“How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live ’em.”–Shel Silverstein
Being a first-time mom and working from home in a demanding HR position while caring for an infant, I am no stranger to stress! Which is all the reason I need to be VERY intentional with my self-care practices. But I am sure I am not the only one who feels like this, right? We ALL need to very intentional with our self-care practices to be the best version of ourselves- happy and thriving.
Whether you place self-care as a priority or feel there is not enough time in a day to schedule self-care (guilty), we could all benefit from exploring different options available for self-care. In my attempt of being intentional with my self-care practices, I have explored and attempted many different practices to see what sticks. Some are obvious and some are not so obvious. But no matter how you slice it, a self-care practice is the cake you can have and eat too. You literally cannot go wrong! So, without further ado, here are eight (8) self-care practices you should try:
Schedule self-care time.
I know what you’re thinking- self-care should not be stressful and scheduling stresses me out! I FEEL YOU. But scheduling self-care time can serve as a ‘call of action’ to complete a task you enjoy. It holds you accountable. It forces you to place your well-being to the front and center. And if you’re like me, someone who is achievement driven, completing a scheduled self-care practice can trick your mind into believing you have checked off another task from your long list of to-dos. Cue happy endorphins.
Start your morning right.
I know this sounds super obvious but how many of us reach for our phones the moment we wake up? To check our texts, emails, social media, bank accounts, etc. We start our day exposing ourselves to potential stress and toxicity. How about we not pick up our phones as soon as we open our eyes? How about we lay in bed an extra 5 minutes, reflecting and expressing gratitude for being alive? Or we meditate/pray? Or journal? Or read? Or cook ourselves a delicious breakfast with hot coffee and eat in utter and blissful peace (a big one for me lately)? Don’t just throw yourself into the hustle and bustle of the day. Slow it down. Relish in the silence. Take your time in nurturing the day ahead of you.
Scream into a pillow.
I’m serious. Do it. Why? Because it prevents you from ripping someone’s head off. Sometimes, the daily stressors of your life can catch up, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. When my daughter was first born, I was so overwhelmed by the adjustment of becoming a mother. I was most overwhelmed when she would be crying, and I had no idea how to comfort her. My sister would tell me to put my baby in a safe place, walk away, and scream into a pillow. “Take 5 minutes to yourself,” she would say, “Let it all out.” And so, I did. And besides the occasional scratchy throat and strained voice (because I would scream that hard and loud), it felt like a huge weight was lifted off my chest. I’ve made this into a practice for any super stressful days I have encountered.
Say your daily affirmations.
This has been the most fulfilling self-care practice so far. And I don’t mean just writing affirmations but looking at yourself in the mirror and saying the affirmations out loud. Most days I smile after practicing this. Then there are some days that I cry because certain affirmations trigger me. But regardless of my attempts to heal the broken parts of myself, the affirmations always serve their purpose. Affirmations are the kindest way to manifest the life you deserve. Words are like magic spells. You want to be very careful of what you are putting into the universe, especially when it involves you and your life! I suggest saying your affirmations first thing in the morning when you wake up. It truly helps set a positive tone for the day.
Change your narrative.
This has been a big one for me. I don’t want to say I complain a lot (maybe because sometimes I do) but I am very vocal about circumstances and situations that bother me. And when I am not being vocal about them, they consume my thoughts. The first step is admitting you have a problem, right? Any time I feel myself sinking into this habit, I stop myself and think, “Let go and let God.” I say this to myself multiple times a day, especially at night before going to bed. Your thoughts can serve as your most powerful tool or your deadliest weapon against yourself. Instead of focusing on what is bothering you, change the narrative and focus on the silver lining. For example, I am completely stressed out working from home while caring for my daughter. I try to change the narrative and express gratitude for having a well-paying job that believes in my capabilities soooo much that I’m highly depended on and entrusted with responsibilities. Or that I am grateful for having a job that allows me to care for my daughter with flexibility. See what I did there?
Listen to ASMR.
Ok, this a weird one. Half of you don’t even know what ASMR is, a quarter of you cringe at the idea of ASMR, and another quarter of you pride yourselves on being part of the ASMR community. For those of you who do not know what ASMR is, ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response which features stimulating videos on YouTube that can cause a physical sensation in your body, otherwise known as ‘tingles.’ Ok, that doesn’t sound perverted. I’ve been listening to ASMR for about 3 years now- it can be deeply relaxing! I listen to it while writing, working, and when I’m about to sleep. Curious and want to experience the ‘tingles’ for yourself? Some of my favorite ASMRtists are Frivolous Fox ASMR, Karuna Satori ASMR, Batala’s ASMR, and Telina Tingles ASMR. Check them out and see which population you fall in when it comes to your feelings of ASMR.
Social Media Detox.
Choose one day out of the week and challenge yourself to avoid social media platforms altogether. No scrolling for 24 hours! And on that day, focus on being present in your experience. How does it feel to unplug from social media? Are you anxious and suffering from FOMO? Are you bored? Are you loving the disconnect? Whether you are experiencing negative or positive feelings while doing this, it presents an opportunity for you to be intentional and seize the day.
Despite how stressful life may be, we all have at least one thing we are grateful for. Think about that one thing and have that thought on a loop throughout the day. You’ll notice that after a while, you feel lighter, as if you are floating. And once you experience that, it’s hard to let that feeling go! You’ll be finding more reasons to be grateful just to keep the momentum going. So be generous with yourself and let the gratitude runneth over.
I hope you find my list of self-care practices helpful! You deserve to love on yourself a little, especially on the days you struggle with feelings of defeat. Here’s your reminder to be kind to yourself and become your own 1st priority.
What are some self-care practices you like to practice? Would love to hear from you all! ❤