Lifestyle Wellness

5 Simple Self-Care Ideas

5 Simple Self-Care Ideas

5 Simple Self-Care Ideas
5 Simple Self-Care Ideas

What are some small things that used to put a smile on your face, things that used to make you feel happy and excited when you were a child?

I remember jumping on the bed, reading books while sitting next to the open window, listening to the rain. I also remember spending a lot of time in the kitchen with my grandmother, baking, or running barefoot on the grass in the yard.

Things were so simple back then- we didn’t need much to put a smile on our faces. These days we’re too stressed, too worried, too preoccupied.

What is your biggest challenge, when it comes to practicing self-care?

Time is definitely one of the big ones. Another is admitting that you do need (and deserve) a small break. It’s getting over the idea that self-care practices are all about self-indulgence.

I like to think that it’s a “you can’t pour from an empty cup” kind of thing.

5 SIMPLE SELF-CARE IDEAS FOR WHEN YOU’RE SHORT ON TIME

5 Simple Self-Care Ideas

GO BACK IN TIME

You’re never too old to jump on the bed. Or run barefoot on the grass, or dance in the rain, or spend an hour cloud-watching.

Think of some of the things that used to bring you joy, things you find you no longer have time to do and do them- make them a part of your simple self-care routine.

YOGA

Stress is what challenges and what helps us grow, but we all know a little bit too well that too much stress can wreck a havoc on our bodies and eventually cause a burnout. If you’re looking for more joy, peace, and calm while also showing your body some love- try yoga.

When you’re stressed, whether it be due to bad or good experiences, your muscles tense up, you breathe faster in an effort to distribute oxygen and blood quickly to your body core, your heart rate and blood sugar level increase. Stress doesn’t just affect your mind- you feel it in your body, too. If you don’t have time to take a class, you can try places like YogaDownload and take a class at home, at your own convenience.

UNWIND AT NIGHT

For many of us, late evenings are the only time we have for ourselves. It’s not until the day officially ends, that we can finally sit down and unwind. If that is the case for you, your nightly unwind ritual can be a part of your simple self-care routine.

Don’t bring things like your laptop or other electronics to bed. Use this time to shut your brain down: take a warm bath, read a book (or listen to an audiobook, like I usually do), apply a face mask- whatever it is that calms and relaxes you. I love indulging in my nighttime skincare routine. I do some deep-cleaning using a cream/oil cleanser like MUN Akwi cleanser (use a code “MUN13T” to save some $$); I massage it into my skin and then put a washcloth under hot water and gently press it into my skin. I usually followup up with a gel cleanser, have a little facial massage and go in with my serums, eye cream, do some dry-brushing. This helps me unwind, relax and prep for bedtime.

5 Simple Self-Care Ideas

EMOTIONAL CHECK-IN

Maybe you don’t like to talk about your feelings to other people; maybe your favorite person to talk to isn’t available- have an emotional check-in with yourself, by yourself.

Many moons ago, a therapist gifted me my very first journal, and it’s become one of the best emotional growth tools I’ve used. At first, journaling might seem a bit strange, if it’s something you’ve never done before. If you are new to it, I highly suggest you start your journey with some writing/journaling prompts.

Writing down all your feelings, your thoughts, your plans, your questions, your fears, can bring some much-needed clarity into your life. This is especially important and useful if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed at times.


MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF

If you’re short on time and rarely treat yourself to a piece of pie or sushi from your favorite place, or taking a class you always wanted to take, schedule it in- just like you would schedule a dentist’s visit. Don’t just think: “I’ll treat myself to *fill in the blank* on Friday,” but actually write it down in your calendar. No cancellations allowed.

And you know what? Self-care doesn’t always have to look all pretty. Every Friday I go grocery shopping after work, stop by my favorite sushi place after to pick up some brown rice + avocado sushi, and then grab some frozen coffee. I get home, unpack the groceries, I then turn off my phone, sit down either at my desk, on the couch or outside in the yard, put on some music (or sit in complete silence, depending on my mood that day) and give myself 15 minutes to just eat and relax.  Sometimes, I’m literally sitting on the floor, eating, and browsing through a book or a magazine. While I’m still working on finishing my coffee, I’m already on my way downstairs to do some laundry.

Of course, I’d love to be able to take the rest of the day off, put my feet up and do nothing else but write in my journal or take a bath or paint my nails. Most of the time, that just isn’t realistic- and that’s fine. After a tough/stressful week, 15 minutes of simple self-care, spent alone, just by doing nothing or doing some breathing exercises can be enough to recharge the batteries for the day.

Truth is, self-care looks different to us all and there is no wrong way of doing it. If it’s not already a part of your routine, schedule it in. Especially if you don’t do it too often; you need to find that time just for yourself when you can relax a little and take a break- even if it’s just for 10 minutes. You can take a nap, have a bath, prepare an epic meal for one, read a book- whatever it is that you enjoy doing. Don’t think of it as being unproductive, selfish or lazy- think of it as a necessity.

 

25 Comments

  • Reply
    Lois
    July 3, 2018 at 9:35 am

    It’s really important to take a breather once in a while. You don’t need to always be hustling about. Self-care is absolutely vital. Thanks for sharing :)

    – Lois ♡ | http://www.loisvinas.com

  • Reply
    The Sunday Mode
    July 3, 2018 at 10:05 am

    Do you have a fav kind of yoga Paula? I’ve started doing some in class we do Yoga once a week but it’s mainly strength based and I hate it! I already do weight training and pilates so I don’t feel like I need to do so much strength/cardio stuff in my yoga, I want more relaxation from it!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      July 3, 2018 at 11:26 am

      Have you tried Kundalini yoga, Julia? I think you might enjoy it- it’s a blend of breathing, mantra, stretching, meditating and relaxing. It’s great for releasing blocked energy, anxiety.

