Everyone who knows me and who follows me knows that I am always shouting self-care from rooftops. I think business boils down to one thing: mindset. And mindset all depends on how well you care for yourself throughout this journey of business. I am constantly (unapologetically) prioritizing my self-care.
Self-care isn’t selfish. Wellness is a business decision, people.
With that being said, I think a lot of people get confused as how to practice self-care. Does self-care mean you have to go spend $100 at the spa? No. Is it all wine and bubble baths and ordering takeout? Sometimes, yes, but not always. Self-care can be so, so many other things. Here’s a list of 25 ways you can practice self-care:
1. Take a day off.
One of my personal favorites! The day off. It is insane to me how many people I talk to who are scared to take a day off from work. Especially other entrepreneurs. We have to have time to rest and recharge so we can come back excited and ready for the work on our plate- not dreading doing it. It is so, so, so important to take time off people. And when you begin to feel the overwhelm/ the stress/ the burnout, please give yourself permission to do just that.
2. Start a gratitude journal.
This is one of my favorite practices of self-care. Being thankful for how much I am doing in life otherwise and recognizing and appreciating what life is giving me has shifted my mindset so much. Even if some days the only things I can be thankful for are coffee and naps, it still makes me feel so, so incredibly thankful for them. My favorite journal is the Five Minute Journal.
3. Learn how to mediate.
I remember when I first started to practice meditation and learn about it. I thought it was SO HARD. I remember thinking “sitting here in silence for five minutes SHOULD NOT be this damn difficult.” But it’s so hard to shut off our noisy brains. Doing so is so incredibly helpful though, and learning how to meditate takes practice, just like everything else. I recommend the Calm app or the Headspace app to really learn how to mediate and starting off with 3 minutes, then 5 minutes, 10 minutes, etc. Meditation changed everything for me.
4. Remove notifications from your phone.
Oh my gosh is this life changing. It’s so nice to be able to pick up your phone, check the time, call your friend, whatever you want to do- without seeing 50 instagram notifications, 15 emails, 5 Facebook messenger requests. Turning off my notifications allows me to do what I need to do first and then give myself permission to see what others need from me and need me to do. It has helped me tremendously with feeling less stressed out throughout the day. I usually keep my phone on do not disturb, too.
5. Schedule specific times of the day to check your email.
I was emailing a client back (a coach for mindfulness actually) when I got an autoresponder in my inbox saying that due to her inability to focus with a crazy inbox, she was only checking her emails at 10AM and 2PM daily. I thought that was so incredibly smart! It allowed her to really focus on her and what she needed to do before responding to others. I haven’t set an autoresponder yet, but I do try to be more mindful about how much time I’m spending in my inbox, and can definitely tell the days where I am in it less I am getting more done. Fill your cup first.
Take 10 minutes and sit on the ground and stretch. It’s so easy and so powerful to just do any kind of movement, and something as simple as this can help you disconnect for a few minutes, breathe, then get back into the hustle.
7. Call a friend.
Don’t “have time?” Mark it on your calendar. Seriously. Give yourself permission to make time to catch up with friends who make you laugh, make you feel good, or inspire you. I have a weekly call with my friend over at Her Exchange where we just bounce off ideas to each other, sometimes have meltdowns, sometimes plan trips, we do whatever we feel like doing and it truly reignites my fire to remember I’m not alone in this journey and there’s someone else who gets me!
8. Start a good book.
I read one chapter every morning before delving into my work. I always am reading inspirational self-help and business development books so being able to really take in that information, relate it to my day and start off on a positive note is so incredibly helpful.
9. Ask for help for something you typically wouldn’t ask for help with.
This looks different for everyone but ask for help! You cannot do it all all the time. Sometimes I hire a dog walker or sitter (even though I work from home) just so I don’t have to worry about interrupting my day multiple times to take my dog out. Sometimes I use a meal prep service so I don’t have to cook myself. Sometimes I hire a cleaning lady so I don’t have to clean my apartment. If you have a spouse or children, don’t be afraid to ask them for help too.
10. Organize your space.
It is so hard to focus and feel relaxed around clutter. Organize your space, remove the clutter, and give yourself somewhere where you can truly feel relaxed and at ease so you can properly unwind throughout the day.
11. Use essential oils or light some candles.
Scent can be so powerful for relaxation. Every morning after making my bed/ cleaning up, before starting my day, I either light a candle or put some oils in my diffuser. It helps tremendously with just making me happy when I walk into a room and to feel relaxed.
