Are you feeling low on energy or a little down? Well, a bit of self-care could be just what you need.
Self-care is about taking the time to put your needs first and showing yourself some loving care. By doing this, you replenish yourself and fill up with positive energy. And this enables you to take your best and most energised self out into the world without getting depleted.
Here are a few simple self-care ideas to inspire you to take more care of yourself, and get back to your most energised and inspired self no matter what life throws at you!
What is self-care and why is it important?
Self-care is essentially about taking care of yourself.
It’s about taking the time to put YOU first, and addressing your emotional, physical and mental needs.
Many of us put this aside because we’re too busy, don’t have time, or just don’t think it’s important enough to make the top of our list.
Believe me, I get it.
I’ve often felt like it was a luxury to take time out to nurture myself. I’d get anxiety doing yoga in the morning, thinking to myself ‘I should be working right now, this is wasting time‘. And so I would instead spend my time giving my energy away, instead of taking the time to replenish myself.
However, when you just give give give, at some point, you start to run out of energy. And that’s when you start to feel depleted, depressed, burnt out, and uninspired.
That’s where self-care comes in to save the day.
By taking the time to regularly take care of yourself and your personal needs, you replenish yourself so that you don’t get depleted. Instead, you feel energised, fulfilled and inspired to conquer the world!
There is a wonderful quote by David Wolfe, the guy who started the raw foods movement:
“To be loved, we have to love ourselves. Only when we love ourselves do we have enough love to give away. By giving love we then receive love.”
Self-care and self-love are a bit different, but they’re also very linked. If you love yourself enough, you make the time to put YOU first and take care of your needs. Wouldn’t you agree?
What does self-care mean to you?
We are all different and have unique emotional, physical and mental needs. So our self-care activities are going to look a little different.
That said, there are some essentials that all of us can benefit from, like eating nourishing food, moving our bodies, getting enough sleep and having fun.
And apart from the obvious essentials, there are a ton of other big and small ways you can show yourself some tender loving care.
At the end of the day, self-care is about looking at your life and how you feel, and asking yourself:
- What do I personally need to feel my best?
- How can I make myself feel better than I feel right now?
- What small thing could I do for myself right now that would make a positive difference in my life?
Look at all areas of your life, and think about ways you can nourish them. Think about your body, mind and spirit.
How to build the self-care habit
If you don’t do much self-care at the moment, don’t get overwhelmed by now having to do all these things.
Becoming your best self is about making tiny changes, one by one.
So start slow, and pick one thing to implement into your life. Keep doing that one simple thing for as long as you like, until you feel ready to add something else.
When you focus on introducing one small change at a time, you put less pressure on yourself and make it easier to adjust and be consistent. And through that consistency, you start to make these small changes part of your life. That’s when you experience lasting lifestyle changes instead of phases.
As you start to build these self-care habits into your life, they become part of your everyday routine, like brushing your teeth.
And what happens… you feel better and better, and move on a steady path to your best self.
Simple self-care ideas to lift your spirits
There are so many ways to take care of yourself and nourish your mind, body and spirit. And as I mentioned above, we’re also all unique and have different needs at different stages of our life.
Below are some simple self-care ideas that have helped me in the past. Use one or more of them if they resonate with you, or get inspired to try something else. Remember, this is to make YOU feel good, and only you know what you really need right now.
1. Get some extra sleep
Sleep can have a huge impact on the rest of your life. If you’re feeling a little burnt out, make a point of getting some extra sleep. Tidy up your room, put on fresh sheets, perhaps even light a candle and add some flowers to your bedroom. Think of ways to get some extra ZZs – whether it’s skipping movie night and going to bed earlier with your favourite book, or putting away the alarm clock and letting your body wake up when it feels like it. Play around and take note of how some extra sleep affects how you feel.
2. Take time out to do something YOU enjoy
Many of us spend most of our time doing the things we NEED to do, instead of the things we LOVE doing. And even if we love our work, many of us spend very little time playing outside of work. Think about some activities you really love doing, big or small, and schedule one of them into your week. Some ideas: Go for a walk in the park, go for a bike ride, get cosy and watch your favourite series or movie with popcorn, spend a few hours reading your favourite book with a cup of tea, draw something, listen to your favourite album, visit a funky bookshop you’ve never been to in your city, have a bubble bath… Beyond the must-dos and work, what do you truly love doing? This is a great way to add joy to your life.
3. Go on an Artist’s Date
This is similar to the above idea of doing something you really enjoy but it takes it one step further. Make it official and plan out a date with yourself. This is time with yourself doing something you really enjoy. This is totally personal and up to you, but some of the dates I’ve gone on with myself include: Going to the cinema to watch a movie I really want to see, visiting a cute little bookshop and writing in my journal with a coffee and a slice of cake, going for a solo picnic in the park and brainstorming my life or sketching under the trees, visiting a nursery and buying myself a succulent… Where would you go if you took yourself out on a date?
