This year I decided to do one thing for myself a day.
I haven’t been good at practicing self-care. I’m more of the don’t want to get a manicure because it means I have to sit still and can’t be productive for an hour, type.
But, I started to notice the quality of my work would go down when I focused more on my task list than myself.
Yes, that does mean this self-care journey of mine started because I wanted to be better at my job 🤦♀️ … not what I was hoping for, but it got me started! You might find that a lot in this list is about being mindful. They’re things we do pretty regularly as humans, the big difference is being conscious of what you’re doing and how it makes you feel.
What’s shifted the most for me is my daily mindset. I feel more inspired and honestly, happier. I’m in no way an expert at this, but it’s has made a BIG difference for me. Hopefully this ‘one thing for yourself a day’ thing can help someone else too.
Self-care can get really expensive. We’re told it needs to involve scents, bath bombs, vacations…but it doesn’t have to be. It’s really about slowing down, giving yourself some space, and letting your body rest.
Here are 20 ways I’ve been practicing self-care for FREE:
Take a bath
Super cliché, right? But it actually works. Don’t own a tub? Take a longer shower! I realize with kids that’s hard to impossible, but if you’re able, I highly suggest it. Just don’t bring your phone in the tub 😉
Sit down for 5 minutes
…and do absolutely nothing. Don’t check your phone, tell your family you’re busy and don’t judge any thoughts that come to mind. It might sound like meditation, and it kinda is, but before I was comfortable sitting down and meditating, I found this to be really calming and effortless. Plus, 5 minutes is manageable for any schedule. If sitting still sounds too hard, grab a cup of tea to sip! Not convinced? Here’s a study showing that sitting for 20 mins can be just as effective as exercise and meditation.
Do your nails
Just don’t rush through this. Put on a good movie or podcast and give your nails the time to DRY this time.
Style your hair
If you have as thick of hair as I do, it could take a while! But it feels so good to do yourself up with no intention of impressing anyone else.
You may not be spiritual or religious and that’s totally okay. Personally, this would involve meditation, reflection, and prayer. For you, it could be taking time to think about what makes you feel connected to humanity or makes you feel most like yourself.
Learn something new
Watch a documentary, Ted Talk, read a book; just don’t do it for work or another chore that you have.
Open your Windows
This one isn’t so much taking care of yourself. It’s more to help you feel better on a low day. It really does help.
Turn your phone on airplane mode
For the night or until you feel less demanded by it.
Make good food
Food that makes you feel energized after. I love greasy food too, but that doesn’t have a place here.
I’m pretty sure your eyes just rolled. But here’s the best part – you’re not going to judge yourself for “not drinking enough water”. Remember, you’re doing it to take care of your body because YOU LOVE YOU, not to hit a quota.
Go for a Walk
By yourself, go with someone, whatever you need. It’s a great way to get out of your head and boost endorphins!
Do Some Fear Setting
If you haven’t heard of this one before, look up “Fear Setting” by Tim Ferriss. You would be amazed at what can come out of it.
Pick up a Hobby
I garden in the summer and knit or sew in the winter. Grandma was on to something! But we want this to be FREE, so how about looking for some scrap material or yarn you already have, picking up Yoga from Youtube videos – your options are endless!
Take a Nap
I don’t need to convince you. Naps are the best.
Go Through Your Stuff
Maybe I’m the only weirdo here, but I find it so helpful to go through my things and purge. I find too much stuff, especially when it doesn’t have a home, adds to the stress.
You already know it feels good to get your stretch on!
An amazing woman in my networking group says she always has 2 books on the go. One she can learn from and the other is a good novel. I’ve adopted that and it’s genius!
Make an Exercise routine
This one might be the most work but it has the most reward. It’s scientifically proven that exercise will make you feel better and think clearer. I can vouch for that! I always feel better when I’m in a gym routine, even just once a week. Need more convincing? Here’s a write up from the ADAA.
Do a search for free adult colouring pages, print one-off, and go to town! Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.
Sometimes what we need is to get out of our own heads and focus elsewhere. You could join a group that meets at the same time each week or volunteer as a one-off when your community needs it. Some animal shelters look for volunteers to walk their dogs if you don’t want a task too people-y! Doing a nice thing for someone else just makes you feel better.
That’s all 20 of them! I truly hope you’re able to find a helpful nugget on this list. But if nothing else, remember that you’re not alone on this journey. This world is obsessed with busy and it’s okay to say no to that.
If you’re interested in more articles on mindset, check out Being Grateful Is Good for Your Health.
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