The topic of self-care has come up quite a bit lately in my social media circles. I’ve even wrote about it here. There’s a lot of debate as to what exactly is self-care and what is not self-care, how expensive self-care should or shouldn’t be, and the like. I guess I find myself squarely in the “you do your self-care” camp. To me this means, if what you’re calling self-care nourishes your body, mind, and/or your spirit, then it’s self-care for you. It might not necessarily float my self-care boat, but that doesn’t actually matter.
If you’ve been following along on Instagram for a while, you know that I like to find quotes and images on Sundays (I mean, hashtag self-care Sunday, after all!) of what self-care might include for you and me. For me, it’s often a pretty broad term, it can include pampering activities like massages and DIY facials, social activities like spending time with friends, family, and fur-babies, or even solo time activities like reading, sleeping, and being creative. There is no one perfect list of self-care ideas. I think self-care may evolve during one’s lifetime and what might be self-care for you now, may not nourish your body, mind, or soul in the future.
I’ve put together a list of self-care ideas that I currently enjoy. Oddly enough, almost everything on this list is FREE or can be low-cost. I didn’t set out to create a list of free self-care ideas, but when I was generating
my current favorites, this is the result. It almost seems like an interesting psychological experiment that just highlighted that I value the free things in life more than money. OR am I just reading into this too much?
Chew Well! – This is like pre-digestion. Your digestive system will be able to absorb more nutrients and work more efficiently with well-chewed food.
Sit & Relax During Meals – When you are eating while standing, driving, sitting at your desk, or eating while stressed, your brain is in “fight or flight” mode and that’s all your body can do. When you eat, in order to truly digest food and absorb nutrients, your brain and your body need to be in “rest, digest, feed, and breed” mode. Take the extra time during each meal to sit, relax, and enjoy your food.
Meal Planning – Planning your weekly meals at the beginning of the week and before heading to the store can help lower your grocery bill and help you stick to your eating plan.
Drink more Water – Are you drinking 64 oz. of water each day? Try keeping track of your fluid intake to see how much water you drink.
Exercise Each Day – Make sure you get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Nearly every health condition can be helped with physical activity.
Sleep – Try making your bedroom as dark as a cave. Using technology (especially tablets and smartphones) before bed is not recommended. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep is recommended. Your organs repair and regenerate while you sleep, not enough sleep means much more than just feeling tired.
Elimination – How often are you having a bowel movement? What is the consistency like? Everyone is different, but adults should be having at least one to two bowel movements each day (should be semi-firm).
Relaxation – Find some way to relieve stress and relax each day. Exercise and/or prayer/meditation are good ways to relieve stress.
Socialization/Connectedness – This is another way to help relieve stress. Humans are naturally social beings and today we are often very isolated from others. Joining a club or organization is a great way to get connected.
Go Outside! – Get some sunlight and vitamin D and connect with nature. Try “Earthing” by walking barefoot and absorbing the Earth’s energy and negative ions.