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20 Self-Care Practices to Boost Your Mood

Fern Gorin Articles 91 Comments

Self-care is quite the buzzword these days. If you spend any time on social media, you are likely bombarded by images of “self-care” – all perfect-looking, orchestrated images of bubble baths and beautifully illustrated journals. These kinds of pictures can make us feel like self-care has to be absolutely perfect to be effective or even worthwhile.

The good news is that self-care doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the best way to improve your mood, make yourself feel better and be more prepared to take on the challenges of life is to incorporate some simple self-care habits into your normal routine.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, there is so much focus on loving everyone else. Let’s not forget to love ourselves, too!

What is Self-Care?

When many people think of self-care, they immediately think of massages or luxurious baths. Although these things can certainly be a part of your self-care routine, they don’t have to be. Self-care is simply taking the time to holistically nurture and nourish yourself so that you can show up in your life (and the world) more present and more connected.

When we get stuck in a cycle of constant giving to others, we can get burned out, stressed out and out-of-sync with ourselves. These feelings can leave us feeling depressed and lethargic and not fully living our lives the way we should be. Self-care is all about taking care of ourselves in a way that allows us to decompress, recharge and appreciate ourselves for all that we do.

Loving Yourself Matters

Loving yourself and taking time for yourself are not selfish acts. In fact, when we take care of ourselves we are better able to take care of others. How can a stressed out and exhausted person have the energy to fully care for another? We owe it to ourselves and to our loved ones, coworkers and communities to make self-care a priority.

Ideas for Self-Care

Your self-care routine doesn’t have to be Instagram-worthy. In fact, your self-care rituals can be very simple and take only minutes to complete. Every person is different, and what works for one will not work for all.

To get you started, here are 20 ways to show yourself some love this month and beyond.

Drink lemon water first thing in the morning.
Start a journaling ritual.
Repeat positive affirmations.
Leave yourself love notes.
Walk outdoors.
Take a nap.
Light some Palo Santo or a favorite candle.
Start a meditation practice.
Plan healthy, delicious meals for the week.
Create a gratitude practice.
Treat yourself to a manicure, massage or another body service.
Buy yourself some flowers.
Try a new workout class.
Take a social media break.
Give yourself decompression time throughout the day.
Read a good book.
Dance your heart out.
Watch the sun rise or set.
Give yourself a lymphatic facial massage.
Do something creative.

Do any of these resonate with you?

Take some time today to think about the things that help you feel recharged and make a plan to incorporate them into your daily routine this week. It helps to schedule them in your calendar so you can hold yourself accountable.

Remember, loving yourself is the first step to being a better parent, partner, boss and leader. Make a commitment to self-care this month and see how simple habits can make a remarkable, positive impact on your life.

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