15 Simple Ways to Practice Self-Care for Your Body + Mind + Soul

Do you remember the days when “self-care” wasn’t a thing?

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 used to just… “do.” 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 the 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, because.. 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.

15 SIMPLE WAYS TO PRACTICE SELF-CARE FOR YOUR MIND + BODY + SOUL

 

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 wake 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, relaxing 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, lying on the couch, next to a loved one. Sometimes, it means taking a nap or spending some time alone. And, sometimes even having a good cry and letting yourself just feel all the things you’ve been pushing away somewhere, is a way of practicing self-care, too. It can be something (or, anything) that helps you stay sane. It’s also something that some of us have to learn to do, all over again.

I love working and I struggle with being unproductive; I don’t always know how to “turn off“. I tend to bring work home with me and feel guilty when I go out for lunch 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 as if I’m feeling guilty for showing myself some love and kindness. It’s especially been a struggle over the last couple of months. For someone like me, who loves to stay productive, having your own body refuse to work with you is difficult and frustrating. All that guilt sets in and you just feel like you’re wasting time, by recuperating and getting some rest, because the truth is, I’m the happiest when I’m doing something productive. Sometimes, you just have to accept those little curves that life throws at you. There will be times where you feel almost as if you found yourself in a rip current. You don’t always have to fight against it.


The best way to avoid a burnout is to know when to take a little break. It is not 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. 

#selfcare #wellness #selflove #happiness #mindfulness #happy #lifestyle #love
  • I love this post, Paula! Thanks for sharing these ideas! Guided meditation does help me quite a bit. I didn’t realise it at first when I was doing it, but recently in the past two months, I got kinda lazy and stopped doing it for a while. It was then I realised that meditation really did work wonders for my mood and soul! Definitely have to start doing it every night again. Take care :)

    Sarah // http://www.beautybyrah.com

    • Thank you so much, Sarah! Once you make something a part of your routine it definitely brings change over time- so amazing how small things like that can make such a big difference, isn’t it?

  • For me Christmas is always the yearly celebration of self/care. Like a little Self/Care Festival of the year. Cannot wait!

    • This is such a lovely idea and fits so well with this time of year! I’m afraid that Christmas will never be the same after losing my Gran last December. At the same time, she was the main reason why I loved this time of year so much (holidays at Babcia’s house were the best) so I want to try to celebrate it for her.

      • I still remember my first Christmas without my grandmother – and I am sending all the hugs I can your way <3 I still have some of my grandmother's ornaments on my own Christmas tree, just cannot bring myself to part with them…

  • I can relate to feeling guilty when you do these nice things you should actually enjoy instead of working, but I try to remind myself that I can only be my best self if I take the time to rest.

    Anne – Linda, Libra, Loca

  • Such a brilliant post, I always find what you say to be so informative!

    Danielle xx
    http://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

  • I’ve been incorporating yoga, meditation, and keeping a gratitude journal into my daily routine for around six weeks now. The reduction in stress I’ve experienced is pretty much immeasurable, but I’m borderline addicted to carrying on with the process. It’s helping me rise early to write in the morning too.

    • I am so happy for you, sound like you have such a wonderful routine! I definitely feel a change whenever I step away from the usual activities that bring me peace and joy like journaling or meditating. x

  • This is so so important, I think self care is the most important thing we should do. If we don’t listen to our minds and bodies we could self destruct and having some self care doesn’t have to take up much time. Just little things to help make you feel human again xx
    http://www.pagesfrombeth.co.uk

    • So, so important to learn how to listen to what your mind and body are telling you, I agree. One of the things people tend to forget is that the mind and body we have is one that will last us a lifetime, which is why we should always remember to care for both. x

  • Such good tips, I’d definitely go insane if I didn’t take a break away from work or my emails. Definitely agree with you that a clean house leads to a clean mind!

    Toni x
    http://www.clarkecouture.co.uk

  • Yoga and journaling are my go-to forms of self care! There’s nothing like a good stretch and sweat or draining out your thoughts onto paper. I also love going out to breakfast, lunch, or dinner with friends. Food and friends never fail to boost my mood!

    Mia | http://www.verymuchmia.com

    • Yes, so much this! I miss doing exhausting workouts since injuring my back. I wish I could get in a good workout session- the kind where the endorphin levels are so high you actually cry- my workouts always brought me such strong emotional release. I miss that :( Food and friends is the best combo! :D

  • Natalie Redman

    Great advice. Love this.

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • Kate

    It’s so true that self care seems to be the first thing to go when life gets busy, but it’s so important to make time for it! I always try to make some time for myself, even if it’s just a few minutes. x

    Kate Louise Blogs

    • Even a few minutes a day can make such a difference, so happy you always make sure to take some time out for yourself, Kate!

  • Wave for Wellness

    I have your same problem and really struggle with the feeling that i’m not productive enough. So sometimes i have to actually make myself stop looking for things that still need to be done and just take some time off, while others selfcare just comes naturally. Weird, right?

    • Haha, yes! I am the same way. Once I start doing something, I just can’t stop, unless I force myself a little.

  • This was an insightful and interesting article, Paula. I already adopted some of the self-care practices you suggested, but like you struggle with being unproductive at times or unkind to myself. Thanks for the reminder to unplug before it’s too late and that it’s acceptable to take a real break and be intentional about showing myself true love and kindness to be happy. – Oluwakemi Loriade // http://www.lorikemi.com