My Self-Care Habits

Who knows what our day is going to bring with the errands that we need to run, the work we need get done, and everything else in between. What I’m even more unsure of is how all of that is going to affect my mood. My mood tends to fluctuate even more than usual around this time of year, so I curated my top 5 self-care habits that help me feel better no matter what my day brings.

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#1 Move Your Body

I’ve been trying to get back into working out consistently for the past 3 years. I would go to the gym, pilates, or HIIT for a few months and then something would happen—got busy at work, fell ill, last-minute vacation—and by the time I got back into working out, I just could not make it stick.

So I asked myself, what was the one form of exercise that I would find really difficult to talk myself out of? Stretching.

We can store a lot of emotion and tension within our bodies so taking some time out to stretch, whether it be through doing yoga or just some basic stretching, it can really help us relieve some pressure and balance out our mood.

#2 Treat Yourself a Little Nicer

Who knows what the day is going to bring and how that is going to affect our mood. So as often as I can I try to give myself some extra love by setting aside some time in my day to treat myself a little nicer. It’s easy to skip this step when I’m caught up in my to-do list for the day, but just by taking a few minutes in the morning or night for some skincare is one of the biggest acts of self-love in my opinion. It’s a time that you dedicate to pampering yourself and only yourself, even if it’s just a simple 2-step routine on my busiest days, I find that it makes me feel a bit more confident throughout my day.

If skincare is not your thing, then maybe feeding your body is your way of treating yourself. Whether that be through some supplements to help you get all your vitamins or feeding yourself a nutritious (and delicious!) meal, it can serve as your own treat for all the hard work you’ve been doing.  

#3 Power-Clean for 5-minutes

I read somewhere that if you give yourself a whole day to clean, then it will take you a whole day. However, if you give yourself 5-minutes to clean, it will take you 5-minutes. While it does not seem like a lot of time, you would be surprised at how much you could get done since you have no time to waste! In 5-minutes I found that I can vacuum a room, wash dishes, make my bed, and put away clothes and other miscellaneous items from the day before.

I’ve found that when my mood has me feeling a bit all over the place, cleaning and sorting out my personal space does put me in a better mood. Whether that has to do with the whole metaphor of sorting my external space and in turn my internal space or just the smell of Lysol, it brings a sense of peace to however I’m feeling.

#4 Don’t Force It, Redirect It

The majority of my days are spent staring my computer screen while sitting at a desk. And while I work from home and could move to another area, I find myself feeling obligated to sit a desk even when I’m not really being all that productive. This probably due to spending almost two decades in some form of school, where I have come to associate productivity with sitting at a desk.

But I’ve found that by forcing myself to sit a desk even when I’m not productive, makes me feel extra guilty on top of not being productive which ultimately just makes me feel a whole lot worse.

So now instead of forcing it, I choose to take that non-productive energy and redirect it towards another area that could use my attention like cleaning the kitchen, folding laundry, or cooking. While we may not be able to work out the task we initially set out to do, we can still be productive in loads of different areas.

By releasing that self-imposed pressure I put on myself to always finish the tasks I set out to do when I scheduled to do them and giving myself more freedom in how I navigate my days, I feel a lot happier.

#5 Give Yourself A Break

Sometimes we just reach that burn out period where we are just not being productive in any sense or we just feel so drained that getting ourselves to put energy into anything just seems really taxing. This is the perfect time to give yourself a break. Whether that be just a few minutes to go and grab yourself a superfood smoothie or taking a walk around your neighborhood, prioritize your need for a time-out just as much as you prioritize your desire to get work done.

However you choose to spend this time is completely up to you. If you decide that you need a longer break which involves curling up on your couch with a book that you’ve been meaning to read or pulling out some watercolors, go for it!

Something I do try to avoid during these time-outs is TV or my phone. These are my known distractors, meaning that I can easily lose hours to these devices by just jumping from episode to episode or video to video. Most of the time I would not even be interested in what I was watching, I would just find the subpar distraction better than getting to work.

I hope some of my self-care habits were able to help you find something to make you feel better if your going through it or just not feeling like yourself.

Don’t worry, you’ll get through it. You got this. You’re doing great.