It’s no secret that this year has been rough on most people. There has been so much uncertainty which can often lead to anxiety and being overwhelmed. Providing the proper amount of self-care has never been more important. Here are free acts of self-care you can start today.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is very deliberate and not always so straight-forward.
Sure, it simply means taking care of yourself. But that can mean so many different things. Most people are really good at putting themselves last.
You may be saying to yourself, “I don’t have time to take care of myself.” Or, “I don’t have enough money to practice self-care”. We all find time to do things that matter most and that principle applies to our finances too. With this being said, you have to prioritize taking care of yourself. Putting your health and self-esteem last on your priority list can negatively affect your ability to handle your daily responsibilities. You can’t take care of anyone else if you’re falling apart.
To help you eliminate the excuses of lack of time or money, I’ve come up with a few no-cost ways to take care of yourselves. All it requires you to do is set aside sometime each day, figure out a few activities or things that make you happy, and do it. Hopefully, these free acts of self-care will bring you a much-needed reprieve from the day-to-day grind of life.
Take a Nap
This may require some creativity on your part, but I can assure you this can be achieved. You might not get a nap every single day, but get it in when you can. I like to take naps each week if I can. Some days are pretty hectic, but I may even schedule a nap if I feel pretty weary or work one in during the weekend.
Go Outside for Fresh Air
If you’re able to — do this alone. Simply step away from all the noise in the house or at your job. Leave your phone on the table and go stand outside. When you get there, do nothing. Look around you and enjoy the moment of peace and quiet.
This doesn’t always have to be a formal exercise. If you can’t get out to the gym, just get up and move at home. Dance around the house. Clean hard to clean spaces in your home. Exercise doesn’t have to involve breaking out your gym clothes and heading to the equipment. Exercise simply means get your body moving. Get your endorphins pumping and get rid of some tension.
Lately, I’ve been exercising via dance videos I’ve found on YouTube and it’s been a great way to relieve my stress during the day.
Take an Extra Long Shower
I’ll admit, this is my favorite and at times it seems like a luxury. You can even take a nice long bath. If you already have bath salts or some bath bombs around, consider that a bonus.
Call a Friend
With social media and text messaging, it can be hard to remember the last time you called a friend. Give your thumbs a break and hit the call button. Your true friend won’t mind having a conversation with you even if the kids are getting crunk in the background.
Keep a Journal that Focuses on Everything You’re Doing Right
Most of us spend too much time thinking about what’s going wrong. We think we’re supposed to be able to help our kids create the perfect class project, pop dinner in the oven, over-achieve at work, and be at our absolute best health.
In reality, things may seem like they’re falling a part at the seams. Maybe you don’t know how secure your job is or your struggling to keep up with your child’s schoolwork this year. There’s laundry on the couch and you wish you could afford and have time for a nice vacation.
Instead of focusing on what you wished you had done, focus on the wins — start a gratitude journal to amplify all that is going right in your life right now. Focus on that and give yourself some grace.
Ask for Help
I don’t do this enough, but when I finally get around to it — I’m so relieved! We expect ourselves to do so much and in reality, sometimes those we love don’t mind helping out at all. So pick up the phone, talk with your partner or reach out to a neighbor the next time you need help with something. Stop trying to carry the entire burden on your own all the time.
Grab that cheesy romance novel you’ve been eyeing at the grocery store and just read it. Take a few moments before bedtime. Read a few moments on your lunch break. Or, sneak to your car and hideaway for a few chapters. Reading is not only fundamental, but it’s also relaxing.
Block People on Social Media who Bring you Down
This easy, no-cost act of self-care will not take much time out of your day. You will feel much better when you don’t have to see statuses from the guy who hates everything or political Patsy. Everyone has a couple of these followers, and it’s good for your mental health to stay clear of their drama.
As you can see, practicing free acts of self-care is all a matter of perspective. You don’t need a bank account full of money and you don’t need an entire day to yourself (although the thought may pique your interest). All you need to do is develop a few habits and intentionally seek them out every day. Eventually, these acts of self-care will become routine, and making time for yourself will become a part of your regular routine. Now that you’ve read a few of these, decide on your first free act of self-care and go make it happen.
Have you used any of these self-care tips?