Self-care is more than just taking a few hours of your week to get a relaxing soak in the bath. There are daily things that you can do to look after yourself in body and mind. Other things you can do are weekly or monthly options, and there are a few yearly options so you can save up the money.
When you’re just starting with self-care, you won’t have any idea where to start. You’ll need help with the basic ideas. We have you covered right here. This is your one-stop-shop for all things self-care. We give you your ultimate list of ideas to get you started and continue long into the future.
The great thing about this list is that there’s something for all budgets. Many of the daily tips will be free or affordable, while there are other options for bigger budgets if you have them available.
We’ll break the self-care ideas into different parts of the body and mind. Within the sections, we’ll work with cheapest to most expensive.
Ideas to Look After Your Mental Health
When you think of self-care, you likely think about all the ways you can make yourself look beautiful. Many people think that it’s just about the body and hair. Well, that’s not the case. The most important part of self-care is your mental health. When you look after your mental health, everything else will fall into place.
Start a file of compliments. It’s easy to focus on the negatives in our lives. We look in the mirror and just see the parts of the skin that we don’t like. Trying to remember the good things that people have said is difficult, especially as we tend to overlook the positives.
Well, it’s time to make remembering compliments much easier. Start a file or diary of all the good things people say. You don’t have to include long passages. Just the odd line or brief overview if there was a speech.
You may have social media posts that people have said. Screenshot them and print them out to put in your diary, so you don’t have to write everything out.
Keep a folder of videos of people giving you compliments if you have them. These usually come from birthdays, weddings, etc.
Finally, make a note of all the things you like about yourself. Stop focusing on the negatives for a while and look back over all the good things about your life or your looks. You’ll be surprised at how much good there is.
The next time you feel down, you can look back over the file and remember all the good.
Change up your routine now and then. Humans tend to be creatures of habit. We go to work, come home, make dinner, look after the kids, and maybe (if we’re lucky) watch out favorite TV show. It’s time to break some of the habits now and then. This doesn’t have to be a daily activity. Make it something you do once a month or once every two to three months. Just one day break your routine. Go to the gym at a time you wouldn’t usually, take a different route to work, enjoy something you wouldn’t usually for dinner.
Breaks in routine will keep the brain healthy. When you stick to the same thing over and over again, your body just gets used to it. The brain feels no accomplishment, which affects the release of good hormones. Changing things up will shake your brain and body out of a rut.
If you don’t want to break out of a routine just yet, focus more on a task that you usually do without thinking. Pay more attention to eating or brushing your teeth. We tend to do these tasks on autopilot, but focusing more on them will help us digest our food better and improve the cleanliness of our teeth.
Start your day with some meditation. There are many negative views of meditation, as people focus on the unrealistic view that many TV shows and movies give it. However, meditation is one of the best ways to start your day. You only need to do it for 1-5 minutes to gain all the benefits.
Meditation isn’t about thinking of nothing at all. It’s time to focus on yourself, deep within. This is the chance to focus on feelings, sensations, and your inner thoughts. You focus on breathing and how your breath circles around your body.
This is a chance to become more aware of yourself and who you are. You can meditate in silence or to the sounds of rushing waves. The choice is completely up to you. Just start with a minute a day and then build your way up.
De-clutter your home. A cluttered home will cause stress. Even if you can’t see the clutter, it will be at the back of your mind. Once a week make an effort to get rid of the clutter around your home. You can focus on one part of the home each week. Once you’ve de-cluttered an area, make an effort to stay on top of it.
Start with the closet, move onto your kitchen cupboards, look at under your bed, and even think about de-cluttering the trunk full of paperwork.
You will feel mentally better when you get rid of the things you no longer need. There’s more order to your home, and you know you’re not hoarding.
Switch off the technology. We’re now in a world where we’re surrounded by technology. There’s the TV on every night, phones at our disposal to check social media, and computers for emails, videos, and more. We’re constantly connected to the internet with information flowing straight to our minds.
