How to Practice Self-Love and Self-Care Every Day
Why not make a commitment to give yourself a little extra love and focus on some self-care? Most of us could benefit from paying more attention to what we need ourselves in order to create a thriving, joyful life.
We’re not just talking about roses and bubble baths—although those are good, too! There are so many sustainable self-care practices that can be incorporated into your daily routines and create significant increases in well-being.
But first, it’s essential to realize that self-care isn’t selfish.
Why Self-Care Isn’t Selfish
Too often, we tell ourselves that we don’t have enough time for self-care. Moreover, we might even feel guilty about taking time out to focus on our own needs.
That’s especially true if you’re a parent or caretaker. And that feeling may be heightened if your loved one is facing mental or physical health challenges.
But self-care is not only the most important thing you can do for yourself, it’s also the best way to stay strong so you can care for others. When we’re stressed, burnt out, and overscheduled, we don’t have the resources we need to be there for other people in our life.
Here are some ways to practice self-care every day of the year.
Listen to Your Body
In the midst of our busy routines, it’s easy to lose touch with what we need on the most basic level. Sleep and nutrition are essential pillars of health and wellness. Therefore, we need to ask ourselves the simple question: Am I getting enough rest and nourishment?
Furthermore, moving our bodies is particularly important. It’s good for our physical health, and it also benefits our mental health. In fact, exercise increases the body’s production of endorphins, the brain’s “feel good” chemicals.
Weave Mindfulness into Your Day
Learning to slow down and appreciate each moment, rather than rushing through one task after the next, is a game changer. Therefore, take the time to notice your experience instead of getting caught up in thoughts of the past or worries about the future. Consequently, you’re recharging your spiritual and emotional batteries.
Mindfulness practice supports you in looking at the world with fresh eyes—seeing “the miraculous in the common,” as Ralph Waldo Emerson put it.
Here are three ways you can incorporate mindfulness into your life so it becomes part of your daily routine.
Conscious breathing: Before you brush your teeth in the morning and at night, take three slow, deep breaths. You can also do this at other moments of your day, such as when you’re stopped at a red light or while you’re waiting in line.
Body scan: When you get in bed at night or before you get out of bed in the morning, do a body scan. Specifically, send your attention to each part of the body, starting with the toes and moving up to the head, and focus on the sensations you feel in each area. Relax the muscles in each area of the body before moving on to the next.
Activate your senses: While you’re walking the dog, waiting at the bus stop, or walking from your car to your workplace, observe and savor what’s around you. Additionally, pay attention to the way the air feels, what you see nearby and in the distance, and the sounds you hear. Tune in to what is beautiful and interesting in your environment.