Self-Care Hacks You Can Start Doing NOW
· Start a compliments list. Document the great things people say about you to read later. You can write them down in a journal or make a notes page in your phone.
· Scratch off a lurker on your to-do list- something that has been there for weeks that you haven’t taken care of yet.
· Change up the way you make decisions. Decide something with your heart if you usually use your head. Or if you tend to go with your heart, decide with your head.
· Take another route to class/work. Mixing up your routine in small ways creates new neural pathways in the brain to keep it healthy.
· Pay complete attention to something you usually do on autopilot, perhaps brushing your teeth, driving, eating, or performing your morning routine.
· Goof around for a bit. Schedule in five minutes of “play” (non-directed activity) several times throughout your day.
· Punctuate your day with a mini-meditation with one minute of awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations; one minute of focused attention on breathing; and one minute of awareness of the body as a whole.
· Be selfish. Do one thing today just because it makes you happy.
· Do a mini-declutter. Recycle three things from your wardrobe that you don’t love or regularly wear.
· Unplug for an hour…or half hour…or 15 minutes. Switch everything to airplane mode and free yourself from the constant bings of social media and email.
· Get out of your comfort zone, even if it’s just talking to a stranger at the bus stop.
· Edit your social media feeds, and take out any negative people. You can just “mute” them; you don’t have to delete them.
For the Body:
· Oxygenate by taking three deep breaths. Breathe into your abdomen, and let the air puff out your stomach and chest.
· Stretch out the kinks.
· Run (or walk, depending on your current physical health) for a few minutes. Or go up and down the stairs three times.
· Make one small change to your diet for the week. Drink an extra glass of water each day, or have an extra portion of veggies each meal.
· Be still. Sit somewhere green, and be quiet for a few minutes.
· Get fifteen minutes of sun, especially if you’re in a cold climate.
· Inhale an upbeat smell. Try peppermint to suppress food cravings and boost mood and motivation.
· Take a quick nap. Ten to twenty minutes can reduce your sleep debt and leave you ready for action.
· Get down and boogie. Put on your favorite upbeat jam and shake your booty.
For the Soul:
· Imagine you’re your best friend. If you were, what would you tell yourself right now? Look in the mirror and say it.
· Use your commute for a “Beauty Scavenger Hunt.” Find five unexpected beautiful things on your way to class or work.
· Help someone. Carry a bag, open a door, or pick up an extra carton of milk for a neighbor.
· Check in with your emotions. Sit quietly and just name without judgment what you’re feeling.
· Write out your thoughts. Go for fifteen minutes on anything bothering you. Then let it go as you burn or bin the paper.
· Choose who you spend your time with today. Hang out with “Radiators” who emit enthusiasm and positivity, and not “Drains” whose pessimism and negativity robs energy.
· Get positive feedback. Ask three good friends to tell you what they love about you.
· Make a small connection. Have a few sentences of conversation with someone in customer service such as a sales assistant or barista.
· Splurge a little. Buy a small luxury as a way of valuing yourself.
· Have a self-date. Spend an hour alone doing something that nourishes you (reading, your hobby, visiting a museum or gallery, etc.).
· Exercise a signature strength. Think about what you’re good at, and find an opportunity for it today.
· Take a home spa. Have a long bath or shower, sit around in your bathrobe, and read magazines.
· Ask for help- big or small, but reach out.
· Plan a two-day holiday for next weekend. Turn off your phone, tell people you’ll be away, and then do something new in your own town.
- Written by Evan Kafka
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