The problem is the information starts to become noise. We can’t separate from the news, and stories, and reality. It’s time to switch off. Try to do it for at least an hour every day. Opt for the same time each night, such as when you get home from work.
Use this time to talk to the people in your home. Catch up on everyone’s day and pull out a board game to play instead. You’ll be surprised at the amount you learn about each other when you’re not all connected to different devices.
You’ll also feel healthier mentally. This is going to be hard at first since we are addicted to technology in a way. After a while, you’ll get used to it and find it refreshing. You’ll also take in more of the world around you. There’s so much we miss out on when looking through a device.
Get rid of the negativity in your life. There’s nothing worse than negative. It clouds your view of yourself and your life. This is one of the reasons you need a compliments file. But this isn’t all that you can do. It’s possible to cut out all the negativity in your life.
One of the things you can do is de-friend and unfollow anyone on social media that is constantly negative. It doesn’t matter if the negativity is aimed at you or not. Negativity, in general, will pull you down. You need to cut it out if you want to remain positive in your life.
It can be scary cutting people out on social media. This is especially a problem if you see them in real life. If you can’t cut them off completely, hide or mute their posts.This is easier with Twitter than Facebook and other social media sites, but it is possible.
Care for Your Skin
With your mind looked after, it’s time to care for your skin. Skincare is something you want to do daily, but there are other tasks to do weekly and monthly. Here’s your ultimate list to follow.
Create a daily skincare routine. Get or make a toner and cleanser for your skin. Every day you need to use them both to get rid of the dirt and grime from your skin. When you cleanse everything and get the dirt out of the pores, you’ll feel cleaner. Your skin looks brighter, and you will feel better about it.
But there’s more to a cleaning routine. You want to add in a moisturizing cream to help nourish all the layers. Look out for scar care if you’re worried about the way they look. And invest in a brightening product.
The best thing about skin care products is you can make them yourself. Look out for milk or yogurt based facial products. They will add more protein to your skin to increase the collagen production.
When using moisturizing creams, massage them into your skin. You’ll boost the blood flow to brighten and firm your skin. You get a release of happy hormones, helping to boost your mind too.
If you’re making your own, think about your favorite scents through essential oils. They will help to nourish your skin while boosting your mind.
Exfoliate on a weekly basis. You don’t need to exfoliate every day of the week. You’ll damage your skin if you do. Part of your self-care routine should be to exfoliate on a weekly basis. Use a mild treatment that will help to clear your pores from all the oil and dirt build up. This will also remove the dead skin cells, so your skin looks brighter and healthier.
It’s possible to make your own exfoliates to remain natural and affordable. Opt for sea salt for the exfoliating property. Salt will cleanse and offers antibacterial properties. You’ll also find that sea salt doesn’t completely dehydrate the skin.
Think about your skin type before making just any exfoliating product. Lemons, for example, will brighten the skin but also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. You run the risk of more damage from the UV rays and have a higher risk of burning.
Get sunscreen free time for a short space of time a day. Make sure you spend a few minutes every day using sunscreen. You can opt for a foundation or moisturizing cream that as SPF if you want, just make sure you use some SPF on your skin.
The UV rays from the sun are damaging in the long term. They will speed up the signs of aging and put you at risk of various health problems. Sunscreen helps to block the damage, so you can enjoy the sun without worrying about damage.
However, there are also plenty of good things about the sun, especially the vitamin D amount. You’ll get your daily recommended amount of vitamin D from just 15 minutes out in the sun without sunscreen. Opt for a time before 11am or after 3pm for this benefit. Between 11am and 3pm the sun is at the highest and most damaging.
Opt for a weekly facial. Every week, opt for a facial to look after your skin. You can try out different types of facials, depending on your goals for the week. This isn’t just a way to care for your skin, but will also look after your mind and soul. You get 30-60 minutes just to yourself to unwind.
