When we think about “self-care”, it’s easy to think about relative luxuries like taking a nice long bath, or getting take-out from our favorite restaurant. These are nice, and it’s important to do these things when we can. But self-care should be a daily practice, so we need to be a little more practical.
Here are 5 things you can do every day to practice self-care:
Call or text a friend or family member.
Connection is important, and one thing I do to try and maintain my connections is reach out to someone every day. Whether it’s by phone or text,
Just say “hi”, ask how they’re doing, share a funny GIF, whatever. The important part is reaching out, and communicating with the people you care about, and who care about you.
Reaching out shows people you’re thinking of them. But it also helps you feel better, and gets you out of your own head.
Set a small, achievable goal.
It’s easy to get caught up in all these longer-term goals that will take days, weeks, or even months. These are great goals to have, but we also need to remember to take a step back and look at what we can accomplish today.
It doesn’t have to be complicated, just something easily achievable. Maybe it’s clearing off your desk, or going for a 15-minute walk. Whatever it is you want it to be, just write it down and make sure you do it.
You don’t even have to limit yourself to one thing. Make as many little goals as you want, and achieve some small wins today!
Disconnect for a bit.
We live in a world where we’re always connected. As I said earlier, connection is important. But so is disconnection. It gives you time to relax, truly engage in an activity, or even just zone out for a bit.
Just take some time for yourself and whoever is physically around you, even if it’s just an hour. Turn on ‘Do Not Disturb’, unplug your internet if you have to, and just take the time.
And most importantly, don’t feel guilty. The texts you get will still be there, the missed calls can always be returned.
Learn something new.
Learning doesn’t stop when we finish school. We’re always learning new things, but taking the time to intentionally learn something new can be an incredibly gratifying experience. And there’s never been a better time in history to learn, so take advantage of that!
I’m not saying learn to play an instrument or a whole other language in a day, that’s not realistic. But maybe just take the time to look up something you’re curious about, or find a new recipe to cook something a little outside your comfort zone.
Take care of yourself.
It seems like an obvious part of self-care, but it can be easy to forget the little things we need to do to take care of ourselves. Doing these little things every day can make a huge difference in how we feel, both physically and mentally.
Getting out of bed, washing up, taking a shower, brushing our teeth. These are just the little things you’ve got to do for yourself. Even if you’re having a bad day, or you end up spending the entire day in your pajamas, doing these small things will help you stay healthy, and feel even just a bit better.
Some days just doing the bare minimum can be hard, but it’s worth the struggle to make it happen. Even if it takes all day, sometimes taking these small steps to take care of our needs can lead to a better tomorrow.