  • Reply
    Reb Blanchard
    July 3, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    As a Type A guy, I deal with this everyday. Love the part where you say that it is a way of refilling yourself so you can give more. If you are married to or are with a Type A person (or maybe you a Type A lady) think of all the high performing athletes that are at the top of the heap. Almost everyone of them spends time getting massages, sitting in ice baths or hot tubs to rejuvenate themselves so they can perform at a level where someone will pay them millions to play a game. Focusing on the idea that taking care of yourself will help you actually do an be more may take away the obstacle we have of not having enough time.

    P.S. Thanks for letting me be a part of the community. I really like hearing the stuff that women find interesting and important. I find I am a better husband, brother, and leader at work because I can pick up this perspective. Doubt you intended that to be a result of the blog but know that you have made a positive impact on me, even if unintentional.
    Best regards,
    Reb

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      July 3, 2018 at 3:47 pm

      I love that comparison, Reb! It absolutely makes sense to think of it that way- we all admire these people for their accomplishments but often fail to realize that there’s so much more to it than just practice and training; there’s rest, sleep, visualization, self-care and other pre-performance routines that are part of the equation. Many of which can also be applied to our lives- especially those of us who are a bit on the over-achieving side of the spectrum.

      Thank you SO much for your comment and for taking the time to read this post! Your comment will be making its way into my *favorites* folder!

  • Reply
    Kate
    July 3, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    I completely agree that you can’t pour from an empty cup! I think in our society (at least in British society) there is a lot of pressure to put our loved ones before ourselves, but I have always believed we are of more use to them by taking care of our own needs first. I actually did yoga for the first time in ages recently and I had forgotten how good it makes me feel. I definitely need it back in my life! x

    Kate Louise Blogs

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      July 3, 2018 at 3:58 pm

      Oh yes, I grew up always thinking that other people’s needs are much important than mine, too. It’s great being able to take care of someone you love, but it’s also so important to remember that you can only give so much, if you don’t, at some point, put yourself first- even if just for one day.
      So happy to hear you’re loving yoga again! Whenever I take a little break and then go back, I end up crying at how good it made me feel, haha!

  • Reply
    Deanna Marie
    July 3, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    I really love this. You are so good at timing your self-care posts exactly when your audience needs them. I definitely needed the reminder! And, your nighttime routine sounds gorgeous! I love the idea of dry brushing as part of a nighttime routine as well.

    Deanna
    http://www.luxandvitae.com

  • Reply
    Lisa Villaume
    July 3, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    Paula – I needed to read this. Thanks for popping into my inbox to tell me about this post. My life has dramatically changed from being a corporate executive to a stay at home mom, and I’m struggling to find my balance. Will try a bit of night time pampering to fill my tank.
    Thank you, Lisa x
    Lisa Villaume | Lifestyle, Inspiration, Minimalism

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      September 27, 2018 at 4:17 am

      Thank you so much, Lisa! It’s so important to know when to take a little time for yourself and to realize that sometimes, life can be great, even when it’s not perfectly balanced.

    • Reply
      officefitoutbrisbane
      January 5, 2019 at 4:46 am

      lisavillaume 5++

  • Reply
    Jordyn Lucas.
    July 4, 2018 at 3:21 am

    I find myself to do self care by myself with excerising, listening to music and eating a yummy breakfast!

  • Reply
    Lisa Autumn
    July 4, 2018 at 6:06 am

    I feel a bit off recently.. I sleep well but I am so exhausted when I wake up.. like my mind didn’t sleep or something. Thank you for the tips girl!

    x Lisa | lisaautumn.com

  • Reply
    Flo la vita
    July 4, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    This was so interesting xx

    https://www.flolavita.co.uk/2018/07/july-to-do-list.html

  • Reply
    Julia Speaks
    July 4, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Making time for yourself is such an important one, because it can be applied whenever you feel like you really need it. It’s so important to stop things and take the time to breathe, think and relax when things get overwhelming, and this goes for every situation, every person and everything that makes them upset. Great post! :)

    Julia x
    Last Post: How To Get Your Life Together | http://juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.com/2018/07/lifestyle-how-to-get-your-life-together.html

  • Reply
    Serein Wu
    July 5, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    Loved this little reminder Paula, I recently signed up for yoga by my house. It’s really helped me just turn off my screens and focus on breathing, plus it’s good for us!

    xoxo
    Serein
    http://sereinwu.com/

  • Reply
    SofiaaDot
    July 6, 2018 at 10:12 am

    I always try to unwind at night but sometimes its so hard haha great tips though!

    xx Sofia | SOFIAADOT

  • Reply
    Natalie Redman
    July 6, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Go back in time is such a good one!

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • Reply
    Musings of a Gossip
    July 6, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    I just started yoga! It’s hard for me to focus and be present but it’s worth the effort!

    Mel | http://www.musingsofagossip.com

  • Reply
    Coco
    July 8, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this! Such great ideas. Thanks for sharing!
    Coco| pjsandstuff.wordpress.com

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