I bet you spend a great deal of time taking care of…
- Work-related projects
- Your family
- The household
- Your pets
- Thousands of other small and not that small things.
But let me ask you something and please, be honest. How much time do you spend taking care of yourself? Little to no?
I thought so.
Taking care of yourself should be your top priority. Making sure that you are in good physical and mental health should occupy your mind as often as any other everyday task does.
The reason for this is simple: you won’t be able to take care of anyone or anything else unless you are in a good shape.
But staying healthy and happy while coping with all the challenges you meet on your way can be a challenge itself. That’s why it’s important to take some time off and deliberately invest it in your well-being before it’s too late.
Well-being is like money or good reputation: hard to get and remarkably easy to lose.
Taking care of yourself is among the life aspects that are being neglected when you’re in a situation in which you don’t have any free time. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, you most probably tend to compromise on what you eat, how active you are or how often you practice self-care.
Here are 8 simple ways to take care of yourself which will help you feel better. You can try them as soon as you have a couple of free hours and you prefer not spending them watching TV.
This article may contain affiliate links, for more information, read the Disclaimer. If you click on any of them, I might get a tiny commission. I’ve tried all of the mentioned products and services, and my opinion is sincere.
Stop saying to yourself that you’ll start working out tomorrow / next month / from the 1st of January. Start working out now!
You can start jogging, visit a group workout or go to the gym. Doing sports will not only help you keep your body in good shape. Among the mental benefits of sports are improved mood and concentration, reduced stress levels, better sleep, and higher confidence.
Before you start looking for excuses like “It’s too expensive” or “I don’t feel like doing sports in the winter”, let me share something important with you.
There are tons of possibilities to work out at your comfortable home without investing any money.
I highly recommend checking the XHIT Daily YouTube channel where you can find effective no equipment workouts for every part of your body. Getting fit has never been easier because they are showing exercises that actually work and are suitable even for people who have never worked out before.
And even though gym addicts really like the saying “No pain, no gain”, I would advise you to warm up well before any physical activity in order to avoid the pain and to be able to celebrate the gain.
If you’d rather practice yoga, you can also find a lot of ideas online. Adopt a yoga sequence and try to implement it in your morning routine. This will make you feel so much more relaxed and ready for the day!
I struggled a lot when I started looking for inspiring YouTube yoga videos. I use yoga not only to stretch my body but to sooth my mind. And most of the teachers just don’t stop talking! I found this very frustrating as it completely ruined my experience.
The solution came when a friend of mine recommended the DoYogaWithMe channel. I keep on coming back to it whenever I want to shut down my mind and stop thinking about anything, even the yoga sequence itself.
For further inspiration, you can also check The Best Yoga Sequences for Back Pain.
Improve your diet
This is a whole process but like any other process, it has its beginning. First, you need to become aware of your current eating habits.
Write down the things you’re usually eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Be honest with yourself and don’t skip the chocolate or the chips that made you feel a lot better the other evening.
Afterward, you can do a little research about the different healthy foods and the way your diet impacts your life. Read carefully as there’s a lot of misleading information online and people nowadays are often overusing the label “healthy”.
Then you can make informed and mindful decisions regarding the potential changes you would like to make in your diet.
Do you want to eat only salad for dinner? Would you like to change your snacking habits? Write your plan down so that you can go back to it whenever you doubt whether you should eat something or not.
Cook something new
Cooking is among the most controversial activities there are. Some people love it, others hate it but no matter what your feelings are, it’s inevitably part of your life.
If you’re like me and you get bored by cooking mediocre meals, try preparing something new. Something exotic or challenging. The whole process of searching for a recipe, preparing it
Furthermore, cooking your own meals has several benefits. It allows you to make healthier food choices, to control your portion size and to feel the satisfaction of making something with your hands.
Cooking something new is also a good stress reliever because it requires your whole attention. Your mind will forget all that bothers it as soon as you focus on the meal preparation.
When you weight or cut the ingredients, you inevitably slow down which makes you calmer and more relaxed. Among other things, this is what makes cooking a good self-care activity!
Go on a walk
If you’re looking for an activity that is completely free, requires almost no effort and in any
You can choose walking in the closest park or in an unexplored area of the city you’re living in. Whatever the case, walking alone with your thoughts, without a purpose or a route, can do you a world of good.
But why going for a walk is such a beneficial activity? It gives you the opportunity to focus on your mind and to become more self-aware. To hear your inner voice and to become present in the here and now.
How do you feel? Why do you feel this way? Try finding the sincere answers to these two simple questions as this will bring back balance into your life.
