My 13 favorite self-care practices.
I spent so long feeling like if I wasn’t miserable in life, then I wasn’t working hard enough. I’m so over that and all about the self-care now.
I believe you can take better care of others when you set boundaries with people and are taking excellent care of yourself. You don’t have to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm. You are allowed to take care of yourself and practice self-care daily.
Here are some of my favorite self-care practices lately:
1. The outfit.
Andrew has nicknamed this outfit, “the outfit.” It’s so comfortable, so I wear it ALL THE TIME. I’ll get home from work and put it on so I’m pretty much in it every evening. Andrew’s tired of seeing it and thinks we should burn it. I feel differently. It’s so comfy…and that makes me feel calm.
If I’m being honest…I don’t like reading. I fought this for a long time trying to force myself to read. I want the knowledge that is in the book, but I don’t want to read it. Insert audiobooks!
I’ve found some books that have 30 minute summaries of the entire book – not everyone’s cup of tea! But I’d rather get the main idea from 50 books by listening to summaries, than know the minute details of 10 books.
3. Walking, while playing “find the prettiest house” game.
The thing I love most about my neighborhood is that new houses are always being built. I love putting on a podcast/audiobook and perusing the neighborhood for new builds. I try to do this on weekends/weeknights when I have no where to be and can just wander for a bit. So relaxing. This is also a good time to for me to process through any uncomfortable thoughts/feelings I’m having. Kinda like a mental journaling activity.
4. Not rigidly exercising.
Since I stopped following a rigid exercise routine about two years ago, I’ve found that there is so much time/energy for you to discover what joyful movement looks like for YOU. For me leisurely biking, sculling in a pool, and stretching before bed are all movements I really love!
If you have put yourself on a rigid exercise routine and hate moving your body (but force yourself to do it anyways), I’d recommend taking a month off the current movement(s) you are doing. Make yourself switch it up for something else and get away from the rigidity. You deserve to make decisions because you love your body…not because you hate your body.
Exercise is not always healthy. It could be ruining your life. Time to check in with yo’ self!
5. Being stupid.
Laughter is the best.
I do love yoga and it helps me feel so calm. It took me 7 years to get it, but I get it now. I always end the class with my hands resting on my belly during savasana. Kinda in a heart shape around my belly button. Whether I’m feeling bloated or strong or soft and fleshy, it’s nice to connect with my body and know that it is exactly what it needs to be. Again…it took my YEARS to appreciate yoga and resting your hands on your belly is not for everyone.
Unfortunately since my hand is cut I’m having to take a bit of time off yoga classes. Down dog would kill my hand. But now that I’m thinking about it, I could probably go and just do forward-fold instead of chaturanga/down dog.
7. Trying new coffee shops.
For me, the atmosphere is more important than how the coffee tastes. There are still at least 10 coffee shops I still need to try in Houston. Aesthetically pleasing coffee shops make me feel energized and full of life…but maybe it’s just the caffeine (hmm. lol.).
8. Pining to my BoPo pinterest board
Constantly surrounding myself with positivity and encouraging messages is so healthful! I like living in a positive and encouraging world. People in the real world can suck…but your social media accounts can be so uplifting. You just have to stop following people that make you feel like crap about yourself.
I do enjoy a good sweat session from time to time. I’ve been going to Orange Theory, but they’ve been annoying me quite a bit lately. I know I’m being irrational, but I don’t really care. The issue is that if you are 5 minutes late to their classes you aren’t allowed to go in and then you get charged for the class. A normal/rational person would just be on time, but I’m not good at being on time so I just don’t think it’s the best fit for me.
I’ve been very close to cancelling my membership a number of times but then they do something nice, like offer to walk me to my car with an umbrella when it’s pouring rain. And I forgive them. I probably will be looking for something else in the near future. I wanna try a pilates studio!
10. Early morning breakfast dates with a friend.
It’s such a nice way to ease into my morning. Instead of going straight to the office or starting work immediately, taking an hour at a coffee shop with a friend before the city wakes up is so relaxing. I love that the coffee shops are typically empty that early and eating breakfast out during the week gives you a little taste of the weekend on a weekday.
Also, life is one big learning process and I’m still learning how to work with the anxiety I can feel at the start of the day. Waking up knowing I’m not going straight to work is so helpful for decreasing my stress levels.
Had to include it lol! Growing up we ate Tex-Mex every week and while Andrew and I don’t hit up Mexican restaurants that often now, the occasional happy hour with Andrew or a friend can help me feel like I can solve all the problems in the world. And that’s a good feeling:)
12. Eating food I’m craving.
Cooking really isn’t my favorite thing. I think that is because for the last 2 1/2 years I have hated my kitchen so much. It was SO dated, dark and depressing. Now that the kitchen is open and bright, I’m much more excited to cook. But still, the cooking part in between recipe development and eating isn’t my favorite thing, I love the recipe development and the eating parts best. But occasionally I’ll be super excited for a meal and it is relaxing to come home and make exactly what I’m craving. Here I was sautéing red bell peppers to put on a pizza.
I’m a firm believe that everyone should have a dog or some kind of animal. They bring SO MUCH JOY and teach you how to love better! When we got Maggie, I hoped she would be a cuddler and she IS. Andrew snapped this photo of us a couple months ago.
Another post needs to be self-care habits I need to improve. High on that list would be sleep! I’m awful at getting enough sleep! I would also like to take up journaling. I tried using Penzu, but I’m bad at getting into a consistent journaling routine!
If you have a difficult relationship with food and your body, I hope you will look into my online course and see if it is something that resonates with you.
Time to share! I would love to know your favorite self-care practices? Are there any self-care practices you would like to start incorporating in your life but haven’t yet?