When it comes to self-care, some of the activities people often think about typically include bubble baths, reading, relaxing, participating in hobbies, and those sorts of things. These are all amazing and may help uplift your mental wellness, but they often aren’t enough on their own. There are also self-care activities you may already be doing, and don’t even realize it. And if you aren’t, they’re very easy to implement in your daily routine.
Self-care is about what you choose to do for yourself to reset or to set yourself up for future success, whether alone or with other people. Taking time for yourself isn’t selfish and should result in more relaxation, a deeper sense of happiness, and an inner feeling of fulfillment. Here are some activities that can be considered self-care, that you’re likely already doing, and if you’re not, they’re easy to implement.
Wake Up Early to Improve Your Productivity
Yes, just doing something like waking up early can help with self-care! This is counts as self-care for multiple reasons.
When you wake up early, you give yourself more time to dedicate to yourself, and your routine that sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Depending on when you wake up, this might mean an hour or so of alone time in a quiet house. It is the perfect time to focus on your self-care, watch the sun rise, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, read, journal, lightly exercise, or just afford the time to be intentional during your process of getting ready for the day to be thankful and appreciative for the blessings in your life.
Waking up early may also improve your productivity because you have that extra time to plan your day and take your time getting started. Not starting your day rushed is massively beneficial. This alone can be considered self-care since it is something you are doing intentionally to honor your mental well-being by starting your day by respecting yourself.
Allow Yourself to Say “No”
Sometimes, it is the simple decisions you made that count as self-care. If you are
someone that agrees to do nearly everything you’re asked, saying “no” can be the best thing for you.
Honoring your time is important, and life is too short to be doing everything for or with everyone else all the time, especially when it comes at the expense of your mental health. So feel welcome to skip lunch with your coworkers, evening social events that make you cringe, or say “no” to all the overwhelming favors everyone is always asking. If you need time for yourself, unapologetically take it.
Saying “no” to something that you really don’t want to do so you have the time to honor your mental health, physical health, or spiritual wellness is not only ok but should be a priority.
Treat Your Body: Gut Health is the New Wealth
Have you heard about the new Trust Your Gut movement? It’s much more than just intuition.
Your intestinal tract holds 80% of your immune system, largely dependent on maintaining the proper microbiome balance. That is massive, especially when living in a culture that values fast foods rich in additives and modified ingredients which do not provide the nourishment your body needs.
While it may be difficult to honor your body with nutritious foods (think lots of fruits and veggies with a side of meat, grown sustainably without harmful chemicals) every time you eat, your body and mind will thank you for making it a priority.
To save on grocery costs, do as much gardening as you can. If space is a concern The Garden Tower is a great tool to use for growing a lot of plants in a small amount of space. Square foot and vertical gardening techniques also help to maximize yard space and grow veggies. And front yards are great for berry bushes, flowering plants, and various herbs (even in HOAs).
Take some time once a week or once a month to put together some “freezer meals.” Place everything you need in a bag to freeze, which will make meal preparation so much simpler and easy on those long days you just don’t want to cook. These freezer meals are excellent to use in a crockpot or instant pot, saving you time and energy when you need it the most. You can also do the same with various fruits and vegetables by setting up single-serve bags of smoothie ingredients for a quick and healthy treat or snack.
One of the hardest things to give up is sugar. It truly is addicting, and a source of many health ailments. Sugar also feeds the bad gut flora and most parasites that inhabit most people’s intestinal tract. To stop sugar cravings and support the gut-brain-axis that has a massive positive impact on your mental health, consider using a quadbiotic (probiotic, prebiotic, postbiotic, and phytobiotic) that helps balance, feed, and supplement your beneficial gut bacteria. This quadbiotic also goes a long way to optimize your gut-brain-axis nerve that helps support your mental wellness, improves your ability to handle stress, and improves your mood.
Move Your Body
It is important to exercise in a way that inspires you actually want to do it, not just exercising as an activity you are forcing yourself to do.
This is why it can be a slippery slope when you use exercise as a way to change your body, and try to double that as self-care. While there is no doubting exercise is an ideal method to make changes in your weight, physical appearance, and the emotional benefits that come with accomplishing physical goals, exercising just to change your body will eventually feel like punishment.
If you truly want your exercise to be self-care, it needs to be something that provides additional emotional or mental health benefits, in addition to the physical benefits. You want to move your body out of love for yourself, and you being God’s creation. You want to move your body through exercise as a way to connect with yourself and your faith. Exercise because it helps you feel lighter (physically and emotionally). Move your body because it helps you clear your mind and think more efficiently.
Think about how you feel when taking a relaxing walk. You know it is good for your physical health, but it provides more than just physical benefits.
Taking a walk is well-documented to burn calories, lower blood sugar, reduce joint pain, tone your legs, slim your waist, strengthen your heart, and improve your immune system.
Walking also helps you clear your head, lower your stress response, improve your mood, increase your physical energy, increase your creative thinking skills, reduce depression symptoms, improve your posture, and increase self-confidence. All of which are major accomplishments.
Honor Your Body By Treating It As Your Temple
It’s been said over and over again. The air inside your home is 68% more polluted than the air outside. Why? Because the vast majority of household cleaners, laundry supplies, and personal care products are filled with harmful ingredients (legally). Not to mention the constant bombardment of radiation from electronics, wireless devices, and cell towers.
When your body is bogged down by neurotoxins, hormone disruptors, and carcinogens, it is nearly impossible to feel your best. Instead, you feel bogged down and chronically stressed out, regardless of how many self-care aromatherapy baths, journaling sessions, affirmations, or relaxing days you keep in your schedule.
Pursue Your Purpose
Too often work becomes… WORK. A daunting experience that you cringe just walking into, knowing that without it you risk not being able to afford life’s basic needs. But that doesn’t mean you need to feel like a slave to the system.
Working a toxic or unfulfilling job negates all the self-care activities you attempt to do. If you’re working a job that is harmful to your mental health, seriously consider searching for and making a change to where you work and with whom you work.
I know making major career moves can be scary and provoke some anxiety, but ultimately the change is worthwhile.
When you love what you do and enjoy spending time with those whom you work with, your quality of life massively improves and your self-care activities become exponentially more effective.
A Note From Nicole
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Nicole is a military-trained research analyst, homeschooling mom, healthy lifestyle coach, flexible business consultant, and writer for MotherhoodTruth.com and GracefullyAbundant.com. After living through and overcoming a season of homelessness and chronic health, Nicole developed a passion for helping others develop healthier habits using functional nutrition, herbalism, and renewing faith.