Look out for facials that nourish the skin and care deeply for the pores and every fiber that make up the skin. Don’t forget about those that will leave you feeling balanced and give you glowing skin. When you feel like you look good, you’ll have more confidence in everything else you do.
Book in for a massage. A massage is one of the best ways to look after your skin. It encourages the blood flow, which will help to heal wounds, improve the look of skin, and increase collage production. You want to book yourself in for a full body massage.
This is going to be one of your most expensive outgoings, but the good news is you only need to do it on a yearly basis for benefits. It will be something you look forward to on an annual basis.
Try out different types of massages to make the most of this element of self-care. Don’t worry about what anyone thinks. This is all about centering your mind and looking after your skin.
Caring for Your Body
Finally, it’s all about the body. Focus on caring for your organs and your digestive system. Put your immune system first and improve your weight issues. You can do it with a little self-care on a daily and weekly basis.
Stretch daily, even at work. Stretching your muscles will instantly help you feel better. You improve the blood flow and will wake your body up. You’ll also help to improve the tone of your muscles.
You can stretch at work, and really should do if you have a job that requires you to be chained to your desk. If you’re worried about the strange looks from your colleagues, nip to the bathroom once an hour. This will also help you move more around the office!
Go for a walk on your lunch break. How about a trip out of the office at lunch? Go for a walk around the local area and take in nature around you. There’s no need to go far. You just need to spend 30 minutes out in the fresh air for all the benefits.
We spend far too long sitting at the desk. This leaves us cramped and lethargic. We’re also not using our muscles, meaning they go to waste. Our posture and physical health become impaired. Walking for 30 minutes will help to get just what the doctor order.
If you don’t want to do it on your lunch break, you can walk at other times of the day. Start your morning with a brisk walk, even in the winter. The fresh air will wake you up and get you ready for the day in the office.
Dance your worries away. Put your favorite music on for 5 minutes and just dance away. Do it as if no-one’s watching. Let your body release all the stress that it’s holding onto.
This isn’t just a great way to release the stress. You’ll also get your muscles moving. Yes, this dancing will count to your exercise count for the day! It works when you’re happy, sad, angry, or even uncertain.
Improve your diet one change at a time. Changing your diet in major ways isn’t going to be good for you. It’s hard to get yourself out of old habits, and your digestive system can complain. But you need to make some changes to your diet, right? Well, it’s time to introduce changes one step at a time.
Start by adding an extra glass or two of water to your day. Then add an extra vegetable or fruit. Add in more protein or fiber slowly, and remove the sweet items slowly. You’ll soon wonder what all the worry was about, while you have more energy and feel better within yourself.
Slowly reduce your portion sizes too. This will help you eat less throughout the day, and you will find you lose weight easier.
You can also do this with exercise. Add an extra 10 minutes to your day and build your way up. Soon you’ll be doing 30-60 minutes five days a week without any question.
Get more sleep. Take a nap throughout the day. This is good for you and is a free way to look after your whole body.
Most of us have a habit of not sleeping enough. We stay up late to watch our favorite TV show but then end up waking up early for work. Opt for an earlier night instead. You can always record or stream later. Technology is a wonderful thing! Worried about spoilers? Opt for a social media blackout to avoid them!
If you’ve had a poor night’s sleep, opt for a nap in the day. Just 15-20 minutes is enough to rejuvenate the body. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel.
But you can sleep too much. Find out the perfect amount of sleep your body needs. For many of us, it is between 6 and 8 hours a night. Any more than that and we end up feeling more tired than if we didn’t get enough sleep.
Are You Ready to Practice Self-Care?
It doesn’t take a lot to practice self-care. With the above list, you can create a routine that works for you. Do some of the things daily, but leave other for weekly or monthly options. The easiest thing to do right now is committing to doing one thing on the list. Step out of your comfort zone and focus on yourself for once. You’ll be a better person for everyone around you.