12 simple ways to take care of yourself

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In the world of personal finance, it’s easy to get caught up with conversations about debt and money, bills and spreadsheets, side hustles and income. We often forget how incredibly important it is to take a step back from all of those things and just focus on our own well-being. That’s why I decided to implement self care Sunday. I think it’s important to remind each other (and ourselves) how vital self-care is.

Why is Self-Care Important?

I know, I know. Everyone is talking about self-care right now. But why? What is this self-care that everyone is talking about, and why is it important?

Self-care is taking time out for you to take care of yourself. In our busy, high-paced, stressed-out lives, we’re always doing something – whether that means working, taking care of someone, running errands, or even hustling. Our lives are incredibly demanding. It’s never-ending!

And that’s why taking a step back to recharge and take care of ourselves is so vital. I know what you’re thinking – that sounds selfish! And yes, we may have been taught to believe that taking a moment for ourselves is selfish, and we often feel guilty for even considering it.

But that just isn’t true. We can’t take care of others if we are suffering from burnout. Taking time to care for yourself is vital to your family’s wellbeing.

What is Self-Care Sunday?

So, that brings us to Self-Care Sunday. Yes, taking care of yourself is so incredibly important that we’re dedicating an entire day to it!

It’s not that you shouldn’t be practicing self-care every day. You absolutely should be when you can. The point of self-care Sunday isn’t to say that’s the only day you can take care of yourself! Instead, it’s saying, “Hey, this is super important. Make sure you remember to do this, at least on this one day and more often if you can.”

How Can I have Self-Care on Sunday?

Instituting a self-care Sunday may seem out of reach to you. I get it – even if you aren’t working (obviously not everyone even has Sundays off!), there’s always a ton of stuff to do. You don’t have to dedicate the entire day to relaxation (though you should if you can!).

You can start with finding just 10 minutes for treating yourself. Give the kids an activity that will keep them occupied – or even institute family self-care time (why not teach them at an early age that taking care of yourself is important?). Let the chores wait. They aren’t going anywhere, anyway. Even the busiest among us can find 10 minutes one day a week to relax.

After you make the 10 minutes a habit, work on expanding it. Take 20 minutes the next week, and see if you can build up an hour. You’ll be amazed at how much better your feel, and how much more you can actually accomplish for your family.

What are Some Self-Care Sunday Ideas?

 I know – this is what you’ve been waiting for. What can you do to institute self-care Sundays into your life? And I get that some of us are super busy, so it’s broken down into things you can do if you only have 10 minutes, if you have 30 minutes, and if you have more time for self-care.

Below are some ideas if you only have 10 minutes for self-care.

1. Go for a Walk

It’s amazing how refreshing a five-minute walk can be. Simply being outside is enough to give us a tiny little boost and help us recharge. Getting the blood flowing with a bit of exercise is an added bonus.

It doesn’t have to be a long walk. I’ve found that a quick stroll around the block works wonders to get me feeling refreshed and refocused. Give it a try!

2. Try Deep Breathing

Taking a few minutes to focus on deep breathing is an excellent way to ground yourself. Maybe 10 minutes isn’t quite enough for a full-on mediation session, but taking some time to concentrate on your breathing and take in full, deep breaths will do wonders for your mental health.

Start by closing your eyes and taking a full deep breath in. Slowly exhale completely emptying your lungs. Breathe deeply like this for a few minutes, and I guarantee you will feel at least a tiny bit better.

3. Stretch

Another quick way to get some self-care in is to stretch. Stand up and reach for the sky. Then, try to touch your toes. Stretch out your back and your arms. It will give you a tiny boost of energy, and it’s good for the muscles, too!

4. Journaling

Journaling is a great way to let all of your thoughts flow out of you. Sometimes, we don’t even realize that we are holding things in until we start writing them down. And the great thing is that you can do this even with a limited amount of time. It’s an easy way to incorporate a self-care Sunday ritual into your daily life.

One great thing to journal about that will help reduce your stress and make you feel better about yourself is gratitude. I like to write down three things I’m thankful for everyday. Taking time to acknowledge the little things that we have going for us does wonders to improve our moods.

5. Pamper Your Face

While it’s true that you shouldn’t over wash your face (you have to avoid that try skin!), an exfoliating scrub can do wonders to help you freshen your day. Treat yourself to a quick cleanse. Finish off with your favorite moisturizer. Your skin will feel fresher, you will feel reinvigorated, and as a bonus, it will help reduce acne and oily skin.

If You Have 30 Minutes

Here are some ideas for if you have 30 minutes for self care.

