Self-care is not as hard as you think. It’s not some amorphous, vague goal. In fact, there are some simple, concrete things you can do to improve your self-care plan.
Any one of these things will make a big difference in your lifestyle. Tackling all of them will make you feel like a new, better version of yourself.
So without further ado, here are 10 actionable self-care tips to add to your self-care checklist.
Eat Your Meals at the Right Time
Your body needs fuel to run well, just like a car. And it needs to refuel at key points during the day to run properly. So, establish a meal schedule.
It’s simple to stick to a meal schedule. Just pick windows for your breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and adhere to them. An example of a healthy meal schedule is:
- Breakfast: between 7:00 and 9:00 (within one hour of waking up)
- Lunch: between 11:30 and 1:30
- Dinner: between 6:00 and 8:00 (or even 5:00 if you’re on a diet)
- It’s also okay to add a fourth meal between lunch and dinner if you’re not concerned about weight gain
Eating enough and at the proper times will increase your productivity and make you feel more alert throughout the day. It will also help you sleep better.
Different people require different amounts of sleep. Most adults need between six and nine hours, and it’s up to each individual to find out how much they need. If they can get that much every night, it will make a huge difference during the day.
It’s also important to make sure that you get the most out of your sleep by practicing a few techniques, such as:
- Eating right — like we mentioned, eating proper foods at reasonable times helps you sleep well.
- Avoid blue light before bed — most devices with backlit screens, like computers and phones, emit something called “blue light.” It’s not bad in general, but staring at it at night messes with your circadian rhythm. So avoid looking at blue light devices within at least 30 minutes of bedtime.
- Never sleep in — even when you don’t need to wake up at your normal time, do it anyway. The body gets better sleep when it’s on a schedule. Besides, having a full morning is good for your headspace.
- Exercise — Getting some light exercise during the day will go a very long way in improving sleep.
- Keep the bedroom restricted — Don’t use your bedroom for anything other than sleep. If your brain associates the space with other things like work or play, it will not go into deep sleep as easily.
Sit For 10 Minutes
Every day, you need to set aside at least 10 minutes just to sit by yourself and do nothing except reflect on your thoughts. Call it meditation or whatever you want.
It might sound strange and some might even think it sounds selfish, but rest assured that it is important. The human brain was not meant to be focused on others all the time, and just letting it wander once in a while is a great form of self-care.
Set Social Media Boundaries
Social media is an assault on the human brain. After all, a large portion of it is about people showing how exciting or interesting or full of thought-provoking material their own lives are, and it’s easy to find yourself comparing your own life to the things you see.
You don’t need to stop social media completely, but you do need to realize that what’s being shown is not an accurate depiction of life. Everyone has problems, and social media is often a way for them to posture and pretend those problems don’t exist. Keep this in mind to avoid falling into the self-deprecation trap many social media users do.
It’s also a good idea to limit your time on social media. It’s highly addictive thanks to its extreme resemblance to real life, and you don’t want to be that person who can’t put their phone down at a meal lest they miss the next status update.
Find A Good Book
Having a great story waiting for you is a wonderful feeling. Even when you are busy, keeping that knowledge in the back of your mind makes everything a little more enjoyable. Serialized video games act in much the same way, but they are more addictive than books and so can cause people to stop enjoying their non-gaming activities as much.
Finding a good book can be really difficult, especially for non-readers who don’t already know what they like. In this case, try out Goodreads or another website that helps you find what book you should read.
You’re supposed to drink eight cups of water per day. Most of us can’t even manage two.
As a result, most ping that should not be theople are dehydrated all of the time. It probably goes without saying that this should not be the case.
The good news is, it’s very easy to remedy the issue. Just remember to drink a glass of pure water every now and then. Maybe even download one of those apps that makes a noise once an hour reminding you to drink.
Stop With Age-Restrictions
Especially in our American culture, there are a lot of activities that are considered “just for kids.” In the cases of many of these activities, some adults would love to partake, but they feel they can’t because of social norms.
Ignore these perceived age restrictions. Just do what makes you happy. Play some board games, jump in that bounce house at the mall, even eat some bubble gum-flavored ice cream if that’s your thing. No one is judging, and if they are then they’re not someone you should care about pleasing.
Keep an Accomplishments Journal
Every night before bed, write down (in a real book, not on your phone) the productive or helpful things you did that day. Feeling good about yourself and reflecting on your victories is an important part of self-care. Writing it all down before bed helps internalize that feeling of accomplishment and makes it last throughout the next day.
As a bonus, write down some things others did for you that you’re thankful for. Remembering the goodness of humanity is almost as important as remembering the goodness in yourself.
Just Say “No”
Many people are afraid to say “no” when asked if they want to do things, even if it is the true feeling in their mind. Understand that passing on an experience is not selfish. Not going out to dinner with your friends because you’re tired is perfectly fine.
BONUS: Exercise and Diet
There’s A LOT of talk about these things in the modern world, usually claiming you need to go way overboard if you hope to get these areas of your life down.
You don’t need to pump iron for hours every day to get in good exercise. Simply staying active and doing some kind of sporty activity like hiking or jogging for more than thirty minutes each day will suffice.
You don’t need to eat kale salads and weird-colored smoothies all the time to eat healthy. Just don’t overload on fats or sugars, make sure to consume lots of non-processed meals, and try to throw in some vegetables. Cooking for yourself is usually a must here, since fast food and microwave dinners rarely meet these healthy food standards. Overcome your cravings for fast food and other junk foods.
The importance of reasonably good diet and getting enough exercise cannot be understated. They are hugely important to proper self-care, perhaps moreso than anything on this list. And remember, they are perfectly achievable.
All of these tips will help you achieve good health and a positive state of mind, two things which are essential to self-care.
WE’VE TRIED TO LIMIT OUR SELF-CARE TIPS TO THINGS THAT ARE ACTIONABLE AND CONCRETE. IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER SELF-CARE SUGGESTIONS ALONG THESE LINES, BE SURE TO LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW.