Posted On May 8, 2020
What is self-care?
Self-care refers to activities and practices that we can engage in on a regular basis to reduce stress and maintain our own mental, emotional and physical health.
Why is self-care important?
Intentional, consistent self-care is essential to protecting
and improving our short- and long-term health and wellbeing. Good self-care reduces anxiety and stress,
improves your mood and facilitates healthy relationships.
It’s important to remember that self-care is not selfish.
Instead, as a result of good self-care, we are able to be there for ourselves
and others. You can think of it as putting your own oxygen mask on first.
Consequences of not practicing self-care can include:
- Low energy
- Feeling hopeless
- Less patience
- Increased physical symptoms of stress
- Difficulty falling and staying asleep
- Feeling “burnout”
- Difficulty concentrating
- Strained relationships
- Reduced performance at work
- Less motivation to engage in social activities
Although self-care is unique to every person, here are a few
self-care activity ideas to get started. Pay attention to how you feel before,
during and after trying a new self-care activity to decide if it’s beneficial
Physical Self-Care Activities
- Stream a new exercise class
- Cook healthy meals at home
- Take a walk outside
- Track your water consumption (At least 8 glasses per day)
- Practice yoga
Mental and Emotional Self-Care Activities
- Practice gratitude
- Pray or meditate
- Spend time with loved ones
- Limit screen time
- Practice mindfulness
- Make a list of things to stop doing- things that
drain you of your energy
- Say “no” to others when you need to
- Create opportunities to have fun every day
- Find ways to relax every day
Feeling stressed? Try these ways to relax.
- Cuddle with a pet
- Get up early to watch the sunrise
- Listen to a positive, upbeat playlist (check out
the one below)
- Take a bubble bath
- Read a good book
- Grow a garden
- Watch your favorite movie
- Facetime a friend
- Practice breathing exercises
- Color in a coloring book
- Take a walk outside
- Practice a hobby you enjoy
- Give yourself a facial
- Watch a funny video
- Knit or cross-stitch
How to Make Self-Care Part of Your Morning Routine
Initially, stick to the basics. Over time you will find your own rhythm and routine and identify more particular forms of self-care that work for you.
Actively plan for your self-care routine and activities by adding them to your calendar. Try announcing your plans to others in order to increase your commitment.
Keep a conscious mind. Be aware of what you do, why you do it, how it feels, and what the outcomes are. Only continue an activity intended for self-care if it has a positive outcome.
Some people find it easier to practice self-care in the morning, waking up an hour earlier to set their intention for the day. Try this by using the steps below.
- Wake up one hour earlier, so you don’t have to rush
- Avoid your phone, so you can focus on you
- Create a morning drink ritual that you enjoy. Take time to sip and savor.
- Meditate, even just for a couple of minutes
- Move your body. You can take this time to exercise or simply stretch or foam roll.
- Spend at least 5 minutes outside
- Set your intention for the day
- Apply your skincare routine
- Write in a gratitude journal
- Take your vitamins
Sources: https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Morning-Self-Care-Tips-44341005 and https://psychcentral.com/blog/what-self-care-is-and-what-it-isnt-2/
6 Self-Care Tips During the Pandemic
- Acknowledge the turbulence: Check in with yourself, allowing yourself to grieve the loss of your “normal” and allow yourself to physically, mentally, and emotionally check out on a regular basis.
- Fuel your body with healthy food: Eating healthfully is important to support our immune system and help us feel our best. This reference from the American Heart Association breaks down their guidelines for healthy eating.
- Move your body: Exercise increases serotonin levels, leading to improved mood and energy. At least 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity is recommended by the American Heart Association .
- Prioritize sleep: Sleep plays a critical role in our ability to manage stress and stay productive during the day. Most adults need 7-8 hours per night to be well rested.
- Find ways to connect socially: Use Zoom, Facetime, and Skype to connect with loved ones and keep feelings of isolation at bay.
- Find ways to ease stress: Stress-relief activities are different for everyone, but some common ways to reduce stress are meditation, breathing and relaxation exercises.
Listening to positive, upbeat music is a great way to improve your mood and relax. Here are some songs you may want to add to your music library. Access the full playlist on Spotify.
- “Keep your Head up” – Andy Grammar
- “Best Day of My Life” – American Authors
- “Happy” – Pharrell Williams
- “Chasing the Sun” – Hilary Duff
- “Say Hey” – Michael Franti & Spearhead
- “It’s a great day to be alive” – Travis Tritt
- “Sunday best” – Surfaces
- “I Feel Good”- James Brown
- “Free” – Donavon Frankenreiter
- “Knee deep” – Zack Brown Band
- “Smile” – Uncle Cracker
- “Don’t Worry Be Happy” – Bobby McFerin
Check out the full playlist on Spotify!
Waking Up is a guided meditation app that is described as a guide to
understanding the mind, for the purpose of living a more balanced and
- “The Science of Well-Being” on https://www.coursera.org/. It’s a relaxing way to spend maybe an hour or
two a week. The professor is entertaining and the science is real. Do
you want to know the secret to be happy? This class literally defines it and
tells you what to do.
Self-care sources of information: