As the years go by there is always one thing we can all improve on: self-care. It is far too easy to get wrapped up in to-do lists, careers, kids, and doing our best to keep our heads above water that we often forget about our needs.
Ever since I became a mom I have discovered how truly easy it is to put ourselves last. I have also learned the hard way that putting ourselves last does nobody any good. We can’t perform to the best of our abilities as professionals, parents, friends, or lovers if we are lacking on self-care.
The good news here is that there are many easy ways to pamper ourselves. Self-care can be affordable, easy to fit into the schedule, and can even be done from the comfort of our own homes. Here are 14 ways we can focus on ourselves and start this New Year off with a clear mind and relaxed soul.
1. Take a relaxing bath. Turn it up a notch and dim the lights, light some candles, and add some essential oils. Bonus if there is a glass of wine involved.
2. De-clutter the home. Although this is a lengthy process, there is nothing more rewarding. Sort through your home, room by room, and focus on keeping only what is serving you and your family.
3. Coloring. And parents, your kids coloring books work just fine-no need to fall into the overpriced adult coloring book hype-trust me.
4. Go for an unplugged walk. Time spent in nature will be forever underrated. Nature heals. Take time to listen to the wind, the birds, and the bees and put a pause on anything involving earphones.
5. Go to sleep earlier. Sleep is a time for rest and restoration and let’s be real; most of us aren’t getting enough. Winding down for bed even 30 minutes earlier will make the world of a difference.
6. Stretch upon waking. Getting our circulation flowing freely first thing in the morning starts the day off on the right foot.
7. Read a paperback novel. Ditch the electronic books and magazines and kick it old school. Feel the pages turn between your fingertips and indulge in a captivating story.
8. Create a home café. Take your reading atmosphere to another level by turning on some soft acoustic music and making yourself the best damn latte that you’ve ever had.
9. Practice positive affirmations. Body image issues don’t’ escape any of us and we could all use some extra love when it comes to this department. Focus on the things you love about yourself, write them down and hang the notes up on your mirror. These are things we should never lose sight of.
10. Say no more often. We all know that we can’t possibly “do it all” but despite knowing this fact we seem to keep trying. If there’s an opportunity or commitment you cannot or do not want to follow through with there is absolutely no harm in saying no. It is not selfish, it is self-care.
11. Journal. Writing down our greatest emotions can be so therapeutic. Journaling can honour feelings of all nature and it helps to clear the mind.
12. Home spa treatments. A rejuvenating DIY face mask always does the trick for me but a self-administered manicure and/or pedicure or hair treatment would be just as lovely.
13. Get an indoor plant. I have sadly killed my fair share of plants but luckily there are some varieties that thrive no matter what. My absolute favorite additions to consider are the spider plant, the dracaena and a pothos plant. These varieties also all happen to be air purifying.
14. Catch up with friends. Nothing beats having the chance to let loose and spend time with those loved ones we don’t see nearly as much as we’d like to. Whether you set up a cozy date at home with a friend (or group of) or go out for brunch or drinks, it’s all time allotted for you and your missed ones.