4. Get your body moving
Ironically, being more active can actually help you feel more energised, and is a great way to release built up stress and tension. It can also help you feel happier and more inspired! Think about ways you could move your body more. Some ideas: Go to a yoga class, do a workout video on Youtube (pick a workout style you enjoy), go dancing with friends, meet a friend for a walk in the park and perhaps have a picnic while you’re there, go for a weekend stroll around a cool neighbourhood in your city… What are some enjoyable ways you can get your body moving more? Read up on the fabulous health benefits of exercise (apart from weight loss and toning up) to motivate you to get that body moving more!
5. Go for a walk
This seems so simple, but going for a simple walk is a great way to clear your mind and re-energise. Many of us spend a lot of time in front of the screen, and this gets you outside in the fresh air. You could go for a fresh morning walk with an audiobook, a short lunch walk around the block to get a break away from your desk, or meet a friend for a walk in the park. However you do it, make it work for you… How can you make going for a walk most enjoyable for you?
6. Make yourself a delicious and nutritious breakfast
You’ve all heard the saying, you are what you eat. Food has a big impact on how you feel, so take some small steps to nourish yourself more. Breakfast is a great place to start, as you can keep it simple. There are plenty of simple healthy breakfast ideas online, so find something you’ll enjoy. Take the time in the morning to make yourself a delicious breakfast, and fuel yourself with energy to conquer the rest of the day!
7. Start off your day with a morning routine
Whether it’s a 15-minute or a 2-hour morning routine, it doesn’t matter. Just by taking the time to do something that nourishes YOU before the rest of the day begins is a great way to show yourself some self-care. I’m a big advocate for morning routines because I have experienced the positive impact they have on the rest of my day. By putting yourself first – first thing in the morning – sets the tone for the rest of the day.
You can keep it simple and just make yourself a cup of tea and enjoy a quiet 10 minutes out on the balcony writing down what you’re grateful for, to inspire a positive mindset. Or you could do a 15-minute yoga stretch, write in your journal, tidy up your place, take the dog for a walk, it’s completely up to you. Think about what you need most, and enjoy some you-time first thing the morning to nourish and centre yourself in whatever way works for you.
8. Pamper Yourself
We all need a little pampering no? This is one of the ultimate acts of self-care, where you’re saying to yourself “Yes, I am worth it.” Some ideas: Do your nails while you watch an episode of one of your favourite series, give yourself a face mask, take a bubble bath with candles, essential oils and your favourite music, have an Epsom salt bath to relax your muscles, start an evening face cleansing routine, exfoliate and moisturise your whole body… I’m sure you can think of plenty more ideas!
9. Go for a massage
This is the ultimate self-pampering! If you’re on a budget, look at where you spend your money each month, and if you try really hard, you may be able to find a gap somewhere. For example, instead of going out with friends to party every weekend, save up one weekend for that massage. Or, instead of getting that over-priced takeaway coffee every morning, save up for a glorious massage instead! Your body will thank you.
10. Do a yoga video at home
I know I bring up yoga a lot, but seriously, it has such a positive impact on the body and mind. You don’t need to be a seasoned yogi or flexible or anything to do yoga. Just get up 30 minutes earlier a couple of mornings a week, find a beginner yoga video on YouTube, and press play. Try different videos and find a yoga style, teacher and duration that works for you, and just go with it.
If during the week feels like too much of a commitment to you right now, perhaps try out a yoga class on a Saturday morning when you’ve got nothing on – Light a candle, hop into something comfy, and start your weekend with a relaxing stretch, giving your body a wonderful bit of tender loving care. Do it at home, or make an outing of it and visit a local yoga studio.
Yoga has so many benefits, but the simplest most obvious one is stretching – It’s amazing how stiff most of us are, and yoga really helps to loosen us up and get rid of blockages and tension. This can have a powerful effect, bringing a sense of warm relaxation to the body and calm focus to the rest of the day.
11. Put on some music
Music inspires our senses and can help us unwind. Find some music you really enjoy and press play. You could get up and dance to some upbeat music, or play soothing classical while you have your morning tea. Think about what you need more of in your life – be it play or calm – and see how music can help you get there.
12. De-clutter your space
Our outside space is often a reflection of how we feel inside. And so, that’s why there is something so soothing about decluttering our spaces. By organising and cleaning up our physical space, we feel cleansed ourselves. Make a list of some of the ways you can clean and declutter your environment. Start with one thing and see how it feels. Some ideas: Tidy up your clothing cupboards, clean out your handbag and wallet and only keep what you need in it, re-organise your bookshelf.
Take it one step further and think about ways to make your environment more comfortable and inspiring. You could light a scented candle, add a vase of fresh flowers, get yourself some new pretty sheets, or hang up some artwork… Have some fun with it!
Ready to start giving yourself some tender loving care?
I hope this post has inspired you to think about your personal needs, and to show yourself more tender loving care. Think of ways that you can nourish yourself, mentally, physically and emotionally, so that you can get closer to feeling your best self. From this place, you can really give your best to the world.
What self-care activity are you going to try incorporating into your life?