“How are you?” This is a question that gets asked frequently in many of our conversations.
Busy. Tired. Anxious. Overwhelmed. These are the words I often hear (and say) in response to that question.
We all experience these feelings of weariness or disorientation. When we are living lives filled with activity, noise, and hurry, it is incredibly difficult to feel healthy and rested. When that is our overall experience with life, the result is that we become stressed and burned out.
In order to nurture the health of our mind, body, and soul, we need ways to recenter and restore. We need these in short spurts throughout the day, and also longer stretches. With a bit of self-care, you can experience more joy, rest, and soul-health.
Here are 20 self-care practices for your mind, body & soul:
- Simplify your schedule. Are you over-committed? Ask yourself which activities are truly adding value to your life, and thoughtfully make space for those things.
- Do something that energizes your body. Stretch, swim, run, do yoga, or whatever physical activity you enjoy.
- Take a long, warm bath. While you’re at it, light a candle, read a magazine, listen to soothing music.
- Create a Gratitude List. Write down all the things that you’re thankful for.
- Get a massage. Enjoy it.
- Unplug for a day. Go on a media and tech fast, and turn off the electronic devices.
- Stretch. Find the kinks and tension spots in you body, and stretch them out.
- Do something new. Have you been considering learning a new skill or trying a new hobby? Go for it.
- Practice mini-meditation. Begin or end your day with a minute of deep breathing, and focused awareness of your body, thoughts, and feelings.
- Dance it out. Put on your favorite dance music, and shake your body.
- Write or journal your thoughts. Take 10 minutes, and jot down whatever is on your mind. Mentally release those things as you write.
- Get quality time with a quality person. Hang out with someone who you love. If they’re far away, give them a phone call.
- Be still. Find a quiet place outside, and embrace the stillness.
- Practice a full day of Sabbath rest. Take a full day to rest and rejuvenate.
- De-clutter. Choose a place – your email inbox, your desk, a closet – and get rid of the excess and junk.
- Do an activity mindfully and slowly. Savor the moment, and experience your activity with attentiveness.
- Take a walk. Explore your area at a leisurely pace.
- Reflect on your personal mission statement. If you don’t have a personal mission statement, create one.
- Enjoy a piece of chocolate or a glass of wine. Better yet, enjoy both together.
- Sleep. Take a nap, go to bed earlier, give your body some extra rest.
What is one thing you can do today to practice self-care?
This post is also on my Spiritual Journey blog, where I write about the spiritual journey.