In a world of what can feel like chaos and constant stress, it’s important to take time for self-care. Self-care doesn’t have to mean spa days and expensive products; it’s the little things we do every day that make a big difference in our lives. By practising self-care, you can maintain your mental health and keep on top of stress even when you’re short on time. Here are 6 self-care ideas that can easily be incorporated into daily life.
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What is self-care and why is it so important
Self-care is the practice of intentionally looking after your mental, emotional, and physical health. It’s about recognising your needs, setting boundaries, and making time for the things that matter to you. Self-care looks different for everyone. It can be taking a walk in nature, reading a book, or spending time with friends. It can also be calling a friend when you’re feeling anxious, taking medication as prescribed, or going to therapy when you need to process difficult emotions.
There are tons of reasons why self-care is important. It helps us stay positive, boosts our mood and self-esteem, and maintains our mental health. Practising self-care is important because you can’t pour from an empty cup. If you’re constantly putting all of your energy into other people and never putting anything back, you’ll eventually burn out.
Quick and easy ways to incorporate self-care into daily life
Not everyone has time for hours of self-care or weekend retreats, so here are some quick self-care ideas that you can fit into your days (even the busy ones).
1. Go for a walk
A walk in the park or even just around the block is a great way to boost your mood and relieve stress. Taking a walk outside has many health benefits, including reduced blood pressure, lower risk of heart disease, and improved mood and sleep.
A walk is also a great way to spend time by yourself. You can let your mind wander, enjoy the fresh air, and soak up all the Vitamin D. Whether you walk alone or with a friend, spending time outside is a great way to take care of yourself and reduce stress.
2. Get mindful
Mindfulness is an excellent way to reduce stress, increase self-awareness, and boost your mood. One of the best things about practising mindfulness is that you don’t need anything special to get started – and you can easily incorporate it into daily life.
You can practice mindfulness when you’re brushing your teeth, making a cup of tea, on your commute to work, or even when eating. Not sure where to start? We have a whole guide on mindfulness for beginners which includes some simple mindful practices to get you started. No matter how you practice mindfulness, you’ll see many benefits from taking time out of your day to slow down.
3. Practice gratitude
Adding gratitude into your daily life is a great way to focus on the positive and take care of yourself without needing too much time or effort. Practising gratitude is particularly helpful when surrounded by what feels like constant negative news as it helps us focus on the good in each day.
There are many ways to practice gratitude. You can write down three things you are grateful for each day, write down one positive thing that happened that day, or make a little note every time something good happens. No matter which way you choose, you’ll see positive effects, including reduced stress and anxiety, increased happiness, and improved mental health.
4. Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is an important part of self-care – in fact, we think it’s one of the most important parts! It’s a great way to take care of your mental and physical health, reduce stress, improve your mood, and lower your risk of chronic conditions. Aim to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night to maintain your health and feel your best.
It can be difficult to make sleep a priority in a busy world, but developing an evening routine can be a great starting point. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, there are lots of things you can add to your bedtime routine, including journaling, reading, taking a warm bath, and sleep stories. Read our guide on creating your ideal evening routine here.
5. Get creative
Arts and crafts, writing, journaling and other creative hobbies are excellent ways to reduce stress and improve your mood. You can express your thoughts, feelings and emotions when putting pen to paper. Or perhaps you want to switch off all thoughts whilst focusing on a crafting project.
Finding a hobby that you love and that you can lose yourself in is an amazing way of incorporating self-care into daily life. If you’ve got loved ones at home, perhaps you could get them involved too!
6. Laughter is the best medicine
You might think that this is an old cliche, but there’s actually a lot of truth behind it! When you start laughing, it increases your endorphins, activates and relieves your stress response, decreases your heart rate, and aids muscle relaxation. It really is the best medicine.
It’s also something you can do pretty much anywhere and at any time. Pop on your favourite comedy series or podcast and let the laughter take over! You can also start fake laughing at nothing until it brings on real laughter… It might feel a little strange, but it certainly does the trick.
It’s the little things you do every day that add up and make a big difference in your life! If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, it can help to think about what types of self-care practices you can fit into everyday life. Give some of these a try and see how you get on!