A LONG list of self-care ideas

When you practice consistent, daily self-love, you create a mental environment for positive change. Meditation in the morning leads to making yourself breakfast, which leads to feel energized so you can skip your second cup of coffee, which leads to you feeling more focused, which leads to you leaving work early and making it to that spin class. Also, taking time out of your day for you allows you to connect with how you are feeling, and make those decisions that feel best in your body.

Practicing what I preach! Took a relaxing bath with bath salts and essential oils this weekend!

Practicing what I preach! Took a relaxing bath with bath salts and essential oils this weekend!

This week's tip: have a "menu" of self-care practices to choose from. Just like you don't eat the same food every meal of every day, you want to give yourself choices when it comes to this self-care game. Here are a few ideas for you to start with, but remember, the sky is the limit! Any activity that you do for yourself that makes you feel good, that re-charges you is self-care. Here are just a few:

  • Cook yourself a healthy meal
  • Talk on the phone with a friend
  • Journal
  • Do some sort of physical exercise
  • Take a relaxing bath
  • SLEEP (yes, just sleeping is one of the BEST forms of self-care)
  • Get a massage
  • Get a manicure/pedicure (or paint your own nails!)
  • Use essential oils (to purchase oils, head over here. My favorites for relaxation are Serenity, Balance, and Lavender)
  • Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and sip it slowly
  • Disconnect from all electronics
  • Read a book
  • Color! (news flash: adult coloring books are the latest top sellers on Amazon)
  • Listen to music
  • Practice daily gratitude
  • Catch up on your favorite TV show
  • Go for a walk in your neighborhood (or a new neighborhood)
  • Meditate
  • Go to a concert
  • Spend time in nature
  • Dance to upbeat music (who says this only has to happen late at night in clubs?)
  • Take a class (language, photography, history, etc)
  • Burn a candle
  • Work with a health or life coach
  • Buy yourself flowers
  • Savor a piece of chocolate
  • Sip a glass of wine
  • Watch something funny on YouTube
  • Read the newspaper
  • Play on a playground
  • Look in the mirror and tell yourself "I love you"
  • Take a day trip or weekend adventure
  • Acupuncture
  • Clean out your closet
  • Go shopping
  • Browse a bookstore
  • Use a foam roller
  • Sit and people watch
  • Play hooky
  • Go see a play
  • Take yourself out to dinner and eat without distractions
  • Nap
  • Watch a movie
  • Snuggle with a dog/cat/human
  • Say no <<my personal favorite!

Practice this: Write down 5 self-care activities that you would like to bring into your daily routine. You can use any of my examples, or make up your own! I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments below!


Practice Gratitude

Oh, hello November. And thus begins the holiday season. My personal favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. Yes, I love the FOOD but I also love what the holiday is all about - spending time with family and loved ones and giving thanks for all that is good in life.

The benefits of practicing gratitude are pretty incredible - people who regularly reflect on everything they are thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more kindness, and even have strong immune systems (oh so important this time of year!). 

Let's not wait for the turkey [or the lentil loaf ;) ] to start thinking about what we are grateful for. This month I challenge you to practice daily gratitude - each evening before you go to sleep, write down 3 things that you are thankful for. I've been doing this for the past few weeks, and I've noticed a tangible difference in my overall mood AND sleep. It can be someone or something, big or small, significant or insignificant, but try to be consistent and specific. This practice will change the way you perceive situations by adjusting what you focus on (the positive!), so you are happier and healthier no matter the circumstance. 

What are you grateful of today? Let me know in the comments below.