Self-care is a topic that I often talk about as I’m a huge believer in the payoff it can have for you personally. Being someone that practices self-care on a pretty regular basis (or at least a semi regular basis), I can honestly say it makes a difference in my quality of life. The benefits are unreal.
I’ve had a few requests to share some of my self-care practices. So I sat down and really thought about the practices I do on a regular basis and the health benefits they’ve had for me.
Before I hop into it, I’d like to point out that self-care looks different for everyone. What helps me unwind may not necessarily help you. I find that it’s best to give a practice a shot for at least 2-4 weeks. If it still doesn’t do anything for you, trash it and move on. This is a trial and error process that is forever evolving as you grow as a person.
Without further ado, here are my top ten habits for self-care….
10 Habits for Self Care
Drinking water is a must for me. So much so that it’s the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning, as well as before I go to bed at night. It helps keep my skin hydrated, my digestive system regular, and so much more.
Along with that there are so many health benefits to drinking water. Such as; delivering oxygen throughout the body, boosting skin health and beauty, cushions the brain and spinal cord, helps regulate body temperature, flushes body waste, helps maintain blood pressure, boosts performance during exercise, and so much more.
I always preach drinking at least 64 fl oz of water a day. If you’re someone that doesn’t like the taste of water you can spice it up a bit by adding fruit to your water for some yummy extra flavor.
As someone who struggles with acne I make it a point to do at least two face masks a week. Not only is it beneficial to my overall skin health, it also helps me relax and unwind a bit. During the time it takes to wait for a face mask to work it’s magic, I like to hang out with Nala (my dog). This gives us some extra time to play or just snuggle up.
Believe it or not there are also some added health benefits to doing face masks pertaining to your skin. Face masks help increase skin hydration, diminish fine lines, refines pores, firms the skin, and so much more.
Who doesn’t love a good stretch? Being a gymnast and a dancer for the majority of my life, stretching has always been important to me. If I’m being honest, I let this habit slip over the past couple years and have recently introduced it again (and I’m loving every moment of it).
Stretching is one of the first things I do every morning. I like to spend anywhere from ten to thirty minutes on it depending on how tight my body feels when I wake up. Not only does it aide in loosening up muscles after a night of sleep, it also helps wake my body up.
There are a ton of benefits from stretching as well, such as: increasing blood flow to the muscles, clearing your mind, increasing flexibility and range of motion, improves posture, helps with back pain, improves performance during physical activities, and more.
If there is one practice that I’d recommend that everyone incorporates into their daily routine, this would be it. The benefits your body reaps both mentally and physically from stretching are like no other. It’s truly a habit that can improve everyone’s life.
For those of you that don’t know me, I have been a book worm my entire life. To me there is nothing better than a good book. Hence why reading has always been a self-care practice for me.
Reading is a good opportunity for me to put my phone down and focus on nothing other than whatever book I’m reading. It helps me turn off my brain and the world around me for at least twenty minutes a day.
Believe it or not, there are also health benefits from this habit as well. Reading can help reduce your stress level by 68%, help you fall asleep, boost happiness, help alleviate anxiety and depression, and even preserve brain health – helping lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Quiet time for me means alone time. This one is a must for me. Adopting this habit into my self-care practices has been an easy one for me. Being in a long distance relationship and living alone make it a lot easier to incorporate.
However, if you live with your significant other or have kids running around it can be a bit more difficult to find that alone time. Try waking up a half hour earlier than everyone or working with your significant other to take the kids for a walk so you can have your quiet time.
Taking this time for yourself can mean many things. For some it’s sitting down with coffee/tea and a good book, spending this time to read the Bible and go through your daily devotional, or writing. For others it may be more along the lines of doing a puzzle, taking a nap, or coloring. To each their own.
Having this quiet time to yourself also helps increase empathy and productivity, build mental strength, spark creativity, and get to know yourself better. Along with these benefits there are many others as well.
Taking A Bath
This habit is one that I incorporate into my life on a weekly basis at minimum. Having a body that is naturally tight and tense from stress, this helps me unwind a little bit more and is great in relaxing my muscles. I’ll typically put in some sort of bubble bath, a few drops of peppermint oil and some bath salts to really reap the benefits of relaxing.
Taking baths has so many health benefits as well. Some of these benefits are; aiding in heart health, making it easier to breathe, balancing hormones, relaxing muscles and joints, and calming the nervous system.
Going For A Walk
Going for walks is a great way to practice self care for so many reasons. For me personally I go for a walk when I need to clear my head and destress a bit. Walks help me gather myself and my thoughts.
Along with the stress relieving benefits come many more. Walks can help lower your blood sugar, boost your immune system, strengthen your heart, improve your mood, and so much more.
No Screen Time
I like to combine this habit with having quiet time, reading, or when I clean my apartment. Having a period of zero screen time each day is really beneficial. This goes for being on your phone, computer and watching television.
Most people are on their phone the most out of the three – typically scrolling through social media. Taking this away for a chunk of time everyday allows you to focus on yourself and what is going on around you. So often we miss what is happening in a moment because we’re glued to our phones.
Here are some of the benefits from putting technology away and having no screen time: reduces eye strain, improves sleep, prevents headaches, and increases focus.
Get A Hobby
Picking up a hobby is one of the most beneficial habits you can have. It helps you unwind and gives you the power to focus on one thing. My personal hobby that I’ve been really getting into lately is cooking. I LOVE to cook!
For others their hobbies might be painting, drawing, knitting, doing puzzles, woodworking, boxing. A hobby could be anything that pertains to you and what you love to do.
Hobbies are so great in that they encourage you to take a break, reduce stress, offer new challenges, help you grow, enrich your perspective, grow in confidence, and so much more.
Journaling is a habit that I truly believe everyone should adopt. Whether you’re gratitude journaling or just writing thoughts down there are so many benefits. I journal twice a day – morning and night – and I couldn’t imagine living life without it.
Some of the benefits of journaling are that it can stretch IQ, help achieve mindfulness, emotional intelligence, healing, strengthen your self discipline. It can also help improve communication skills, help achieve goals, boost memory and comprehension, and so much more.