12. Take a nap.
I used to feel SO guilty everytime I wanted to take a nap. Like, “I wouldn’t be able to nap at a regular 9-5,” or “I don’t have enough time.” Then I realized if I prioritized my own sleep and took time to wine down (even if that meant a nap in the middle of the day) it would end up serving me so well. Sometimes I take a nap then get back up and feel 20x better, ready to work, and get so much more done. It helps me regain focus and now I have learned to love and value my naps instead of feeling guilty about taking them!
13. Give yourself permission for a night out (or in).
I think so many people are constantly doing things that don’t recharge them. Some people recharge by being alone, some recharge by being with others. It is okay to be either- but don’t feel obligated to stay in (or go out) if it drains your energy. For me, I feel recharged and excited after being around a group of people, so I give myself permission to do that every week, without feeling guilty about it.
14. Pay it forward with kindness.
Just doing something small for someone else is such a small token in raising your frequency out into the universe. I love to buy someone's coffee, or go out of my way to do something kind for a stranger, or send some snail mail to someone I know once a week. It recharges me because I know that it makes their day, and I’ve had so many others be the ones to make my day!
15. Sweat it out.
Taking time to go workout and SWEAT is such an incredible form of self-care. You don’t have to workout in a traditional sense- but it can be from yoga, or stretching, or walking, or whatever you can do to really get your blood flowing and release those endorphins!
16. Prioritize hydration.
Drink. Enough. Water. People. The My Water Balance app is amazing for hydration tracking. You will be amazed at the benefits you will reap from just staying properly hydrated!
17. Buy a plant. (Or twelve)
Studies show plants boost your mood, productivity, and they remove harmful toxins. They spread positivity and it is always so nice to see how your plants change/ grow overtime. My entire house is absolutely full of plants and they are one of my favorite things to see throughout the day.
18. Say no, reschedule calls.
It is okay to say no sometimes and take things off of your plate. So often we get burned out by doing things we don’t want to do that we don’t have time to do the things we truly care about doing. Don’t let that happen. Reschedule calls. Be pickier about who you spend your time and energy on. It’s okay to say no and to make your own time and happiness a priority before others.
19. Turn off your alarm.
I know it’s not possible for everyone to do this everyday, but at least once a week, turn off your alarm. Let your body wake up naturally and slowly. See how nice it feels to wake up and simply just sit there and be. To cuddle with your partner (or in my case, dog) a little longer. To not have to wake up and rush anywhere but rather just sit in the joy that is feeling well rested.
20. Open up your windows.
Getting the fresh air and the sounds of the outdoors when you are around the house can be so recharging.
21. Blast your favorite music.
I am one of those people who can’t do a lot of my work to music because I’m so easily distracted, but sometimes I will take a car ride with no destination to just blast music and think and smile and sing in the car. It is so therapeutic.
22. Meal prep.
Not only can this be so helpful with getting where you want to be with your health goals, it is self-care in the form of just BEING EASY. Not having to worry about what’s for breakfast/ lunch/ dinner everyday is a game changer and saves you so much time and energy and makes sure you’re still getting the proper nutrients your body needs. And when you meal prep, really enjoy doing it. Do it because you know you are preparing to nourish your body throughout the week.
23. Take a long walk.
I am forced to do this everyday because of living in a downtown apartment with no yard with my dog, and my mood changes completely everytime I come back inside from a long walk. Breathing in the fresh air, walking around without my cell phone, and just knowing that for a few minutes (or hours) no one can get a hold of me is so nice. And it makes me remember that it’s okay to step away, and nothing is that urgent.
24. Enjoy some quiet time in the mornings.
This is my favorite time for self-care. Just quiet mornings, drinking coffee, reading, meditating, journaling. I spend at least an hour every morning just on self-care. From my shower to walking the dog to drinking coffee to meditating, it sets me up in the right headspace to really be able to start my day off on the right foot where I feel energized and excited and ready to pour myself into my work.
25. Unfollow people on social media.
Comparison is the theft of joy and it is so hard to be on social media and not compare. If you are constantly seeing someone post something that makes you question yourself and your mission and what you are doing- unfollow them! Let yourself feel the freedom that comes with using social media as a tool for networking, community and inspiration without feeling like you have to be Pinterest perfect like everyone else on there.