15 Simple Self-Care Practices

wasy-to-practice-self-care

I remember the days when “self-care” wasn’t a thing. At least not for me. Reading a book? Listening to music? Taking a long bath? Making a four-course meal that takes three hours to prepare, at least twice a week? Those were the things I just did. Without giving them a second thought.

As my schedule became more packed and work became more demanding, doing things like picking up a new book or trying a new recipe, became somewhat of a luxury. Luxury I no longer had the time for. For a while, the first thing I did after I opened my eyes and last thing I did before I closed them at night, was to check my email, reach for my laptop and work.

I didn’t really see a problem with any of those things because I love being productive. After a while though, you start spreading yourself thin and start feeling drained, overwhelmed. Your relationships start to suffer, too. Well, you can’t pour from an empty cup, can you?

To me, practicing self-care means doing things that make you feel good. Things and activities that nourish your mind, body and soul. I think it’s important to remember that practicing self-care isn’t a “quick-fix”. It takes a bit more than a bubble bath and a face mask for feelings of stress and anxiety to go away. With regular self-care practice, you might find those things much easier to deal with though.

If it’s not something you already practice or find it difficult to do, think of self-care as short breaks you give yourself to re-center your focus and restore that energy.

FOR THE MIND

  • Meditate (try guided meditation, if you’ve never done it before)
  • Clean up your digital mess- like your email inbox
  • Edit your social media- unfollow people and accounts that evoke any negative feelings in you
  • Get rid of things you no longer need but hold on to, for no reason
  • Have a big clean-out session (clean house-clear mind :) )

FOR THE BODY

  • Go for a run
  • Do some yoga
  • Take a nap
  • Treat yourself to your favorite meal and/or dessert
  • Have a long bath

FOR THE SOUL

  • Call some close, or grab a group of friends and go out for dinner
  • Spend some time alone
  • Make a list of things you’ve accomplished
  • Try journaling
  • Pick up a new book
  • Listen to music (this piece is proven to reduce stress and anxiety)

SELF-CARE MEANS DIFFERENT THINGS TO ALL OF US

To some, self-care means taking a bath or getting a manicure. To others, it’s eating healthy, getting enough sleep and staying fit. Someone else’s idea of self-care is binge-watching a sitcom and eating ice-cream. Sometimes, it means taking a nap or spending some time alone. To me, self-care is something that helps me stay sane. It’s also something that I had to learn to do, all over again.

I love working and at times I struggle with being unproductive and don’t always know how to “turn off”. I tend to bring work home with me and feel guilty when I go out for a drink with a friend, or “waste” a Saturday by not getting any work done. I noticed that I started to feel anxious about doing things that should bring me joy and I knew I had to change that. It’s almost like feeling guilty for showing yourself some love and kindness.

It isn’t necessarily about self-indulgence; it’s remembering not to always put yourself last. It’s about looking after yourself and nourishing your mind and body- whatever that means for you.


For more self-care ideas + free printable list, see this post

  • I feel this is such an important post right now. Here in the US, we’re all basically anxious wrecks over what’s happening in Washington and it’s hard to remember to take care of yourself and back away from the news for a bit – especially when another shoe seems to drop every hour. Reading has definitely helped me! I discovered The Illuminae files – which is such an intense, thrilling ride. Highly recommend. I think mentally escaping and thrusting yourself into a fictional word is helpful. Meditation too. I’ve grown tired of my Calm app so I’ve been finding all sorts of good meditations on YouTube. Thanks for the post!

    xoxo – Kelly
    http://www.dreaminlace.com

    • You’re not kidding! I’m a paralegal and our office has been filed with so much anxiety over the last couple of months, it hasn’t been easy at all. I’ll definitely check out The Illuminae files. I love escaping in a good book. Meditation is definitely great, too. I personally find it very helpful.

      Thank you so much for stopping by! x

  • Recently, I heard people saying that ‘self-care’ is excuse for being lazy, because other people is having hard time as well, but they’re not ‘whining’ for some self-care. I cannot stress how wrong this statement is; just because other people is having hard time, doesn’t mean we have to suffer the same too. I think this is one of the biggest ‘wall’ we’re facing when we want to do ‘self-care’, there’s this unseen pressure from people’s judgement, we need to learn how to ignore that too and start giving ourselves some credit; we deserve to do all things you wrote in here!

