Simple Self Care Ideas For Real Life

Dec 17, 2022

I think most of us know on some level at least, that taking good care of yourself mind, body and soul should be as much a part of daily life as brushing your teeth. 

Yet, self-care practices tend to be something you do when you get sick or feel down, rather than what you do to prevent these things! 

So, you know how good it is to look after this body and mind we inhabit, why, then is it so hard to do? 

Often the things that are supposed to make us feel better seem to add to the burden of an already too long to-do list, but read on as I have some simple self care ideas for you that won’t take up all your time or leave you feeling even more drained. 

You might be looking for self care in all the wrong places

Living life at a whirlwind pace is the norm for many of us. From the moment you wake to when you crash into bed at the end of the day it’s go, go, go. All action, no pause…

You have a stressful job, you get sucked down the rabbit hole of technology, your to-list is longer than the lunchtime queue at the Post Office. The crazy notion of self care seems selfish and so ‘me-time’ is pushed so far down the list it’s fallen off the page.

Self care reality check

When you think about self-care does it conjure spa days, and beach vacays all wrapped up in the ‘treat yourself’ mantra? It’s likely it does because that’s the message that’s circulated by wellness gurus and social media. The internet is awash with articles telling you to overhaul your skincare, book that massage, go on retreat. 

I’m a spa girl, I was a therapist for half my life and I never turn down an opportunity to have a massage but self care goes beyond the spa. 

Set realistic goals, small acts that you can stick to daily so you can hone your self care skills. 

Where to start with your own self care

A good place to start is with your daily habits. Ask yourself these questions: 

  • How do you manage your time?
  • When do you feel tired during the day? 
  • What do you love to do when you have some free time? 

A number of years ago I had a wake up call. My body broke down from the unending strain of working without rest for a number of years. Of course I survived this little life drama and I vowed to learn my lesson

I made an agreement to put myself first and that began with changing a few ingrained habits. 

I created a short morning routine so that I could start my day positive and focused. I set reminders in my phone to drink water, eat meals and get up and move.

Proactive self care means you avoid burnout, find balance in your day and live a happier life

That said, it’s funny how much easier it is to let yourself get caught up in the stress of living than doing the work to stay balanced. 

Here’s my 5 minute self care ideas you could start doing today:

  • write down 3 nice things about yourself (put them in a jar and save them to read at a later time)
  • find a cute animal video on line - smile
  • step outside and take a few breaths
  • book an appointment for something you enjoy
  • listen to a song that lifts you up
  • lie on the floor with eyes closed and relax your body
  • drink some water

Final self care tips and tricks

Giving yourself a break for being human is just as much an act of self care as drinking a glass of water. So, remember that it’s okay when you make mistakes. 

Each time you roll out your yoga mat (or do anything actually) leave your judgement at the door. Embrace the lumpy, wobbly, less than perfect, completely authentic you. I have a short practice you can share that is designed to help you turn down the volume on your inner critic and help you to become the witness of your own experience.

Remind yourself each day, you deserve self care. It’s okay if you need to go to therapy—it can help you a lot!

Ladies, track your cycle (emotions, pain, nausea). Take this into consideration when planning out your self care. A good way to understand your patterns is to track your cycle with an app.

Time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time. 

Tell me about your favourite self care activity. For me it’s a moment of meditation each day. It might be a few breaths or an hour sitting silently. The length of time is not as important as the act of making time for me. Read about some of the ways I suggest can help you develop your meditation practice in this article.