider taking an Epsom salt bath to help you unwind. A bath in warm water or a hot shower can really do the trick in communicating to your body that it’s time to let go of feeling the day’s frustrations.
For added comfort, dim the lights and light a few candles. Good luck staying stressed in your homemade spa. Your stress and troubles are sure to melt away.
Feeling Good And Refreshing Your Mind, Body, And Soul: Try These Self Care Ideas To Refresh Yourself
- Accentuate The Positive — Feeling grateful for the good things in your life doesn’t just happen. You have to make it happen. Start by waking and taking stock of the things you’re feeling positive about. You can even say something like, ‘I’m thankful today will be a beautiful day to do beautiful things.” Heck, say it out loud even if you’re the only one who hears it.
If affirmations aren’t your thing, take 10 minutes to silence your phone and stare out your window. Allow your thoughts to center around things you’re grateful for. As long as you’re able to take in and enjoy some foliage, sunlight, or even rain clouds you can consider the soothing effects of nature’s screensavers.
Finally, try and surround yourself with positive friends. Friends who support your goals are extremely valuable. Anybody who challenges your belief in a dream (or says you can’t do it) likely has no aspirations of their own. If it makes you feel bad to be around them, allow yourself some distance from them.
- Just Say ‘NO’ — This is a big one. Learning to set up boundaries and inform others about what you can’t (or prefer not to) do is a healthy practice that can leave you feeling happier not to be obligated to things you don’t care to do.
- Choose Fiction — Instead of reading only the news or scrolling through your social media, pick up a book. Fiction will activate your imagination.
If reading isn’t for you, try tinkering with a new hobby. Activate your hands and heart by sewing, drawing, or taking up an instrument. Even coloring in a coloring book might make you feel less stressed and adult coloring books are all the rage.
- A Daylong Vacay — You don’t have to leave town for a vacation. And if you only have a day, you can still plan a brief vacation. Take a trip to your local beach or park. Travel outside your neighborhood to a new restaurant. Hop in the car for a long, relaxing drive. Or if you can’t carve out a whole day, a post-work movie date can make you feel as if you’ve escaped your world for a bit. An after-dinner board game with friends or family might make you feel like you’re able to destress too.
Refresh Your Soul: More Time With Good Food, Friends, And Engaging In Volunteer Work
If you’re looking to refresh your spirit, you can do so in many ways. Spirituality is extremely personal and you know the best ways to honor your soul and find meaning in your day-to-day routine. Perhaps daily meditation will help you reset. Or, if sitting still isn’t for you, try volunteering for an organization you love.
Task yourself with these mini-tests:
- Refrain from complaining. See if you can get through an entire day without complaining.
- Write down 5 things you’re thankful for. Or name 3 people you love and list why.
- Get some truly reflective “alone time”. Not everyone has to be social to be happy. You may need some quiet time to center and reconnect with your authentic self. Maybe even ask yourself some serious questions to make sure your reflection is meaningful.
- Make a collage “vision board”. Choose images that inspire you and make you feel happy or relaxed.
Refresh Your Mind: Log Off Of Social Media And Try Some Healthy Self-Care Practices Instead
In the end, there are lots of things you can do to give yourself a refreshing boost. If you have a good friend or close family member to check in with regularly, it’s a good idea to talk out your ups and downs. Not only will this discussion strengthen your bond, but it will also lighten your load as you won’t be bottling up the days’ experiences.
You control your life and how you live it. So do your best to make refreshing yourself a priority. Doing so could lead to the life you’ve always dreamed of living.