What do you think of when someone says to prioritize your self-care? We think of getting a massage (obviously), but there are other, smaller ways that you can prioritize your self-care every single day. The smallest things we can do for ourselves are often the most underrated. Here are 5 things you can do starting today:
- Say no: This can apply to anything that brings you unnecessary stress. Someone asks you to go out but you really just want to stay in and binge Netflix? Say no. Coworker asks you for help but you’re already swamped with your own work? Say no. Someone is asking for advice and venting to you, but you don’t have the emotional bandwidth to handle it right now? Respectfully tell them you can’t be fully there for them right now. You get the picture. You’re not forced to be available at all times to everyone.
2. Limit the content/social media you consume: Media is an interesting component of our daily lives – it can be a way to stay connected and share what’s important to us, but it can also be a source of feelings of envy, inadequacy, comparisons, and putting on a front that everything is always fine and dandy. Limit the content you consume and only look at things that you enjoy and that add meaning to your life. And remember, no one’s life is as easy or perfect as it seems on social media; as you scroll through Facebook or Instagram, don’t fall into the trap of comparing your life’s play-by-play to everyone else’s highlights reel.
3. Brain dump on paper: Sometimes the word “journal” carries a connotation of something you have to do on a schedule or in a certain format. We prefer to think of it as simply a way to empty your mind. There is something inherently therapeutic about putting all your thoughts, worries, insecurities, or even just your grocery list on paper so that you can get it out of your head and into a tangible, readable format.
4. Drink your coffee mindfully: Or tea, whatever. The point is, too often we absentmindedly chug (or sip) our beverage while scrambling to multitask. Try taking 5-10 minutes to sit and really enjoy that cup of coffee. Put your phone down, and just sit with your thoughts. Notice the flavors of the coffee, the day’s weather, how you’re feeling, take it all in! When you’re done, go back to what you were doing. This is an easy way to practice being present.
5. Make a task you hate suck less: This one is a little vague, because only you know what shape this can take for you. Examples include listening to your favorite playlist or watching Netflix while washing dishes, calling a friend while you do your weekend cleaning, or even just working outside for a while. Whatever task you hate, find a way to make it a tiny bit more enjoyable.