    Selene Addicted

    • I’ve heard the same thing. I also think that to some people, who love over-indulging and have a lot of free time the idea of practicing self-care might seem a little weird. To others, who are busy most of the time and don’t have the luxury to practice self-care on regular basis, it’s a bit of a necessity.

  • Kat

    Hi Paula, I am in recovery from almost a year of being very ill and, since being ill and now getting strong and healthy again, I have come to a new appreciation of life and totally believe self-care and self-love are very important and key to being the best you can be. You can not be your best self to others unless you are your best self to yourself! Could be getting up an hour earlier to have some time to journal or walk the dog or have some time to sip your coffee and read the morning paper or could be giving yourself a facial on the week-end or could be. just saying ‘no’ to another demand on your. Time to avoid being over-taxed —- it is not selfish but, in fact, just the opposite!

    Take care!

    • Kat, thank you for your comment. So happy you’re starting to feel healthy again. I love what you wrote here, practicing self-care isn’t being selfish, I think it’s actually quite the opposite. Nowadays when we’ve started to glorify “busy” taking some time out to do the things we like and enjoy is a necessity. Thanks so much for your comment again, hope you’re doing well!

  • Roxanne

    Beautiful post Paula. I need to try some of these because I am quite anxious, so I feel like they would help. Thank you for sharing!

  • Last night I really abused my body (too much food, too much alcohol, too little sleep) and now of course I feel really bad for it, like I’m neglecting myself. So today I’m gonna practice some self care and make it up with some extra exercising.

  • These are all vital and a great idea to focus on. I started the weekend off with the best yoga class, it made me feel amazing. Great points!
    xx Jenelle
    http://www.inspiringwit.com

  • Such a lovely post Paula, it’s so important to practice self love and care. I’m making more of an effort with myself these days to do this :)
    Ambar x
    http://www.herlittleloves.co.uk

  • Nicole

    such a great post! self care is so important!

    xx Nicole – http://www.nicolemai.com

  • I loved reading this! Self care has become a lot more recognised the past few months or so and it’s really highlighted the importance of it. I love the ideas you’ve shared x

    Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.blogspot.co.uk

  • Nice post. I love your tips for mind.

    http://www.flungoutofspace.com

  • Needing this post since I’ve been putting extra work into my blog this past week and experienced some burn out. Needing the motivation to take time for myself more than ever!

    http://www.insearchofsheila.com

  • This is such a fab post, I agree 100% about unsubscribing from people, who irritate you. I mean – after all you don’t have to follow them so why bother. Same goes for meditation. I need to do it more often, but I always fall asleep halfway through it haha

    Naya // http://www.partyparrotblog.com

    • Haha, I sometimes cry during my meditation, especially when I’m very stressed. But It’s kind of like a huge relief of a cry lol

  • Love all your suggestions..
    http://www.yourbeautypantry.com

  • Self care truly is so important for a happy life and fulfilling relationships. Amazing post as always, so well written with great tips x

    Beauty with charm

  • I purged half of my beauty/makeup stash yesterday and it felt sooooo good.

  • your posts are always beautiful, covering the most important talks. Self care is so important, especially in todays time where everyone is so addicted to social media world. Absolutely love your tips, thats what I do most often :)

    http://www.petalsofbeauty.com

  • I need to start meditating again. I tried it a few times a few months ago and love it x

    LuxeStyle

  • Ana

    Self-care is sooo important! I love this post! You give really useful tips xxx
    http://fallingforablog.blogspot.com.es/2017/02/24-looks-for-winter.html

  • Yes, as a mumma of 3 little ones I can tell you how dreadful it can be when you don’t allow any time for yourself. And then you get to the point when doing the washing up at the end of the night in silence becomes a thing you find invigorating! Great post xxx
    Sal | UmmBabyBeauty

  • Lisa Autumn

    Thanks for your tips.. I also feel like exercising (in any form) is SO important.. even if it is only a walk!

    xx Lisa
    lisaautumn.com

  • Zed

    Does anyone else do guided mediation at night and then fall asleep? It’s just too damn soothing

    Mind The Medic

  • peonies passionfruit

    Thanks for the tips, as a busy mum self care is so important to remember to practice often.

    Eme x

    http://www.peoniesandpassionfruit.com

  • The Gossip Darling

    A bath and a book are helping me at the moment…

    Mel | http://www.thegossipdarling.com

  • Natalie Redman

    Self-care is certainly something everyone should do often!

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • Awesome ideas, Paula! I could really improve my self care habits and this last def points me in the right direction! :)

    Odessa Darling