You’re probably all well aware of the hype around self care chatter. It’s become a thing as of late, and I for one am grateful for it. Though none of us actually ever really needed it, the chatter has given us permission to be “selfish” — to take time out of our days to just be with ourselves, to treat ourselves with an overhaul of love, and to make zero apologies for it.
Again, every single one of us knows that we never needed the permission to do this, but perhaps we just needed to watch others in action. To see that the world doesn’t end if you take a break, that the right people don’t judge you for you putting yourself first, and that your self worth actually sky rockets when you take the time to focus inward an shut the rest of the world out temporarily.
As with most transformations or life changes, the most difficult task and frequent question I receive is:
.. But where do I start?
My answer? Anywhere you wish.
The rule of thumb is to just begin. It can be extravagant — like taking a solo trip to another country, or it can be small — like unplugging from technology starting at 5pm. There are no rules other than to just begin, and to not compare your self care needs to those around you.
Below are some simple steps to get you started towards embodying the act of self love on a regular basis. You might be surprised to find out how simple they really are.
10 Ways To Embody Self Care
Go for a walk without your phone
This may feel incredibly uncomfortable at first, but I promise you — within the first few minutes of your walk, you’ll come to value and appreciate the lack of pressure that comes with carrying this piece of technology with you wherever you go. Nothing is required of you. No photographs, no text messages, no checking your email. All that’s required is that you give attention and space to the moment you’re in: the present.
Wear pajamas for the entire day
Sounds a little childish, right? I know, but it’s also incredibly healing and relaxing to be in a constant state of comfort. Comfortable clothing is in act of self care and self love simply due to the fact that you’re sending a message to your psyche that you want to slow down, that rest is on your mind, and that you deserve it. If you can’t get away with wearing pajamas all day due to your job, opt for functional clothing that feel like lounge wear. This shirt and these pants are a perfect example.
Practice yoga, or stretch for a long period of time
Yoga isn’t for everyone. Vinyasa isn’t something I enjoy all that much, but I’ll be the first person to go to a Yoga Barre class or a Restorative Yoga session. (If you haven’t done this, go now) The point is to stretch out your body for an extensive period of time. So many of us (me, included) forget the importance of elongating our hardworking machines, and we hold on to so much unnecessary tension that’s been built up. Stretch it out — spend 10 to 30 minutes on yourself.
Read a self help book
It’s really funny to me the stigma that comes along with people who read self help books. Much like therapy, it can absolutely work as a preventative tool and a method towards personal growth — something I myself am 100% invested in, and have no intention of veering away from for as long as I’m on this earth. Self help books can be incredible outlets for us when we’re feeling stuck, unbalanced, or are looking for a different perspective on a certain subject. My favorite self help books are under the healing umbrella. Find a subject that calls to you, whether it be minimalism, relationships, addiction, grief, etc. The options are endless.
Play with a pet
It’s no secret that animals are therapeutic and they offer a perspective on life that us humans are constantly chasing after: pure joy and zero resentment. I can’t tell you the shift that I feel when Jasper is sharing my space — and when I’ve got him at my feet or on my lap. Or when we’re playing outside and I can see that in that moment, he’s never been happier. The unconditional love that comes along with a pet is invaluable. If you don’t have a pet of your own, ask a friend if you can watch theirs for a day. I promise it will uplift you immediately.
Meditate in whatever form works for you
As you all know from this post, I’m not a huge fan of meditating. Mainly due to the fact that I suffer from a pretty severe case of Tinnitus which is not fun. But meditation doesn’t have to be sitting in utter silence with your legs crossed. No way. For me, my strongest meditation happens when I’m taking a bubble bath and I have the sound of the water running in the background. Or laying in bed with my noise machine on so I’m not focusing on the ringing in my ears. Find a method that works for you, and start by taking just 5 minutes a day to focus internally and shut everything off around you. It’s my favorite way to start and end the day.
Laugh so hard you cry
Ideally, we’re all laughing so hard we’re crying at least once a day. Unfortunately, due to the “daily grind” or the “hustle” — often times we’re looking down at our computers so much that we forget to channel anything else. I don’t need to tell you that laughing is so incredibly therapeutic — fortunately for me, I live with someone who is hilarious and witty, but even then, I’m often times finding myself wanting that gratification of laughing so hard I have tears coming from my eyes. When this happens, I’ll throw on some stand up comedy (Kevin Hart is my FAVORITE) or a movie that I know gets me every time (basically anything with Paul Rudd).
Take a power nap
I’ve heard so many people say that they’re not nappers — that they can’t fall asleep in the middle of the day or they wake up feeling groggy. Power naps are insanely healthy, which is why some of the best places to work offer “nap pods” for employees to get a re-boot during their day. Brilliant. If you’re one of those people who have a hard time falling asleep mid-day, treat it as a power meditation session, or play some calming instrumental music so you’re not focusing on the words (this is my favorite). For those of you who feel groggy after a power nap, that’s because you’re sleeping too long. 20 minutes is my max, otherwise I, too, feel out of sync and a little dizzy. Start small (10 minutes) and work your way up. You’ll know when you’ve hit the perfect amount of time (and don’t forget to set an alarm!)
Bake something homemade
Personally, I’m not a great baker, but I love going through the motions of creating something delicious — but more than that, I love the smells that transfer throughout my home when something is baking. That act alone is enough to make me feel warm and centered; nostalgic, even. If you don’t want to partake in the eating part (totally get that — willpower!), wrap it up and bring the goods to work or share with friends. (IF you need some inspiration, visit Pinterest for an array of recipe options)
Give yourself a (free) spa day
Yes, going to a salon is nice here and there, but it’s also insanely expensive. If this is the route you want to take — more power to you! But you can also take care of yourself in the comfort of your own home, while wearing your own robe.
Here’s my favorite at-home spa day ritual:
Start by taking a hot bubble bath with Epsom salts to the point where you feel like you’re sweating (this is how the Japanese do it: the hot water works to release yourself of toxins). The epsom salts help to sooth any tense muscles.
Deep condition your hair. Even if you don’t have a “fancy” deep conditioner, all you have to do is use what you have and leave it in your hair for 5-10 minutes. While this works, read a book. (a self help book perhaps?!) or listen to a podcast.
After your bath, your nails will be super soft. This is a great time to give yourself a manicure/pedicure. Simply use a tool to remove any over grown cuticles, buffer with a file, and put on a fresh coat of polish. While it dries, continue reading your book or listening to your podcast.
After your nails are dry, make yourself a nutrient packed smoothie. My current favorite?
2 cups of spinach, 1 banana, 1 date, vanilla protein, flax seed, 1 Tbs coconut cream, ice, and coconut milk. (via The Balanced Blonde)
So there you have it. 10 super simple, attainable ways to embody self care (and you can start right now!) For the record: you never needed me or anyone else to tell you that you deserve it, because deep down, you already know you do. But I’m always happy to remind you of how freaking amazing you are, and to give out any love nudges, should you need it. x0