How to Make Wellness An Everyday Practice
Scroll through Instagram and you’ll come across a myriad of daily hashtags: #ThrowbackThursday, #ToastTuesday, #MealPrepMonday… They’re catchy, grabbing hundreds of thousands of posts. I love following tags like this for inspiration (#ToastTuesday and #PancakeSunday are among my favorites) and even find myself guilty of scheduling posts around them.
But these catchy hashtags should be just that: catchy. Every Sunday when I scroll through my social media feeds, I get a bit worried. #SelfCareSunday seems to appear on every platform. I love self care, but I don’t want people to get the wrong idea with this hashtag: Self care is not a one-day-a-week kinda thing; self care should be an everyday kinda thing. It should be something ingrained into our daily routine, something we prioritize.
At the same time, I do hope that these posts serve as an inspiration for people to start prioritizing self care. Taking self care one day at a time is a great way to dive in- figuring out what works well for you and what you need to feel your best. But once you take that leap and it becomes routine, expanding self care into your every day does not have to be difficult. Self care may come across as intimidating- expensive, all consuming, and intense- but it really doesn’t have to be!
But what really is self care? To me, it means taking time to make sure I feel my best. Usually this means something relaxing, something that will calm me in moments of stress. It’s about putting myself first- something that is way more important than we think. You have to take care of yourself in order to not only do and be your best, but to take care of those you love.
There are a few self care practices that I do every day, like working out, going for walks, and treating myself to a little dessert. But there are other practices that I include once a week, every other day, or just when I feel like it.
Self care, like everything else, is about finding out what works well for you. Take a look at these ten ideas I have included below and see what grabs your attention! If you start by practicing a few of these once or twice a week, my guess is that they will quickly become ingrained into your weekly routine, putting you straight onto the path of daily self care.
Which of these are you the most excited about trying? Which do you think will become a part of your daily routine?
Aromatherapy: There are a lot of high end diffusers and essential oils out on the market. But take a quick look through Amazon and you can find some great, all natural oils and diffusers for less than 30 dollars. Peppermint helps relieve migraines, lavender does wonders for stress, rosemary for concentration, and chamomile for sleep. Whether you rub them on tension points (think your temples, neck, wrists…) and go about your daily routine, put them into your diffuser and fall asleep, or even just onto your chest and stand in the steam of a shower for a few minutes, using essential oils is a great wellness technique that takes absolutely no time at all.
Declutter: One of my favorite activities is cleaning out my closet. Every now and then I take a look at my clothes and I ask myself: what have I not worn in the past year? What doesn’t fit me- even if I want it to fit me? What clothes are no longer “me”? And usually this cleans out half of my closet (or more) and I give these items all away. Doing this activity always lifts a weight off my chest- I feel like I have more space, a chance to grow into myself even more… and this doesn’t have to be done with just clothes! You can do it with anything. Every day, try throwing one thing out. It can be as simple as old receipts. Over time, you’ll notice the space, the freedom… and you’ll feel a whole ton lighter, I’m sure.
Organize: This one isn’t too different than de-cluttering, but I figured it was still worth including. Moving things around or putting things back into their place can be incredibly relaxing. I like to re-organize my books from time to time, sort through my baking drawer, and oftentimes find myself even moving my decorations around. Maybe it is even as simple as making your bed every morning and putting away your clothes every night. Coming home to a clean apartment can make all the difference and the practice takes no time at all!
Bath: Now, while I personally am not the biggest fan of baths (I basically pass out every time I get into a hot tub or bath due to the heat!), I know so many people that find them to be the perfect stress reliever. Lighting candles, grabbing a book, and taking twenty minutes or so to rest in the tub is a great way to bring self care into your routine.
Walk: A personal favorite of mine, going on walks a few times a day always makes me feel my best. My favorite are the early morning strolls when the birds are still out and the air is crisp or those walks right after the rain has ended and its smell still lingers. I love the peacefulness of walking through a quiet neighborhood, as cheesy as that sounds. I take morning walks on weekends, mid day walks when I’m at work, and walks after dinner during the week to help me calm down before going to sleep.
Read: Reading has always been one of my biggest loves, especially for how it calms me. When I am absorbed in a good book, I tend to forget about any worries on my mind. I especially love to read right before bed- it helps me close my eyes and fall asleep, even if I read for only five minutes.
Bake: Though standing in front of a hot oven and mixing a bowl of flour and sugar may not sound like the most relaxing activity, sometimes methodical motions can be exactly that. Having a recipe that tells you exactly what you need to do for how long (not to mention knowing that you’ll produce a delicious baked good you can snack on after) takes a lot of the pressure off you. Just read, act, and relax into the deliciousness ;)
Go to bed early: I don’t think I have gone to bed past 9 on a weeknight in the past three months. Given my early wake up, an early bedtime is essential for my self care. Turning out the lights, shutting down your computer, and powering off your phone all a bit early, even if just two times a week, is a great start. Plus… who ever regrets more sleep?
Treat yourself to a nice dinner: You know when you’re craving something so intensely- perhaps your favorite dish from a restaurant you love? Well, cooking it yourself and sitting down to savor every bite is a bomb treat. Even better, try going to that restaurant by yourself some time with a book in hand. Taking time to treat yourself, whether in the comforts of your own home or out, is a necessity.
Spa night: Fluffy robes, cucumber water, nail polish, and face masks… all the workings of a great spa day. And all items you can bring into your own home for a way cheaper DIY spa day. Getting cozy in a huge robe, smearing a scrub onto your face, and sipping on some spa water all are the makings for a lovely, relaxing self care day.
So there you have it! Ten great and differing ways to bring self care into your life, perhaps slowly at first until your favorites become a part of your every day routine.