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8 Ways to Practice Self-Care Without Feeling Like a Total Hippy

by Ashley on March 27, 2013 · 4 comments

8 Ways to Practice Self-care

You’re feeling burnt out and overwhelmed. That headache you’ve had for the past week is a sure sign that you’re pushing the gas pedal too hard and need to back off soon. You’re at the end of your rope and something’s gotta give.

You’ve heard about self-care, but to be completely honest? It has become so cliche and it sounds a little too much like “woo woo hippy weirdness” for you. You’re way more practical than that and you like immediate results. Plus, lighting incense and meditating to Enya just isn’t your jam.

But here’s the thing.

Self-care is super important. Because when we practice self-care, we are reminding ourselves that we matter, that we are valuable, and that we are worth it. We are telling ourselves that it’s okay and that we don’t have to be perfect. We are telling ourselves that we are enough just as we are and that sometimes, it’s best to slow down.

These little reminders are especially important when you’re stepping outside of your comfort zone and going after your dreams, which I know you are. And it doesn’t have to include any hippy accessories if you’re not into that. Even if it sounds “woo woo”, there are ways to mix it up and add bits of self-care into your daily routine so that it doesn’t feel completely foreign to you.

So, are you ready for some super inspiring + practical ways to inject self-care into your life? Awesome!

8 Ways to Practice Self-Care

1. Date yourself.

Put on your favorite outfit that makes you feel like Jennifer Lawrence. Fix your hair, put on make-up, and buy yourself the prettiest flowers you can find. Go to that restaurant you love, see that play you’ve been dying to catch, or spend the afternoon at a cafe reading a new book with delicious chai latte. Then, get to know yourself. Learn who you are and who you want to be. Explore your hopes, your fears, and your biggest dreams.

2. Sleep in.

Your body is amazing and, as much as you might not love the way it looks, it’s still the vehicle that carries you through life. You can  show your appreciation by treating your body with respect & the care it deserves.  Fill it with loads of fresh fruits and veggies. Move it in a way that feels best for you. Don’t smoke and don’t abuse alcohol. Wear sunscreen. Get at least 8 hours of sleep and on the weekends, let yourself sleep in.

3. Throw a party.

A little dose of  fun amps your energy and wakes up your spirit. Throwing a party to celebrate is the perfect way to add more play into your life.  How did you celebrate your last big accomplishment? What about the smaller, but equally as important events? Birthdays, half-birthdays, first dates, 10th dates,  anniversaries, promotions, and even simply amazing days are all good reasons to throw a party. You can celebrate with surprises, heartfelt notes, traditions, big nights out, or a small + cozy evenings in.

4. Meet your best friend for coffee/wine/green juice.

As humans, we crave connection. There is actual research that shows that we are happier when we are connected with other people, so call your BFF and set up a date. Go to the coffee shop, your favorite bar, or the local juice spot.  Spending an hour or two catching up and sharing what’s going on your world will leave you feeling lighter, happier, and more connected.

5. Go outside

Treat yourself some fresh air and some vitamin D. When was the last time you went outside, just to have fun or relax? You could fly a kite, build a sandcastle, go on a hike, have a picnic, or walk around the block. Indulge your playful side and have fun!

6. Try a new hobby.

It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re trying something new. Make a new recipe. Learn to sew. Or crochet. Or knit. Take up mountain biking. Open up that unused scrapbook. Try a Zumba class. When we engage in a new activity, we are stepping outside the box and stretching our limits. And when we stretch our limits, our body + mind grow stronger and we become more fulfilled.

7. Take a road trip.

A long weekend or short afternoon away can do wonders for your soul. Jump in the car and drive to that place you’ve always wanted to go. Sing at the top of your lungs and snack on Skittles. Drive until the sun sets. Take pictures and listen to music. Stop at that roadside diner and try the key lime pie. Expose yourself to new surroundings and soak up the sites.

8. Just be.

Take a deep breath. Forget about the past and stop worrying about the future. Be in the here and now. Enjoy this moment and be silent.   If you’re doing laundry, do the laundry. If you’re driving to work, watch the cars in front of you. If you’re having dinner with your roommate, put down your phone and start a conversation. Stay focused on what’s in front of you and be present.

There ya go!

But before I wrap this up, I want to make sure that you know that these simple strategies are useful even when you’re already feeling balanced and content. Self-care isn’t something to only practice when you’re feeling stressed out and overwhelmed. If you’re happy with how things look in your world at the moment, that’s great! But think what would happen if you increased your level of self-care.

On the other hand, if you’re feeling stuck and at your wits end, create your very own self-care strategy cocktail! Mix and match until you find a combination that works for you. If that’s too big of a leap, start slowly by trying just one new strategy this week.

I’m curious- which strategy stuck out to you? Leave a comment below letting me know which one you think would make the biggest impact on your life!

 

[photo credit: carolbrowne]

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

The Dame Intl March 27, 2013 at 8:54 am

I’m happy to say I do most of these things, I date myself a lot, sleep in every day and try to ride my bike whenever its not ice cold outside. I’ve also recently taken up belly dancing which I love! I like the other tips I’ve not yet tried, thanks!

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MB March 27, 2013 at 11:12 am

Just be. I think this is the area in which I could use the most improvement, but it also feels the most doable, in a way, since it doesn’t require much advance planning or actually going anywhere.

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