Self-care. It is important. It is beneficial. It is necessary. The real question? What is it? When you think of self-care what do you imagine? A lavish vacation? Spa getaway? It’s easy to associate practicing self-care with spending money. But if you’re like me, living in your 20s isn’t exactly associated with living with an abundance of money. So how do you practice self-care when you can barely make your student loan payments? To me, self-care doesn’t have to equal money spent. You can practice self-care daily and it doesn’t have to cost you a cent. Below I share some ways that you can practice self-care everyday, hassle free and, most importantly, free free.
Take a Relaxing Shower or Bath
There’s a reason why whenever I am stressed or anxious, my partner tells me to take a shower and see how I feel afterwards. Showers, or if you prefer baths, are naturally relaxing. I’m no doctor, but something about the warm water hitting your skin causes your body to relax. And once your body is relaxed, hopefully your mind will follow. Taking a shower or bath after a long, stress filled day can be a great way to unwind. Or, taking a shower or bath in the morning, can be a great way to start your day feeling relaxed and refreshed. See what I did there? It doesn’t matter when you choose to bathe, morning or night, as long as you do it daily and allow it to relax your body and mind. Personally, I like to get romantic with it, by lighting candles and playing some soft music. Don’t judge. Try it out.
Eat a Healthy Meal Alone
I learned a lot in college. One experience I will never forget, however, is when I attended a workshop on mindful eating. While it was a little awkward at first, learning to slowly eat a single raisin followed by a full meal, it taught me some valuable lessons. One, it taught me that throughout the day we’re typically shoving food in our mouths without actually focusing on what we’re eating and how much of it we’re eating. Second, it taught me that it feels good to stop and actually enjoy a meal. When I say enjoy a meal, I mean savoring each bite, being mindful of the tastes and smells and how it makes you feel. Thus, as part of an everyday practice of self-care, I recommend eating a healthy meal alone. I recommend you do this for two reasons: (1) Eating a healthy meal will make you feel better about yourself and your body; (2) Eating alone allows you to truly be mindful of what you’re eating, how much you’re eating, and how satisfied and replenished you feel upon eating.
Do Something You Enjoy
The last tip for everyday self-care is simple: Do something you enjoy. Throughout the day we get so caught up doing the things we have to do (i.e, work, school, chores), that we forget to make time to do the things we like to do for pure enjoyment. Everyday, for at least one hour, I try to engage in something I enjoy, whether it’s watching one of my favorite reality tv shows or catching up on some good reads. Allowing yourself to do something you enjoy is a treat in and of itself, but it also allows you to take a break from the things you have to do and refocus your energy. When it’s time to return to your daily grind, you will feel re-energized and ready to work.
I’ve shared some of the ways I practice self-care on the daily. Leave a comment or message me with some of the ways in which you practice self-care everyday. When I think of self-care, one phrase always comes to mind: Treat yo’ self. So remember to treat yo’ self everyday and that self-care is self-love.