I feel like people often have a funny idea of self-care. I sometimes hear the word and images of spas days and deep meditation come to mind, but self-care is basically about taking care of yourself. It’s protecting your happiness and well-being and taking action to preserve your overall health. And, while spa days are great, I think the little things often get overlooked.
I am someone who gets lost in their day. I tend to get caught up in what I am doing and self-care basically goes out the window. Spa days are the last thing on my mind and really the only thing I remember to do is drink water. (I’ve always been pretty good about that one.) Since I am one for lists, planners, and routines, I’ve started working some self-care things into my daily routine so I don’t go without.
8 Self-Care Things In My Daily Routine
Standing While I Work
The other day my mom read me an article about the harmful risks of sitting too much. About 25% of American adults spend more than eight hours a day sitting, whether it’s during our commute, working at a desk, or just watching TV. I have two toddlers, so sitting in the same spot for more than ten minutes is impossible, but as a writer, much of my job is spent sitting at a computer or with a pencil and paper, and I still felt like I was sitting too much. Even though I try to stay active, I could feel the strain that sitting was putting on my body.
Now, instead of sitting while I work during the day, I stand. I keep my laptop on the counter or high table and move the chair away. Not only is this better for my body, but it helps keep me focused on my tasks as well.
Vitamins + Supplements
I love food and I feel like I’m pretty good at eating balanced meals, but there are some days that I get so busy that it hits 3 pm and I realize I haven’t eaten a meal all day. To make sure I’m getting the proper nutrients I take a few daily vitamins and supplements.
Making Time To Read
I love reading, obviously, and reading is a huge form of self-care for me. It is relaxing and gives me the chance to escape and breathe, but there are some days where I feel like it just doesn’t fit into my schedule. I am a firm believer, however, that there is always time to read and I make it a point to make time for at least 20 minutes of reading each day (and this doesn’t include the books I read to the girls at bedtime). A 2009 study by the University of Sussex found that reading for just six minutes can reduce stress levels by up to 68%. Even 5 minutes of reading an actual book each day are enough to reap the benefits of reading.
Yoga is one of my favorite ways to stay active and it’s a huge stress reliever. I love doing yoga in the middle of the day after working for a bit to give my body a break. It’s a great way to stretch out your body and I always feel more relaxed and centered after.
Making Time To Write
This one is really about doing something that you are passionate about. Writing is something that I’ve always been passionate about, which is why I decided to pursue a career in it. Since I am a full-time blogger and aspiring author you would think that writing is something I do daily, but some days it is honestly hard to find the time. Life has its seasons and I am at a time where my kids require a lot from me. On top of that, blogging is basically 70% promotion, which takes time. I used to think these were valid excuses, but I’m also a firm believer in if you want something bad enough you will make the time for it, so I make time. I commit at least an hour after dinner each night to writing and I always feel better for it.
Keeping My Space Clean
I really don’t like clutter and I pretty much can’t get anything done if my workspace is a mess. The mess around me becomes a constant distraction and starts to feel constricting and ends up stressing me out. To stay ahead of the stress, I do a pretty good job of keeping my space clean. Now, that’s not to say my entire house is clean. I live in a house with seven people, two of them being toddlers, so there is always a lot going on. Since my room is really the only place I have full control over I try to make sure it is a place of sanctuary. I love having a peaceful place I go if I need to get some work done or even to just spend 2 minutes breathing and hiding from my kids.
Journaling is something I’ve done for a while and it has such a positive impact on my day. I use a few different journaling methods and will change them up based on my mood, how my day is going, or what my needs are. Here are some of my favorites:
- Intuitive Tarot: I have an entire journal dedicated to tarot journaling. I typically do a tarot card pull or spread at least once a day and this one is almost like a diary of sorts since each page is dated. This is a great way to reflect and gain insight on things you may not be seeing clearly on your own. If you keep a journal and have never tried tarot journal I recommend looking more into it.
- Brain dump: My head is basically a giant pot of spaghetti. I have twenty different thoughts or ideas in my head at any given time and a brain dump is a great way for me to it out on paper so I can make sense of it all. I keep a brain dump section in my planner but I’m notorious for using any blank sheet of paper I can find.
- Writing journal(s): I honestly have no idea how many writing journals I have since I pretty much keep them everywhere: In my room, in my purse, in my car, and even on my phone. Whenever I get an idea for a story or character, hear a word I like, or think of a great way to describe something I try to write it down before it leaves my head and is gone forever. Every now and then I will compile them all into my organized notebooks on Evernote. If you are a writer or blogger, or really anyone who needs to keep track of ideas or write down items I highly recommend checking out Evernote.
- Prompt Journals: Prompt journals are a really fun way to get into journaling. One of my first prompt journals was The 52 Lists Project from Moorea Seal. Another great one to look into is The Happiness Project from Gretchen Rubin.
Wash Yo Face
I used to have really hardy skin, but as I’ve gotten older it’s started to require more from me. I’ve made it a point to make sure I wash my face and moisturize daily to keep my skin happy and healthy.
What are some of your daily self-care items? Do you do any of these?