But, it might seem impossible to find the time to take care of yourself when you’re drowning in a sea of personal and professional demands. If you have a jam-packed schedule, taking time out of your busy day to unwind and destress is that much more necessary to sustain your numerous commitments.
In order to be effective, self-care doesn’t have to be time-consuming. You don’t need to spend an entire week at a luxurious wellness resort or hours at a lavish spa to rejuvenate your body and mind. Taking care of yourself shouldn’t be a luxury reserved for only those with an unlimited amount of free time because, let’s be honest, no one is twiddling their thumbs all day. Whether you have one minute, an hour or an entire day to spare, anyone can incorporate self-care into their daily routine. You can practice self-care in the comfort of your own home, on your daily commute to work or right before you fall asleep at night, so self-care is accessible to everyone. Here are some quick, easy and efficient self-care practices that will leave you feeling centered and refreshed.
Take a stroll
It might be tempting to cuddle up on the couch all day when the weather is cold and dreary, but you don’t have to let the chilly temperatures keep you cooped up inside. Taking a stroll outside is an excellent way to get some fresh air, clear your head and move your body.
Getting outside and exposing yourself to natural light regulates your appetite, fights fatigue, regulates your sleep schedule, strengthens bone health and increases serotonin levels, which will help you prevent the dreaded winter blues. When you spend time in nature and surround yourself with greenery, you’ll experience a boost in your vitality, mood and attention. The act of walking itself provides ample health benefits and is a great way to squeeze more movement into your day. Walking does everything from preventing weight gain, joint pain and cancer to improving your mood and energy levels to enhancing creative thinking and self-confidence.
Try walking around the block in between meetings at work, or take an afternoon stroll around your neighborhood for a much-needed break.
Crack open a book
Getting lost in the pages of a good book is a great way to unwind after a long day or set the tone of a new day. When you immerse yourself in someone else’s story, you avoid falling into a spiral of overthinking, ruminating and getting trapped in your own head. Reading a book gives you a chance to quiet your mind, recharge your energy levels and enjoy a moment of solitude. It’s an exercise for your mind since it strengthens your brain and prevents age-related cognitive decline. Reading also provides mental health benefits, such as lowering stress levels and decreasing symptoms of depression. If you’re looking for ways to change up your morning or nighttime routine, read a few pages of a riveting book. Just six minutes of daily reading can decrease your stress levels by 68 percent.
Scrub your space
There’s something so satisfying about cleaning your room. Throwing out trash, getting rid of old clothes and disinfecting every surface not only creates more space and purifies your living area, but it also helps declutter your mind. Living in a clean space reduces feelings of stress and fatigue that often accompany inhabiting a messy environment. Cleaning your home is also a form of exercise, so it gets your heart rate up without needing to hit the gym. You don’t have to do a deep cleaning to experience peace. Picking up your dirty clothes and throwing them in the hamper or dusting your countertops don’t require too much time, and you’ll feel better instantly.
Take deep breaths
You don’t need to attend a long meditation class to reap the benefits of deep breathing. Breathing deeply can be accessible at any time and any place. Whether you’re on your morning commute, in the middle of a hectic work day or getting ready for bed, you can close your eyes and shift your attention to your breath for a few minutes. If you aren’t too keen on sitting silently with your thoughts, download a meditation app or follow a guided meditation practice on YouTube. Slowing your breathing rate and filling your lungs and stomach with fresh air relieves tension, stress and anxiety, so you can tackle the rest of your day or drift off to sleep in peace.
Arrange a spa day
If you’re in desperate need of some TLC, set up a DIY spa in the comfort of your own home, using products lying around your house. You’ll get the full spa treatment without having to wait in line. Create a peaceful environment by dimming the lights and setting up glowing candles. Draw a hot bath and submerge yourself in the warm water, which will provide you with feelings of calmness, contentment and comfort and promote better quality sleep. If you have the time, you can add on to this therapeutic session by putting on a face mask, moisturizing your body or painting your nails. Organizing a DIY spa is a great self-care activity to do at the end of a long day so that you feel more refreshed and rejuvenated for the rest of the week.