Do you ever forget to take care of yourself?
I know. You’re busy, and finding the time to take proper care of yourself can be hard. But if you don’t, it won’t be long before you’re battered from exhaustion and operating in a mental fog where it’s hard to care about anything or anyone.
I should know.
A couple weeks ago I found myself on a Saturday afternoon sitting on the couch with no motivation to get outside, call a friend or make food (all thinks I normally love). I spent most of the day scrolling through instagram, and sad that I don't have time or money for travel or long adventures. After while, a thought occurred to me that it had been nearly a week since I showered, and that's when it clicked that I hadn't been taking care of my self.
Self-Care Isn’t a One-Time Deal
That afternoon on the couch reminded me that self care is a constant thing, not just a one week vacation a few times a year. I realized that even with my busy schedule, small wallet, and long task list that there are a lot of minutes in the day that I can spend taking care of myself.
Self care is a constant repetition of many tiny self care habits, which together soothe you and make sure you’re at your optimum—emotionally, physically, and mentally.
The best way to do this is to implement tiny self-care habits every day. To regularly include in your life a little bit of love and attention for your own body, mind, and soul.
The following ideas are tiny self-care activities you can fit into a short amount of time, usually with little cost.
The best self-care activities are the ones you brainstorm on your own, that meet your needs.
Think about what brings you energy, what lights your spirit up, what makes you feel aligned. Some of these activities/ skills may overlap- that's even better! If you need a little help check out our ideas below.
Pick one from each category, and include them in your life this week.
Tiny Self-Care Ideas for the Mind
To relax the mind:
1. Scratch off a lurker on your to-do list, something that’s been there for ages and you'll never do.
2. Go cloud-watching. Lie on your back, relax, and watch the sky.
3. Do some mini-meditation with one minute of awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations; one minute of focused attention on breathing; and one minute of awareness of the body as a whole.
4. Be selfish. Do one thing today just because it makes you happy.
5. Unplug for an hour. Switch everything to airplane mode and free yourself from the constant bingsof social media and email.
To Stimulate the mind:
6. Take another route to work. Mixing up your routine in small ways creates new neural pathways in the brain to keep it healthy.
7. Fix a small annoyance at home that’s been nagging you—a button lost, a drawer that’s stuck, a light bulb that’s gone.
8. Build something. It doesn't have to be something major. You can even put together a lego set.
9. Do a mini-declutter. Recycle three things from your wardrobe that you don’t love or regularly wear.
10. If you are an extrovert get somewhere where you can have a conversation even if it is with a stranger at the bus stop; If you are an introvert go somewhere where you can be alone and try to discover something new or do a puzzle.
Tiny Self-Care Ideas for the Body
1. Give your body ten minutes of playful movement. (Non-directed activity)
2. Oxygenate by taking three deep breaths. Breathe into your abdomen, and let the air puff out your stomach and chest.
3. Dance! Put on your favorite upbeat record and shake your booty.
4. Stretch out the kinks. We reccomend using a movnat mobility sequence.
5. Move outside. Get out and walk, run bike etc.
6. Narrow your food choices. Pick two healthy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners and rotate for the week.
7. Activate your self-soothing system. Stroke your own arm, or if that feels too weird, moisturize.
8. Make one small change to your diet for the week. Drink an extra glass of water each day, or have an extra portion of veggies each meal.
9. Get fifteen minutes of sun (Use sunscreen if appropriate.)
10. Go to bed early. Going to bed just 15 minutes earlier can provide a lot more energy through out the week
Tiny Self-Care Ideas for the Soul
1. Add positivity to your space. A pretty picture or a plant can go a long ways in making you feel more at ease in your office or home.
2. Have a good laugh. Read a couple of comic strips, spend sometime with someone who makes you laugh or watch a favorite comedy bit.
3. Help someone. Carry a bag, open a door, or pick up an extra carton of milk for a neighbor.
4. Check in with your emotions. Sit quietly and just name without judgment what you’re feeling.
5. Write out your thoughts. Go for fifteen minutes on anything bothering you. Then let it go as you burn or bin the paper.
6. Have a self-date. Spend an hour alone doing something that nourishes you (reading, your hobby, visiting a museum or gallery, etc.)
7. Exercise a signature strength. Think about what you’re good at, and find an opportunity for it today.
8. Take a home spa. Have a long bath or shower, sit around in your bathrobe, and read magazines.
9. Ask for help—big or small, but reach out.
10. Plan a two-day holiday for next weekend. Turn off your phone, tell people you’ll be away, and then do something new in your own town.
Little and Often Wins the Day
With a little bit of attention to your own self-care, the fog will lift.
You’ll feel more connected to yourself and the world around you.
You’ll delight in small pleasures, and nothing will seem quite as difficult as it did before.
Which one will you try first?