In today’s post I’m sharing some self care ideas.
I feel like I’ve been hearing about self care for years, but especially in the last year. 2020 was pretty stressful, and so far 2021 has been too. I know I’ve been feeling more anxious than I have in a long time between the pandemic and American politics. What happened last week at the US capitol building was particularly scary. It’s a lot to deal with and I don’t think anything will be resolved in a few weeks. It’s tough when you don’t see an end to the things that are stressing you out.
I’ve been trying to do at least one thing each day that is self care for me. It looks different for everyone, so in this post I’ll be writing about the things that have worked for me. I’d love to hear your self care ideas in the comments below.
With how the world has changed over the last 10 or 11 months, it’s been easy to let appointments and check ups fall to the way side. Whether it’s an annual physical with my family doctor, a dentist check up, or therapy, getting those things done has been really helpful. It might not seem like self care, but making sure that I’m taking care of my physical and mental health is so important.
It’s no surprise that one way that I practice self care is by working out. Not only does moving, getting out nervous energy, and sweating help with my anxiety, it also feels good to know that I’m doing something good for my body. In terms of self care, my go to workouts are yoga, strength training, and cardio. When I get on my yoga mat all I think about is my breath and the pose. It’s such a great break for whatever else I may have going on that day. In terms of strength training, it feels really good to work hard to lift weights or do more reps than I thought I could do. There’s something about exceeding my expectations in workouts that also translates into everyday life. For cardio I loved the elliptical when it was safe to go to the gym. Since I’ve been working out at home for nearly a year now, I’ve been using our treadmill and running. Being able to set the pace and just move without having to give it much thought allows me to zone out for a bit.
I’ve written about how helpful meditation has been for me before on the blog. Check out posts here and here. My go to app right now is Headspace. Just recently I decided to subscribe to it again to gain access to all of their meditations. I’m so glad I did because I’m using it multiple times a day. They’ve added a bunch of features since I last had a subscription, including sleepcasts. They’re basically bedtime stories for adults. They have a bunch to choose from. My favorites are Rainday Antiques and Pooch Palace. The Headspace sleepcasts are the perfect thing to keep me focused on so that I don’t worry while also allowing myself to drift off once I start to feel tired.
Meditation definitely doesn’t have to be “woo woo”. It can be as simple as staying still for a minute or two and focusing on your breath or counting your breaths. If you had told me five years ago that I would be someone who meditates everyday, I would have told you you had the wrong person. I’m so glad that I started doing it though. It’s so helpful to know that I have a tool to help me deal with worrying or anxious thoughts throughout the day.
I know reading isn’t everyone’s favorite thing, but I don’t know what I would do without books. Ever since I was a kid it’s been something that I’ve been able to lose myself in. I really enjoy getting to know characters and read about their choices and different lives than mine. It’s fun to escape into a different time and place for awhile. If you’re looking for something good to read, check out my favorite books of 2020.
Doing my nails
I used to do my nails all the time as teen. I stopped when I started university and I haven’t really done it much since then. This summer I decided to start doing my nails each week and I’ve had more fun doing it than I thought I would. It definitely looks some time to remember how to apply nail polish well, but I’ve gotten a lot better at it now compared to back in June or July. It’s such a little thing that brings me so much joy throughout the week every time I see my nails. My favorite polish by far is Essie (affiliate link). And if you have a hard time sitting still like I do, check out the Expressie line (affiliate link too). It’s a quicker drying version of their nail polish that I really like.
One thing that I’ve been doing more of since the pandemic started and I’ve been spending more time at home is indulging in little luxuries. It doesn’t have to be anything big and expensive. It’s usually something as simple as burning a candle that I’ve been “saving” or making a fancy hot chocolate with marshmallows, taking a bubble bath, or putting an extra cozy blanket on my bad on a cold night. It’s those little things that I wouldn’t typically do, but are super easy and low cost that make a difference for me. Once again, those little luxuries will be different for everyone, so take a moment or two and think about one that you could give to yourself today.
What are some of your self care ideas?
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