Social media might have you thinking that the only way to practice self-care is to take a candlelit bubble bath, go on a week-long yoga retreat, or participate in some other Instagram-worthy activity. While a nice bath or getaway certainly are acts of self-care, in reality, self-care extends far beyond what you see on people’s #SelfCareSunday posts.
With so much going on in the world these days, taking care of yourself is more important than ever. But what does self-care actually look like besides a bubble bath? Great question! Today, I’m going to share five self-care practices that you can start today that will support the health of your mind, body, and soul.
1. Get moving!
You already know that exercising is good for your health, but do you really know just how important it is for your overall wellness? Engaging in physical activities you love is a wonderful form of self-care that can help you both physically and mentally. Moving your body boosts your mood and energy levels, reduces stress and anxiety, controls weight, combats health conditions and diseases, and promotes better sleep. Pick activities that you truly enjoy, whether that’s lifting weights, playing soccer, or having a dance party in your room!
2. Cook healthy meals
Eating healthy can also drastically improve your physical and mental well-being and is an exceptional demonstration of self-love and care. Avoid processed foods and focus on eating whole foods like veggies, fruits, legumes, lean proteins, and healthy grains. If you’re busy (who isn’t these days!), pick a day to batch cook and prepare a bunch of healthy staples so that you have nourishing foods on hand throughout the week.
3. Learn to set boundaries and say “no”
Between work life, personal life, and family life, it can feel like you always have something to do. While having a full calendar can be rewarding, it’s also important to know when to say “no” and grant yourself some downtime. By turning down some requests and invitations, you’re allowing yourself the necessary time needed to recharge your batteries, soothe your mind and body, and unwind. Carefully choose what you say “yes” to and make sure you’re only agreeing to activities and requests that you want to do or have the capacity for.
4. Take in nature
You’ve probably heard that taking a walk through nature is a good form of self-care, but do you know why? The reasons are truly incredible. Studies have shown that being in nature—or even viewing scenes of nature—reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases positive feelings. Not only does being exposed to nature help mentally, but it can also improve your physical well-being by reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. Research shows that spending just 20 minutes in a park can make you happier so get out there and allow nature to work its magic!
5. Practice gratitude
One simple self-care act you can do every day is write down (or think about) five things you’re grateful for. Research consistently shows that gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. The things you write down can be big or small, such as feeling grateful for having a roof over your head or feeling grateful for the delicious apple you just ate.
Self-care isn’t a one-time thing
Practicing self-care isn’t something you do once and check off your list. It’s the continual application of small habits, which together, work to ensure you’re at your best—emotionally, physically, and mentally. Try implementing the above habits every day to give your mind, body, and soul the love and attention they deserve. If you’re looking for self-care related to your wedding, join our free wedding fitness community!
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