Self-care has become such a buzz word in the social media world lately - in the same way that girlboss and hustle and wellness have become buzz words. I'm seeing it all over Instagram and Facebook, and I'm not even 100% sure what it's supposed to mean anymore. But here's what it means to me + I'm sharing 5 simple ways you can incorporate self-care into your daily routine right now without having to make extra time in your busy schedule for it.
I got married a year and half ago and a lot has changed in those short two years:
I chopped off all my hair.
I've gained about 30 pounds.
We moved to a new place.
My grandmother passed away.
I've developed hypothyroidism, leaky guy (among other gut issues), and rosacea.
My career situation has forcibly changed.
Some changes are good, some neutral, and some not-so-good, but I've realized that some of the negative changes could have easily been avoided had I taken some time to be aware of self-care. The last few years - since moving to Texas - I've put self-care on the back burner, and here's what I'm realizing:
Small choices over time really do add up...big.
Self-care has a much broader scope than I ever knew or realized before.
Without optimal health, I tend to notice a greater variety of imbalances through the different areas of my life, and it can be harder to tackle the struggles and challenges that come along.
I'm also observing that self-care can often be seen as just another item to try and get done on the to-do list. Self-care shouldn't be a dreaded to-do item, but rather a set of tools and activities that help us recharge, destress, and improve our health. Self-care should help improve our quality of life so we can enjoy moments with loved ones, stay active, keep our brains sharp, and earn a living, etc. In essence, self-care is a whole body (internal and external) approach to living well across all the areas of our lives.
So here are 5 things you can start doing right now to start incorporating self-care into your daily routine.
1. Spend your shower time intentionally.
Showering (or even just washing your face) is such a meditative and rejuvenating activity. It's time you're spending alone with the water running and the steam opening up your pores. It's the perfect few moments to take a few deep meditative breaths and reflect on some intentions for the day and/or pray. Simply focus on your breath or think about what you want to accomplish for the day, how you want to feel, think through a few affirmations, or let God know what you're grateful for.
2. Drink more water.
Staying hydrated will make you feel more energized with less brain fog. It will help flush your body of toxins and, externally, your hair and skin will thank you. I've been working on upping my water intake lately and the more I drink, the better I feel. Start with about 64oz throughout the day. It's totally doable. I even have one of those Hydrate bottles to help remind me to drink up!
3. Turn off your phone/technology.
At some point in the day, turn off your phone for at least 15 minutes. I recommend doing this when you're with your other favorite humans. Dinnertime is a great time to incorporate this. Our cell phones and other technology can be big distractions. Simply putting it away or turning it off for even a short amount of time can help you become drastically more present, allow you to appreciate other things around you (fresh air, birds chirping, the sound of quiet, etc), and help you connect more deeply to the ones you love.
4. Eat more nutrient-dense foods.
I know I've been guilty the last couple years of a lack of vitamin-rich veggies and high antioxidant fruits, quality carbs, healthy fats, and lean protein, but the healthier I eat, the better, stronger, and more energized I feel. Today, focus on making just 1-2 healthier swaps. This can be done whether you're eating at home, grabbing fast food, or eating at a restaurant. Many fast food places have healthier options on their menus now. So instead of the french fries and pop (yup, I'm a MinnesOOOtan), choose the fresh fruit and a water instead. Easy peasy!
5. Bedtime reflections.
Spend the end of your day in a similar way you began your day - with reflection and/or prayer. I usually fill my nightstand diffuser with soothing essential oils like Lavender, Joy, Sacred Frankincense, or Harmony. When your head hits the pillow, close your eyes, take 3-5 deep breaths, and think about how these 5 self-care rituals positively impacted your day, and take a moment to list 3-5 things you're grateful for in your head. I know my head tends to flood and race with thoughts at night, so when I create a soothing atmosphere and try and focus on calming, positive thoughts, I sleep much better. And, quality sleep is one of the best self-care practices you can have for a healthy life.
I hope these 5 practices make you feel a little less overwhelmed about adding more self-care into your daily routine and help you feel more refreshed, positive, healthy, and a little less stressed. If you tried these tips, let me know how it went either in the comments section below or by using the hashtag #livewellwithtanya on Instagram.