How do you practice self-care? Better yet, how do you turn self-care into self-love? Commercialism has inflated self-care into lavish spa experiences or pricey bath bombs. While I love to soak in a bathtub surrounded by candles and my favorite Lush bath bombs, I’ve come to understand that self-care is so much more than the tiny moments we treat ourselves. Self-care is a basic function of our daily lives that we need to practice to succeed. Self-care is even a road to self-love, allowing us to build our confidence and find self-acceptance. Today, I’m sharing seven simple self-care tips you can start today.
Find a Friend to Break a Sweat With
Photo by Banavenue Photography
Exercise is proven to help increase your mood and dimish stress. Outside of its many physical health benefits, we all know exercise gives you endorphins (thanks in part to Legally Blonde). Working out for just 30 minutes a day is proven to have significant benefits. Breaking a sweat can increase your happiness, boost your energy, and enhance your body confidence.
I struggled with self-love and body positivity for years before figuring out that size doesn’t equate to happiness. I’ve teetered between 115 to 165 on the scale, climbing high and low depending on stress. Learning to lose weight the healthy way and workout properly has really helped me to love myself and nourish my body in positive ways.
To learn the best way to workout, I enrolled in Equinox last summer and started working out with Samantha Engle, an incredible trainer at the River Oaks District location. Sam has challenged me to try new things that I always thought looked impossible, and in the, process I’ve reached new personal records. A few months ago, I signed on with Equinox to be an ambassador through my blog and am loving the support system I’ve built. I’ve found that going to the gym with workout buddies has allowed me to stay far more accountable. Having a friend to sweat with also boosts my mood tremendously!
Follow Positive Accounts on Instagram
Bloggers typically follow large swaths of other lifestyle bloggers. I would be 100% lying if I told you that looking at photos of girls who look like models can tear down your defenses, especially in an image-driven industry. I used to look down on myself and tell myself there was no audience for what I deemed myself to be: an average girl who sometimes has bright opinions and cares about the world. Let’s call that what it is: B.S. If you’re forming opinions of your own self-worth based on edited and curated imagery, I implore you to revamp your social media channels with content that uplifts you.
Here’s how I do it: I have a personal Instagram and professional Instagram. My personal one is FILLED with inspiring accounts I love to follow. Reading affirmations can shift the way you think about yourself. When I started practicing this, I realized I wasn’t an “average girl” who painted herself in mediocrity but an “inquisitive, intelligent, strong woman who is compassionate about the world and uses her experiences to help raise others.” Sounds a lot better, right?
You don’t have to start a whole separate Instagram, but just try to inject a little more positivity into your feed by following accounts with intention. Some accounts I follow are @morganharpernichols, @rupikaur, @nikita_gil, @selfcareisforeveryone (it’s filled with self-care tips), @soworthloving, and @moreloveletters to name a few!
Go On a Social Media Cleanse
Aside from adding more positive accounts to your feed, don’t be afraid to take a social media cleanse or even a full-on tech cleanse. Remove Facebook from your phone for a weekend and see how more productive you are! Whenever I take a break from social media, I find that I have more energy to be creative. My work really benefits from less screen time, and so does my mood!
Find a Hobby You Love
It sounds cliche, but getting a hobby can help you find purpose outside of your work life. Blogging used to be the hobby I loved outside of work until it became my job, so I’ve been actively on the hunt for a hobby that adds substance to my life. From reading to taking on a new DIY project, finding a passion outside of your day job can help you make tremendous strides in feeling complete.
Listen to Your Body
Are you the queen of overworking yourself? Listen to your body when you see signs that you need to rest. There is no harm in taking a rest day. Self-employed women and side hustlers often experience that guilt that creeps in when you know you could be “doing more” in your free time. I learned the hard way last year and even had a health issue arise from overworking! Your free time is meant to rejuvenate you, so put it on your calendar and know when you need to slow things down.
I won’t lie and tell you I’m akin to the Dalai Lama here. Meditation doesn’t come easily to me. I’ve started using the Headspace app, and I’ve really enjoyed the mini meditations you can use in situations when you’re feeling burnt out or needing a burst of creativity. The app’s educational approach has taught me how to practice tactics I use in my daily life like noting, when you acknowledge a thought and let it pass without letting it have an effect on you.
Mindfulness doesn’t have to mean sitting cross-legged whilst chanting “om”. Mindfulness can translate into feeling the wind on your walk to your car, stopping to smell the roses, eating consciously, or unplugging around family.
Journal Your Thoughts
Two words: gratitude journal. When I say journal, I leave that interpretation up to you. Keeping a daily journal can be tough if you feel pressured to write pages explaining the facets of your day. What I’ve found to be more effective is starting my day by writing three things I’m grateful for. Showing gratitude can help fortify your self-love and feed your mind with positive outlooks.
I challenge you to pick up a pen and jot down the three things you’re grateful for after you read this post.
Essentials to Get You Started
Did these self-care tips work for you? Do you have any you practice that you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments!