Hello Sweet Friends:
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by self-care?
I know I certainly have! One look at Instagram and it seems like self-care often involves going out and doing all the things. And sometimes we don’t have room for any more things!
What about the self-care activities we need when we’re pooped? Or when we’re stressed and drained and don’t have any energy? Are there self-care activities that we can tap into when we need something gentle, relaxing and easy?
Heck yes there are babe! And thank goodness, because our self-care should never feel overwhelming.
Self-care is all about providing for your needs. And when you need something simple and calm, there are tons and tons of options!
Need a little inspiration? Here are 9 gentle activities that you can easily add to your self-care routine on stressful or tiring days:
Simple Self-Care Activities Matter
A couple of weeks ago we talked about what to do when you’re struggling to make time to take care of yourself. And this quote from Dr. Beth Rush, a Mayo Clinic neuropsychologist, really stuck with me.
“If you’re feeling frustrated, short on time, impatient, you have to go back to the basics of: ‘Have I done anything for myself today? Should I take a minute? Do I have to be the one who does it all? We tend to think of self-care as always going out and doing something like getting our nails done or going to the gym, but sometimes self-care is about just pausing. I think that’s something we recognize is becoming more important: learning how to slow down.” (source)
I’ve certainly felt overwhelmed by the idea of busy self-care activities in the past. And I know I’m not alone. But I think it’s so important that we’re reminded that there are so many gentle, simple moments that function as self-care too.
So if you’re overwhelmed, busy as a bee or simply not interested in going out and doing something, these 9 gentle options could be the perfect addition to your self-care routine.
If you’ve been struggling to make time for yourself in general, here’s a free copy of my self-care plan workbook <3. Just fill out the form below and I’ll send you a copy instantly.
Oh, and before we dive in, remember – your self-care routine doesn’t need to be large. It can fluctuate daily to suit your needs. And you absolutely don’t need to do it all.
If something on this list sounds amazing, try it! If you hate it, leave it in the dust. This is all about you hun! So make it yours.
Ok… let’s do this!
9 Gentle Additions To Your Self-Care Routine:
1. Feed Yourself with Kindness
Food is so important! It nourishes us, brings us joy, connects us, provides us with tons of nostalgia… that’s pretty magical!
Feeding yourself with kindness is a beautiful form of self-care. And something we readily tap into every day. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean creating a “perfect” diet. (That doesn’t exist). Instead it’s all about creating a balance that works for you and eating more mindfully.
I promise, it’s a lot of fun and there’s lots of room for chocolate and all the other goodness you enjoy!
2. Speak Kindly to Yourself
It’s like Louise Hays says:
“Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.”
Your voice has an incredibly powerful influence on you. Think about it, you’re listening to yourself all day long. That can really affect your mood and self-esteem.
It’s so important you work on creating a healthy, respectful, loving relationship with yourself.
It’s an ongoing journey, since self-love isn’t exactly a destination. And it isn’t always easy or perfect. Just like with any other relationship, you will experience some ups and downs and that’s ok!
What matters is that you make an effort to be kind and compassionate towards yourself.
One way to do that is to work on your self-talk. You don’t deserve to be bullied by your inner voice. We all have an inner mean girl that can pop up from time to time, but she doesn’t deserve a megaphone.
One way to work on creating a kind and supportive inner voice is with positive self-talk and affirmations.
Here are some examples of positive affirmations:
- “You are beautiful, intelligent and strong”
- “You love yourself wholeheartedly”
- “Self-care plays an important role in your health – you deserve to make time for yourself”
- “You love and honour your body”
- “You’ll let go of the things that don’t serve you.”
- “You deserve to accept yourself as you are”
Work on speaking kindly to yourself and eventually it may become an amazing, uplifting habit. One step and one day at a time.
You may be wondering why all of those affirmations are in the third person… turns out that affirmations often work better when we use “you” statements instead of “I” statements.
Bonus points if you add in your own name. How cool is that? You can read all about it in the related post below.
3. Treat Yourself To Some Dry Body Brushing
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this beautiful form of self-care. It’s skin-care, mindful moving meditation and self-love all mixed into one. How flipping beautiful is that?! And it makes you feel so damn good.
All you need for this gorgeous act of self-care is a dry brush like this and your gorgeous body.
This is a form of self-massage, which:
- May improve immune function
- Lowers physical and emotional pain (including stress reduction)
- Improves sleep
- Reduces inflammation
- Encourages lymphatic drainage
- Lessens muscle soreness after a workout
And the exfoliation helps your skin by:
- Prevents your pores from clogging
- Leaves your skin feeling soft and clean
- Reduces and preventing blackheads and pimples
- Causes your pores to appear smaller (you can’t actually change their size – pores simply look larger when they’re all clogged up)
But my favourite part is that it gives you the chance to connect with and appreciate gorgeous, naked body. Something we don’t often do. It’s a beautiful moment of self-love.
The act of dry brushing really forces you to get in touch with your beautiful body and focus on areas we often hate on, like our tummies, thighs and booties.
It’s the perfect opportunity to pay special attention to those areas and appreciate them. Maybe even add some positive affirmations in to work on self-talk at the same time! It’s truly a marvelous addition to your self-care routine, don’t you think?
4. Enjoy a Clay Face Mask
Sometimes it’s so nice to just put those feet up and pamper yourself. And a clay face mask is a super, duper easy way to do that. Plus it helps to exfoliate and clean your skin. Skin care and relaxation all built into one? Score!
With awesome options like bentonite, kaolin and French yellow clay, you can definitely find the perfect match for your skin type.
Plus, you can add essential oils to the mix, introducing some aromatherapy and extra skin support.
How decadent is that?
Not sure which clay would be a good match for your skin? I’ve got you covered right here.
5. Get Lost in a Good Book
Reading is so flipping good for you! Not only does it provide a lovely moment of escape (and a fun adventure full of wicked ups and downs).
Some downtime reading comes packing with health benefits like these:
- Reduces stress
- Betters sleep
- Boosts mood and decreases feelings of depression
- Increases memory power
- Slows mental decline
- Potentially decreases risk of Alzheimers
- Improves empathy and emotional awareness
How cool is that?! This is an easy, super beneficial and relaxing form of self-care that you can easily tap into. Doesn’t it make you want to pick up a book?
6. Write in a Gratitude Journal
This is such a beautiful way to work on creating a grateful mindset and a joyful perspective.
And hey, it’s super simple! All you need is a journal, a pen and about 10 to 15 minutes to jot down some goodness.
Write down what you’re grateful for, the people you absolutely adore, things you love about yourself and positive quotes and affirmations that make you feel happy.
It may be difficult at first, but you will find that your list will grow every time you sit down to create one.
This beautiful, daily act of self-love is about more than just creating a little list of the marvelous things in your life. It’s about retraining your mindset and learning to marvel at all of the goodness that surrounds you.
Eventually, you will find that you’ll be able to carry the essence of gratitude with you throughout the day.
As they say, practice makes perfect. And this definitely applies to crafting a grateful mindset.
How lovely is that?!
7. Take a Moment to Meditate
Meditation is awesome! And there’s so many different ways to enjoy it and make it a part of your self-care routine.
Whether you prefer a more classic type, like mindfulness meditation, want to add meditation music to the mix, or enjoy moving meditation in the form of mindful eating, yoga or simply walking, you are 100% rocking it hard!
10 to 20 minutes of meditation a day can make a huge difference in our health and wellbeing.
- Reduces anxiety and boosted mood
- Improves focus
- Supports immune health
- Fosters a healthy blood pressure
- Breeds empathy
The goal of any form of meditation is essentially to focus your mind on the present moment. It absolutely goes deeper than that, yes, but we can get more specific together right here.
Regardless of how you choose to practice meditation, simply work on centering your mind on the present. You can focus on one thought, like a mantra, or simply pay attention to your breathing.
It can be difficult to do at first but becomes easier with each session. Plus, you’ll come out of it feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and joyful. It’s truly incredible!
8. Relax in a Hot Bath
Baths are the perfect addition to your night time self-care routine. What a lovely way to unwind after a long day and prepared for sleep. It’s even more fun if you bring a book in with you. And doesn’t that warm water leave you feeling so calm and relaxed?
Super bonus! Baths offer some pretty awesome health benefits:
- Elevates your mood
- Encourages relaxation
- Reduces stress
- Improves sleep
- Relieves muscle pain
- Eases cold symptoms
- Potentially reduces inflammation and blood sugar levels
- Aids in managing chronic pain
- Provides a lovely opportunity for self-love and kindness
Isn’t that a ton of goodness?! And so easy to tap into! These wonderful health benefits of baths are pretty easy to tap into. And I can’t think of any better way to wind down mindfully before bed. What do you think?
(Friendly reminder – if you have a heart or blood pressure disorder, talk to your doctor before indulging in a hot bath. Certain health conditions make it so baths aren’t a healthy options. Just because something can be healthy doesn’t mean that it’s healthy for all of us. We’re all wonderfully unique – what works best for each of us differs a little from person to person!)
9. Simply Slow Down
Life is complicated. Self-care doesn’t have to be.
While a lot of self-care activities involve going out and doing things, if you’re feeling rushed and overwhelmed it’s ok to simply stop, breathe and rest for a minute.
Sometimes the best self-care is taking a moment to rest and relax. And what each of us finds relaxing might be a little different. So whatever that looks like for you, indulge. You deserve the same love and care you give so freely to others.
So be kind to you and allow yourself the opportunity to slow down and recharge.
Self-care isn’t always about going out and doing things. It certainly can be! But it’s often the quiet, simple moments that really allow us to recharge our batteries and center ourselves.
Don’t be afraid to treat yourself to the simple, solo activities that really uplift you. There are so many options! And I promise, they’ll do just as much (if not more) for you as the more complicated self-care activities.
Your turn – What simple self-care activities typically make an appearance in your routine? Let us know in the comments below!
Health and love,
Thought of the day: I matter. I will make self-care a priority and treat myself with love and kindness.
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