Work, kids, dinner, friends, checking on parents, date nigh with bae —- there are dozens of things that we do on auto pilot. They have become a daily norm and yet, we neglect to take 10-15 mins each day or week so check in with ourselves to make sure we are being fed mentally and emotionally. I understand! I have a full time job in Finance during the day and it seems like a full time job as a content creator at night. My days start around 7am and I’m lucky if I’m in the bed before 11pm. It gets nerve wrecking and I often wonder did someone speed the time up but I could have sworn I had a couple of hours left in the day.
Earlier this year, I starting adopting a few self-care practices on a daily and weekly basis and it have dramatically reduced my stress level. Here are a few:
1. Learn to Say No
It can be hard, I know. I am the backbone of my family so if someone is in need or needs help with something; I’m the first person there. However, I realized that being there for someone means me not being there for myself. I’m now finding a balance.
2. Set a Schedule for Social Media
I have an Instagram, YouTube Channel, as well as a blog that I have to create content, edit that content, publish that content, and respond to any comments/questions on that content. It can be time consuming and most times I’m up late making sure I respond to everyone that may have commented on a post. I have learned to have set hours to post and respond and once that time is up, phone goes down.
3. Read a book or magazine for an hour
4. Take a bubble bath—complete with candles and calming music
5. Put on a homemade face mask
Or skip the hassle and try one of these sheet masks
6. Burn a candle or diffuse some oils that have scents that bring me joy
I enjoy lighting a candle (TJ Maxx and Marshall’s have the best selections) and sitting down to read my book or magazine. It reminds me of a lobby of a spa (without the check at the end of course!
7. Get a massage
One of my friends introduced me to Groupon a couple of years ago and I’ve been hooked since. My city always has massage and facial deals AND Groupon will have 20% off deals every often. I buy 2-3 to get me thru the next Groupon deal
8. Write in my gratitude journal
I didn’t realize how good life was until I went to Cuba in 2017. It was amazing to me to see how happy they were with so little (or so little is seemed to me). I know make it daily habit to jot down 3-5 things I’m grateful for. When I’m in a funk, I like to revisit my list to give me that emotional boost I’m looking for
9. Intentionally schedule “me time” on your calendar or planner
I get off track or focused on so many things that this alarm is my alert to put everything down and focus on me, even for a few minutes
10. Snack on some chocolate
Who doesn’t love chocolate! I keep white chocolate in my cabinet for this occasion. It’s just me and my chocolate and my closet (the only space that seems to always be silent!)
11. Catch up on your favorite blog
I have a few blogs that I like to catch up on in my downtime. It takes hard work do create and produce quality blog posts so I like to support. Here are a few of my faves
12. Declutter your wardrobe
This was normally something I did with the changing seasons. However, it’s now something I do once a month. I shop a lot! It’s a habit I’m not ready to break, but I check my closet for those things that I can give away and donate to one of my local stores whose proceeds help to build schools and education in undeserving countries.
13. Develop a relaxing evening ritual
This is something I’ve been doing (almost) daily for the last 3 months and I can tell how much a difference it’s made in not only my sleep patterns but how energetic I wake each morning. I turn on my Pandora (Kenny G station), take off my makeup, wash my face, and apply oils and serums to my face and neck followed by a little jade rolling. It’s my own personal facial that takes 10 mins max.
14. Make your bed
15. Finish this sentence every day after you wake up: “I love myself because I ___________.”
16. Recite some self-love affirmations
17. Use 15 minutes to write out your thoughts about anything bothering you. Then burn or throw away the paper
18. Sleep in
Life can be hectic. Sometimes you need to just dump your schedule and go ahead and rest
19. Take a long shower
Try using a body scrub while you’re in there. I can help remove dead skins and toxins that could help boost your mood
20. Bake something just for fun
Remember….self-care carbs don’t count!
21. Go wine tasting
Or save yourself some coins and have an at home wine tasting. Go all out with a fruit, cheese, and cracker spread. Invite friends over, or turn on a Rom Com and enjoy the night to yourself.
22. Walk someplace with a nice view of the sunset
It’s weird but the top floor of my apartment garage has the best views of the downtown skyline.
23. Sit in a coffee shop or on a park bench and people watch
24. Celebrate the little victories
Spend some time celebrating how far you’ve already come. The little moments along the way are special, and when you can appreciate them, you will feel more grateful.
25. Dance like no one’s watching
self care means giving yourself permission to pause