As women, we tend to focus on others, taking care of everyone else’s needs before our own. But if we neglect our own needs, day after day, it’s a recipe for burnout. Taking care of ourselves is an absolute necessity. It’s like you hear on an airplane: you have to put your own oxygen mask on first before you can help everyone else.
But self-care is more than just pedicures (although we LOVE pedicures, so go ahead and get one if you want to do it!) It’s about taking care of your body, mind, and spirit – keeping yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy. Here are 10 ways you can practice self-care this week.
1. Do Something Active
The ultimate act of self-care is keeping our bodies healthy. If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, moving your body can dramatically improve your mood. That’s because physical activity releases endorphins, which help relieve stress and anxiety and even decrease physical pain.
Plus, exercise improves your physical health, too, making you much more effective at chasing after those toddlers or slinging that soccer gear bag over your shoulder.
2. Eat Something Healthy
Too often, we equate “eating a treat” with self-care. And while it’s perfectly fine to have that sweet treat every now and again, the BEST recipe for self-care is healthy, nutritious food. Eating a healthy snack won’t just keep your nutrition goals in check, but it will also give you more energy and help you get through your stressful day without the dreaded sugar crash.
3. Take a Bubble Bath
If you’ve been around WodBottom for a while – and you’ve seen my Instagram Lives – you know I’m a HUGE fan of bath night. It’s even on my calendar. My family knows that, no matter what, Mom is taking a bath on Wednesdays. And yeah, the bath is nice and all, but just the act of prioritizing myself and making time for relaxation is a HUGE act of self-care.
4. Read a Good Book or Magazine
It doesn’t matter if it’s life-changing nonfiction or a celebrity gossip magazine. Carving out time to read something you love will change your entire day.
5. Practice Mindfulness
Not to get too woo on you here, but mindfulness is seriously one of the best ways to start (or end) your day. Mindfulness isn’t all about meditation and Zen. It’s about living in the present, recognizing your thoughts and emotions, and reducing stress. Even the act of eating can be a mindful experience. Learn more about taking a few mindful minutes each day here.
6. Treat Yourself to Something on Your Wishlist
You work hard. Why not reward yourself? Go ahead: buy yourself those flowers, splurge on that new purse, or get yourself some cute new gear for the gym.
I don’t know about you, but I turn into some kind of monster when I’m tired. We’re part of a society that glorifies working 18-hour days and running on a few hours of sleep. But guess what? That’s TERRIBLE for our bodies and our mental health. So sometimes, practicing self-care looks like an extra 30 minutes of sleep or a Sunday afternoon nap.
8. Clean the Clutter
You know that feeling you get when you finish cleaning out the junk drawer or reorganizing your desk? Cleaning up our homes and workspaces can be an act of self-care. Why? Cleaning up has several emotional benefits that make us more productive and reduce stress.
Laughter really is the best medicine! Research shows that, aside from being fun, laughing has many health benefits. So call up that hilarious girlfriend, watch your favorite comedy, or listen to your partner’s worst Dad jokes. Those belly laughs are an act of self-love.
10. Take Frequent Breaks
Self-care can be an ongoing practice throughout your day. Instead of saving it all for that one day a week, take frequent “self-care breaks” throughout your day. Take a quick stroll at lunchtime. Go outside and feel the sun on your skin. Grab a cup of tea or coffee in between meetings. Make your health a priority every day.
Take care of yourself, ladies!
P.S. What are YOUR favorite self-care tips? Share them with us in the comments!