Let’s face it, life is busy, and it can be challenging to find time to rest or balance our lives outside of work. That’s why engaging in self-care is so vital for our holistic well-being. The science even shows that practicing regular self-care has proven benefits for our physical and mental health.
So, what’s the problem? The way that society views self-care makes it look extravagant and, most of the time, costly.
What popular culture has deemed “self-care” might look like going to a luxury spa or an expensive shopping spree. While it might feel good, there must be better ways to care for ourselves.
Luckily, there are several free ways to practice self-care in the comfort of your own home. Truly, self-care doesn’t need to be extravagant or luxurious. So, here are some practical tips on taking care of yourself right where you are.
Decluttering and Tidying Up
A straightforward way to practice self-care at home is by decluttering and cleaning up your home. Studies have shown that having a clean space can decrease stress and boost natural feel-good chemicals in the brain.
You can start by making your bed, which is a straightforward way to tidy up. It only takes a few minutes and immediately makes the room feel cleaner. Another option is decluttering, which can be done in any area of the house. Finally, consider donating or selling things you no longer use, especially from the closet.
Other tasks you can implement for self-care involving the household might include doing laundry, preparing meals for the week, or deep cleaning a room in the house that needs attention. Although they may seem like tedious household chores, you will be surprised by how much better you feel once they’re done.
Health and Wellness
Your health and self-care habits are very intricately intertwined. As previously mentioned, practicing self-care has many health benefits. On the flip side, health and wellness include taking care of yourself and nourishing your body, which is classified as self-care.
One fundamental way to practice self-care is by making sure you are hydrated. Drink a glass of water or ensure that your water bottle is filled up.
You can also take care of yourself by moving your body. Science shows many holistic benefits to exercise and movements, such as reduced stress, improved physical health outcomes, and positive mental health.
You could try a yoga tutorial on YouTube, go for a walk, or even do some simple stretching. On the other hand, if you are looking for something more active, consider going for a run, trying out a cardio workout, or a strength training option. You can use everyday items you already have to substitute free weights most of the time.
Lastly, you could practice self-care in the form of nutrition. For example, consider trying out a new healthy recipe, making a smoothie, or preparing produce that you have sitting in the fridge so that you will eat it. You can also create meaningful morning and nighttime routines and determine how they will fit into your day to incorporate self-care further.
Nurture Your Mindset
One great way to engage in self-care is through personal development and focusing on a positive mindset.
You can do this by listening to a personal development podcast or reading a good book. You could also journal or write out lists of things that you are good at.
Some other ideas include making a mantra for yourself and placing it on your mirror with a sticky note. You could also look up positive affirmations on Pinterest to reset your mindset. You could also try meditation; there are many free guides online to help you get started. Lastly, you could make a gratitude list or try some deep-breathing techniques.
Get Back to Your Hobbies
Sometimes our schedules can get so busy that we neglect to do things we enjoy. A great way to practice self-care is by doing things that you enjoy that you do not always have time for. This is also a great time to try a new hobby to find new things you enjoy.
One option is picking up a book you have not read in a while or even starting a new book. One fun option is re-downloading a game on your phone that you love but have not played in a while. You could also stream a good show or movie on Netflix and get cozy on the couch for the evening.
A popular self-care activity is coloring or doodling. There are many apps where you can do this or use printable coloring sheets. This is a great way to calm your mind and get creative. Some people also enjoy doing jigsaws or word puzzles as self-care. Again, this is a great way to nurture your mind and relax.
You could also learn something new by watching an exciting documentary, downloading Duolingo to start learning a new language or researching a topic you want to learn more about. Another great idea is to listen to music you love or even create a new playlist for every mood.
Connect With Nature
One great way to engage in self-care is to connect with the great outdoors. There are many ways to get immersed in nature to center yourself.
Make plans to watch the sunrise or sunset from the comfort of your own home or a great local spot. You could also go stargazing at night to appreciate the beauty of the night sky. Spend time walking or hiking at a local nature spot or spend some time in an open field or park.
There is a term called “forest bathing,” which involves spending time in nature to support physical and mental health. There are registered guides who can guide you through this practice. Consider heading to your local forest and spending some time in nature.