It’s very important to invest this time in observing yourself. Try to overcome the impulse to check your phone every 3 minutes. This walk is a gift for your well-being. You’d better not waste it!
Plan the meals for the week
Every Sunday I sit down for half an hour and plan the week ahead. I’m reading through my recipe archive to check whether I feel like cooking or eating a meal that’s listed there.
If not, then it’s time for an experiment! I’m looking for new recipes and I’m trying to plan meals that can be eaten for two days.
I’m using Google Keep to make a list with all the meals and the recipes I’m going to use. After I’m ready with the plan, I do groceries online for the whole week, including some extra products that I need for the household. As I’ve been doing this for almost a year now, I know what I need to order every week, once every two weeks, etc.
By adopting this routine I got so much extra time! I think about groceries once per week and my mind is busy with it for only a short period of time. Instead of wondering what to eat every day or spending hours in the supermarket, I can do other things that actually bring me happiness.
Take a relaxing shower or bath
Personal hygiene is an important part of our lives. That’s why we often think of it as an obligation and forget to enjoy it.
Next time when you have an hour or two to kill, take a hot shower or bath. Pamper yourself and rediscover the joy that the bathroom time can bring you. And definitely check out my guide on the topic – The Perfect Bath: How to Create a Spa-Like Experience at Home!
Pay special attention to the preparations and turn the routine into a ritual. Approach every action with the thought that you’re doing this for yourself because you deserve it.
Light some candles, warm up your towel, play background music, use the best smelling shower cream or bath oil you have.
Don’t forget to take the time for some additional personal care such as face mask or body peeling. Relaxing for a bit in a special atmosphere accompanied with soothing scents can make you feel reborn.
Forget everything else and enjoy yourself. And why not… even sing?
“Sing hey! For the bath at close of day
That washes the weary mud away!
A loon is he that will not sing:
O! Water Hot is a noble thing!”“The Bath Song” – The Fellowship of The Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
Make a doctor’s appointment
Wait… What?! Yep, there’s no mistake. Taking care of your health is
Going to the doctors is among the least pleasant things to do in your free time. It doesn’t matter if there’s an annual checkup that you have to attend or you’ve been postponing the visit to the dentist despite your
Keeping an eye on your health is the key to effective prevention. It maximizes the chances of having a happy and productive life.
Making an appointment against your will is difficult but necessary. Neglect is among the reasons why a disease that once could be cured grows into a severe health issue.
It’s true that one notices their body or mind only when something is wrong. Take your health seriously – this is the biggest act of kindness you can do to yourself.
Start a journal
Do you often feel stressed by your daily life? Regular journalling will make you feel better as it allows you to re-experience in a safe environment the events that frustrated you.
A study called Emotional and Physical Health Benefits of Expressive Writing shows that writing down your thoughts in a journal is helpful when dealing with traumatic, stressful or otherwise emotional events. It’s not only about overcoming major painful traumas – keeping a journal can make you feel more content and calm with your everyday life.
Journalling can also help you become aware of the most common reasons for happiness or frustration in your life. Self-awareness is an important part of your well-being. Therefore having a journal is a great way to reconnect with yourself and maintain a peaceful state of mind.
It’s up to you what journal form you will choose. Sharing your thoughts with the good old paper notebook is one of the options. Writing by hand has numerous incredible benefits – it fully engages your brain, calms your body and nerves, unleashes creativity, eases anxiety and stimulates the brain.
You can start bullet journaling if you’d prefer sticking to the point. In a bullet journal you can make notes regarding events you want to remember or you can strive for a better version of yourself using a habit tracker or a gratitude log.
If you’ve tried starting a journal but you always struggle to be consistent with it, I highly recommend The Five Minute Journal. I got it during a difficult period of my life but it helped me focus on the beauty in our world and practice mindfulness every single day.
Before that, I tried using an ordinary notebook as a gratitude journal but it really didn’t work. I was either losing focus while writing in it or I didn’t get to write in it at all.
The Five Minute Journal’s structure is based on positive psychology research and is super simple to use. Even though it takes only five minutes to finish the journaling for the day, you’ll instantly notice a flip in your point of view. And once becoming more positive, you will fall in love with life again!
You can get The Five Minute Journal from here. (affiliate link)
There are plenty of online options, too. Consider using a journaling app on your phone or starting a personal blog if you don’t want to go back to basics.
The possibilities are endless, the purpose is only one: to write down whatever you feel like writing down.
What is your favourite way to take care of yourself? Or did you try any of the tips listed in this article? Don’t hesitate to share your experience with me!
Get useful tips on becoming a zen freelancer and living the life you would really like to live. Click here to join the community!