Recently, self-care has become extremely trendy in pop culture. Influencers, celebrities, and bloggers are all promoting self-care as a way to relax and treat yourself to something special, which I do think is really important. I firmly believe that as a work-driven society we don’t allow ourselves to take a step back and really enjoy the little things.
However, the self-care that wealthy influencers are promoting is usually not within our budgets… well, at least it’s definitely not within mine. But self-care doesn’t have to be about spending a lot of money on skincare routines or bath bombs. There are so many ways for you to make small, affordable changes to your daily routine that inherently are self-care.
If you don’t believe me that this is achievable, keep reading! I promise you’ll have a better understanding of self-care by the end of this blog.
I think most people groan a little bit when they hear the word ‘exercise,’ trust me, I do too. But, for me, exercise is one of my biggest forms of self-care. Not only does it help your body physically, but mentally as well. Exercise can help alleviate stress, boost your mood, and leave you feeling happier and healthier overall.
Even on the days where I absolutely don’t want to do anything, I force myself to get up and go for a walk or commit to a quick 10-minute yoga video on YouTube. As simple as these activities seem, they are forms of exercise, ones that will leave you feeling better than you did before you started. I genuinely and sincerely believe that the hardest part of a workout is beginning the workout, but once you’re in it, it’s definitely worth it.
Another thing that I am actively trying to incorporate in my life is journaling. I feel like journaling is also becoming a lot more mainstream, rightfully so. For me, whenever I am feeling completely overwhelmed or anxious, I reach for the notebook on my bedside table. There’s something so therapeutic about writing down your emotions or thoughts about the day. It’s also fun to look back every few months and remember exactly how you were feeling on a certain day.
As much as I do appreciate journaling, I am no expert. I go through phases of journaling every night before bed and then not touching the pages for months at a time. This is definitely something I am actively working on. I think for a lot of us, we forget to put ourselves first and take the time out of our day to do so. However, it is so important to our overall well-being, which is exactly what self-care aims to achieve. By spending a few minutes jotting down some thoughts, you are taking time for yourself to think and breathe.
Sometimes it is really hard to even know where to start writing. I am a big believer in just writing anything and everything that comes to mind when your pen touches the paper. Some days that means I write multiple pages, other days I just write a paragraph. I think it’s crucial to recognize that both are valid. If you’re ever having trouble with what to write, but you really want to write, try Googling some blog prompts. You’ll find so many lists that can help you get your thought process started.
An underrated form of self-care for me is talking to my friends on the phone. Being a 20-something, I think it’s obvious that I prefer texting over calling. However, sometimes phoning a friend is exactly what I need. I’d like to stress though that you don’t have to call your best friend and feel like a burden sharing what’s on your mind to then feel better about yourself. For me, the best phone calls are the ones that make me laugh or smile.
I absolutely adore hearing my friends laugh at me trying to make a joke or make fun of the dumb thing I did that week. Just talking to someone, especially about the littlest things, can be so soothing. Last week I was feeling super down about myself and my place in this world, but a phone call from my best friend instantly boosted my mood. Our mindless conversation just made me feel lighter and generally better.
This next one is a little subjective but I am still going to share. I am a huge book lover. If you were to see my room, you would see an absurd amount of books that are threatening to overflow my shelves. I have always loved to read, ever since I was a kid. For me, when I am in a slump, the best form of self-care is a cheesy novel. I stand by that. Reading something so silly and happy makes me feel the exact same way.
I recognize though, that not everyone is a huge reader, which is why I think this form of self-care can be translated individually. Are you a big movie person? Turn on your comfort movie. Do you have a television show that you used to watch religiously throughout your childhood? I bet you can stream it somewhere. Allowing yourself to immerse in a different world is a huge form of self-care, even if it seems like it isn’t. But by engaging in something where it lets your brain shut off, even for a few minutes, your day can feel simpler.
These are some of the things that I do and I hope that they work for you, too! However, every single one of us is different. If these don’t fill you with comfort, keep searching for something that does. There are so many small tasks that can help us each day. Let us know if you’re going to try one of these!