Another great way to spend some time in the great outdoors is by gardening. You can either spread some love to the plants already growing outside your home or plant new seeds and tend to them. Various plants can be grown, and the practice of gardening can be very fulfilling and restorative.
Healthy, Happy, Impactful has many more great self-scare ideas on its blog.
Stimulate Your Senses
You can support your well-being by connecting to your senses as well. Some ways to do this may be by lighting a candle or burning incense in your home. Additionally, you can also add a fresh bouquet to your home of fresh-picked flowers to add a lovely ambiance to your space.
Consider other activities to connect with your sensory system, such as baking a dessert, snuggling with a pet, or creating a cozy blanket fort in your living room. You can also consider rearranging your space to bring more serenity into the room.
Use Your Creativity
Using your creative side to reset and recharge is an excellent method for practicing self-care. You can engage in some self-directed art therapy or even use materials you have lying around the house to create something new. Consider practicing crafts like knitting or embroidery or even learning how to do a new craft.
One activity you could also try to write column articles or write fiction/fantasy pieces. Or try playing a video or board game that you enjoy and get your mind moving. You could also write poetry or sketch things you see in your home.
Another unique opportunity for self-care is visiting museums and other famous sites online. This is a great way to relax and stimulate your mind from the comfort of your own home. You can also attend virtual concerts and other virtual events from home, which can be a great way to relax and unwind.
Social Media Self-Care
In today’s climate, many of us have difficulty with self-care due to the constraints of social media. Let’s discuss ways to develop a healthier relationship with social media while practicing self-care. First, clean out your phone. Second, get rid of unnecessary notifications and delete apps you don’t use. Remember that decluttering is essential when it comes to your phone, too.
Practice good phone hygiene by installing necessary updates on your smartphone and other devices. Sometimes we can get caught up in comparison when viewing others on social media, impacting our well-being. Take 20 minutes to unfollow accounts that do not spark joy for you or make you play the comparison game.
It is also a good idea to take regular breaks from social media. Take some time each week to unplug by turning off your notifications and not engaging on social media.
Although it is a great way to network and keep in touch with others, it can also be exceptionally draining and can turn into a time loop, in which you can quickly lose track of time while scrolling.
Another good tip is to organize the home screen on your phone or laptop to declutter your virtual environment. You can also organize your Google Drive or files on your computer. Some productive ways to practice self-care while using social media include making an inspiration board on Pinterest or taking a free online class.
Nurture Your Relationships and Connect
Although it’s termed self-care, a great way to take care of ourselves is by connecting with others. Consider connecting with a friend via phone call or video call to catch up and connect. You can also reach out to a family member whom you have not spoken to in a while.
Try connecting with others by donating to local shelters or secondhand stores and volunteering in your community in areas of need. Consider your neighbors that may need a helping hand or simply some company. Whatever it is, ensure that it is an area of meaning for you and nurtures your well-being.
Another way to nurture your relationships and yourself is by learning more about your personality. There are several well-known personality tests that you can take online for free, such as the Enneagram. This can help you learn more about yourself and how to support your relationships.
The best way to practice self-care is to work on recognizing your patterns and healing from your past to move forward. Please write a note to your younger self with what you want them to know. You can also write a letter to your present and future self about what you want to remember and your hopes for the future.
Take time to determine how to change negative self-talk, which is an area of difficulty for many people. Consider writing out negative thoughts and changing them to positive ones. This will help you begin to recognize negative self-talk and change the narrative in your head more easily.
Another great self-care strategy is to use a mood or habit tracker to keep track of your moods over days and weeks to reflect on how your moods change and what factors impact them. You can also write out your values and what is important to you.
Check out Jess Keys’ blog for more at-home self-care ideas.
Make Your Self Care Work for You
Ultimately, there are many great ways to practice self-care. Self-care is unique to everyone, as everyone has different needs and interests. Consider this list as inspiration. However, it is not an exhaustive list. To find self-care that works for you, think about what interests you and makes you feel most rejuvenated.
Schedule self-care into your day and week and make self-care a priority. Also, consider scheduling various types of self-care to switch it up. Finally, find a way to keep track of your self-care and how you are feeling.
No matter what your self-care methods are, remember that there are various health benefits that your body and mind will thank you for in the long run.
Photo by [Iryna Imalog] via [Shutterstock.com].