Do you take care of yourself as well as you do your loved ones? Do you think self-care is self-indulgent and/or you don’t have time for it? The truth is, we actually all NEED self-care to be able to function in our everyday lives and to be everything we want to be for everyone else. If you repeatedly neglect your self-care, your body and mind will be negatively affected and they’ll make sure you know it too! Try some (or all!) of the mini challenges below, maybe one a day, to up your self care game. Your mind, body and soul will thank you for it! You deserve to feel important in your own life!
|1. Take time to prepare food for yourself. This could be one meal or snack or bulk-cooking to avoid you reaching for convenience food when you’re busy. Take time and care over it and use nourishing ingredients.||2. Do something you loved as a child. Paint, sing, dance, stroke animals, bake, eat your favourite childhood foods… Let your inner child have fun!||3. Pamper yourself! Take a long bath or shower, paint your nails, style your hair, do a facemask or whatever else feels good. Self care doesn’t have to be this indulgent but it’s a treat when it is!||4. Tidy your space – be it a wardrobe, a drawer or your desk. A tidy space = a tidy mind.||5.Move in a way that feels good. If you put off exercise because it’s ‘boring’, find something that’s fun! If you exercise regularly try something different to your usual routine.||6. Compliment yourself! We all have that negative voice in our minds from time to time but don’t let it eat away at you. Work on your positive self talk and if you wouldn’t say it to a friend don’t say it to yourself!|
|7. Get your 5 a day fruit and veg! Good nutrition is fundamental to basic self-care. Try incorporating your favourite fruits and vegetables into new recipes.||8. Take yourself on a solo date! This could be for food, a drink, a walk or simply a cosy night in. Your relationship with yourself is the longest and most important one you’ll ever have so take time to nurture it like you would any other.||9. Make a list of anything you’ve ever done that you’re proud of yourself for and/or any compliments you’ve been given or would like to give yourself. Be your own biggest cheerleader! Read this back when you need a confidence boost.||10. Learn something new. This could be a new word, skill or reading an article on something you’d like to know more about. Nourish your brain as well as your body!||11. Forgive yourself. For whatever you need to from today or in the past. If you made a ‘mistake’, said something you wish you hadn’t or didn’t feel like the best friend/partner/parent. Beating yourself up WILL NOT CHANGE IT. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Give yourself permission to learn any lesson there and just LET IT GO.||12. Put on your favourite feel-good music and dance like nobody is watching. Sing too for extra benefits! Have fun and move your body for an instant mood boost.|
|13. Have an early night. Funny how the punishments you got as a child are now treats as a grown-up right?!||14. Have a lie in! Is there anything more relaxing than a slow start to the day and an extra chunk of sleep?! Sleep is another self-care basic that so many of us neglect!||15. Say NO to something you don’t want to do but would normally say yes to because you felt you need to. Don’t put excess pressure on yourself to go everywhere and do everything as it can lead to resentment and even burnout.||16. Say YES to something you really want to do but might not normally make time for or prioritise. Go, have fun, the to-do list will always still be there!||17. Buy yourself a gift. This can be as little or large as you like but make it personal to you. It could mean a lot to buy your lunch and save time on meal prepping, you might get a confidence boost from a new item of clothing or get the gift of peace and quiet with a new book. To you, from you, with love!||18. Make a gratitude list. List 5 things (or more) you’re grateful for today. Try to add to this as often as possible. We can’t always control what happens in our lives but we can shift our perspective to all the good we can find.|
|19. Acknowledge the tiny acts of self care you already do daily that you normally overlook. Washing your clothes, showering, brushing your teeth, cleaning your home…We do all of these things to keep ourselves as well and comfortable as possible. It can be a real perspective shift when you start viewing such ‘chores’ in this way.||20. Give yourself a massage. Use a scented moisturiser or oil and massage any sore or tense areas. Even a simple hand or foot massage can relax us due to the many pressure points they contain.||21. Clear out your wardrobes. Get rid of anything you don’t feel good in and don’t hang onto clothes that no longer fit well. Part of self-care is feeling confident in our appearance and making sure it reflects our current likes.||22. Catch up with a friend or loved one. In person if possible but a text, call or card works too. Nurturing relationships with others and feeling mutual love and support is vital for our health.||23. Repeat a positive affirmation/mantra to yourself regularly. Try this first thing in a morning and throughout the day. This can be fully personalised to what you feel you need to hear each day. Something as simple as ‘I am calm/confident’ can work well or search online for one that suits you.||24. Laugh! What’s the point in looking after yourself in all these ways if you don’t have fun with it? Call a friend and reminisce over funny stories, watch your favourite comedy or spend time around children or animals. Anything that puts a smile on your face 🙂|
|25. Plan something to look forward to. This could be something happening soon or further in the future but the anticipation of enjoyment is often as good for our mental health as the event itself. A day off, a trip to a favourite place, a catch up with a friend or anything else that gets you excited.||26. Trust yourself. Make a decision without seeking advice, reassurance or putting other people’s opinions/wants/needs before your own. It’s nice to be nice but if you’re a natural people-pleaser this can lead to neglecting your true wants and needs. Whether it feels like a big or small decision doesn’t matter, you are the authority on your own life!||27. Spend time in nature today. Try not to use any distractions such as phones or music and use all of your senses to tune into what’s around you. There’s something calming and encouraging about seeing nature in all it’s beauty.||28. Get to know yourself better. Whether you take an online quiz to find out your learning style, find out what your love language is or simply list your top values or goals on a piece of paper. Be honest with yourself as you would a best friend. Then live accordingly.||29. Stay hydrated. Back to basics with this one but I told you self-care could be simple! It’s affordable, accessible and you don’t need any fancy equipment! You could always treat yourself to a new water bottle or mug but try and get your 6-8 glasses today and get into the habit of drinking a glass first thing in a morning to start your day right!||30. Do nothing. Seriously. Spend some time today (it could be a minute, an hour or more) to sit, observe your mind, watch the world go by, really taste your coffee. Pause. Breathe. Just be. Everything else will wait.|