6. Read a Book

Obviously, you aren’t going to be able to read a full book in 30 minutes. But that’s more than enough time to pick up a book and read a chapter or two. I have a giant reading list of books that I want to read, and it’s been so difficult for me to find a few spare hours to read them.

But when I realized that I don’t need to read through an entire book in one sitting (rocket science, I know) I miraculously started reading more books. Thirty minutes every day is more than enough to get through a book a week.

7. Meditate

Thirty minutes is definitely enough time for a productive meditation session. When you’re mediating for self-care, it’s best to focus on Zen meditation. This method of meditating is all about clearing your mind and letting go of all your stress and worries.

Spotify has some great options for Zen meditation, but you can also buy some digital downloads on Amazon. Just 15-30 minutes of mediation can do wonders to improve your mood and increase your mindfulness.

8. Go for a Jog

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for self-care. I know: It’s hard and it hurts, but it has tons of benefits. The most obvious one is the physical health benefits – burning calories, weight loss, healthy heart, all that jazz. But it has immense mental benefits as well. Working out releases endorphins, feel good hormones that will help your mental state throughout the day.

As an added bonus, exercise is also great for skin-care. Sweating helps wash out those impurities, and keeps your skin glowing and refreshed! It’s part of what keeps my skin so healthy looking!

9. Color

There’s a reason adult coloring books are all the rage. Coloring is a great way to tune out the world and focus on something non-consequential. It may seem mundane, but you’re really giving your brain a break from all the stress and worry.

I have a Buffy the Vampire Slayer adult coloring book, and I love it. I pull that bad boy out whenever I’ve had a rough day, and after about 20 minutes of coloring, the anxiety just melts away.

If you Have Longer

Try out these ideas when you have some extra time for yourself.

10. Take a Bath

A bubble bath is the quintessential self-care Sunday idea. The luxurious appeal of a warm, fragrant bubble bath can’t be overstated. It’s indulgent, relaxing, soothing and the perfect way to unwind after a long week.

It takes me nearly 15 minutes to draw a bath to my liking, and then I want to soak for at least 15 minutes, if not more. It’s my favorite way to pamper myself after a truly stressful week. I also like to play calming music, light scented candles (Chamomile is one of my favorite bath time scents) and treat my skin to luxurious scrubs.

11. Go for a Hike

Hiking is so much better than walks around your neighborhood or jogs. It combines the getting outside and exercising portion of both of those with being out in nature! How can you beat that?

Hiking is honestly my favorite thing to do for self care. But it’s been hard to do lately because it’s been cold and rainy outside. Some people enjoy hikes in the cold, but I’d much rather be comfortable.

But when it’s nicer out, hiking is the absolute best self care activity. Physical activity is always good for the body, and being outside in nature is does wonders for your emotional health. A walk through the woods has a way of making us slow down and appreciate the majesty of the world that we live in. Sometimes that is all we need for a boost.

12. Watch a Guilty Pleasure Movie/Show

Yes, self-care can mean watching TV. It can mean indulging in a movie or tv show that you actually want to see, or something that’s just mindless entertainment. Sometimes self-care means taking the opportunity to check out, if only for a few hours.

My favorite way to unwind and destress is with my good old trust Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I can rewatch my favorite show over and over again, and it never gets old.

Also, there’s an episode for every mood. If I want to laugh, I turn on Intervention. If I want to cry, I’ll opt for Passion (or Homecoming, if I want happy tears). Sometimes, falling into a fictional world is a great release from everything we have going on in this world.

More Self-Care Sunday Ideas

There are thousands of self-care activities out there. It doesn’t matter which one (or ones!) that you pick, what matters is that you make time for yourself. Let go of your responsibilities and nurture yourself, if only for a few minutes.

Other Ways to Practice Self-Care

Self-care isn’t limited to Sundays. There are more things you can do, throughout the week, to take care of you. Start by eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep. It’s amazing how much taking care of our bodies in these little ways improves our wellness.

Next, learn the art of saying no. I understand, that can create immense feelings of guilt, but you don’t have to be everything to everyone all the time. Stay home alone and treat yourself instead of saying yes to everything.

Finally, start listening to your body. It will tell you when you’re exhausted, when you need more me-time, and when you’re ready to seize the day. Take care of it, and it will take care of you back for years to come.

Self Care Isn’t Selfish

The final thing I want to leave you with is this: Self-care isn’t selfish. Life is stressful and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. It’s not selfish to look after yourself (and if it is – it’s OK to be selfish every now and again!)

Caring for others is a full time job, and you deserve time to take care of yourself while you do it. Caring for yourself is a great way to reduce stress and ensure that you are ready to face whatever the world may throw at you.

This article originally appeared on PartnersInFire.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: Ирина Мещерякова/ iStock

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