Treat Yourself: Easy Self-Care Solutions

Life is busy. Whether you’re a Fortune 500 CEO, a yoga teacher, or a stay-at-home parent, adulthood often feels like a logistical obstacle course with constant demands for your attention popping up along your intended path. Although the phrase “self-care” may seem like a trendy buzzword or a tongue-in-cheek reference to indulgence, it’s actually a helpful way to alleviate stress, and an attainable and affordable way to experience moments of gratitude on even the busiest of days.

Self-care increases gratitude.
Finding opportunities for self-care can add more meaning to your days.

As a responsible adult — or someone who’s striving to become one — self-care often feels, well, selfish. If you’re low on time or money it seems like an extravagant waste to blow off your obligations and binge watch your favorite show on Netflix from the comfort of your bed.

And it might be; you may have to alter your self-care plans to fit your schedule or budget.

However, it’s a verifiable fact that stress has a negative impact on your health and well-being. From headaches, insomnia, and overeating to more serious health implications such as high blood pressure, finding ways to manage your stress can actually lead to increased productivity and improved health.

Self-care isn’t necessarily splurging on feel-good luxury time — it’s prioritizing your own needs above other obligations on occasion and sometimes involves tasks that aren’t at the top of your “want to do” list. Self-care encompasses a broad range of choices based not only on your personal desires, but also what you need in order to optimize your health and wellness.

Improve your health with self-care.
Whether you’re actually exercising or just enjoying the view, focusing on your health is important.

If you’re looking to reduce stress and create opportunities to experience more gratitude, consider the following suggestions for adding elements of self-care to your daily schedule.

Take care of yourself: Seeing this at the top of the list should come as no surprise; we all know we need to eat better, exercise more, and pick up beneficial hobbies.

But a lot of us have a penchant to the more enjoyable forms of self-care, such as eating a gallon of ice cream while watching a rom com.

The good news is that you don’t have to become an amateur bodybuilder and nutritionist (unless that’s your thing). Exercise can involve a walk on the beach, a hike through the woods, or a cool new hobby like kayaking or snowboarding. Meditation can be a simple ten minute commitment to following a guided meditation via an app or YouTube video before bedtime or as you start your day. The key to endurance is to find healthy options that you can actually enjoy.

Exercise is self-care
Exercise doesn’t mean being confined to a gym. Find outdoor activities to enjoy.

Spend time with friends and family: It’s not always easy, but spending time with others helps form meaningful connections, and that’s good for us. This doesn’t mean to accept every invitation that comes your way; quite the opposite, in fact.

Figure out whose company enhances your life, make plans with them, and make a point of expressing your appreciation of their place in your life.

And yes, your dog counts. Of course he does.

Spend time with friends
Make an effort to spend more meaningful time with your loved ones.

Enjoy the little things: A little bit of indulgence never hurt anybody. Obviously, don’t blow your budget, but treat yourself to simple luxuries that are within your means. An at-home face mask, a bath bomb, a good book, or improving your immediate environment with aromatherapy.

Even something as simple as lighting a candle or spraying a few drops of diffused lavender on your sheets before bedtime can feel like a treat.

Treat yourself to the little things.
Life’s little, inexpensive luxuries serve as self-care.

Do what you want (within reason): Okay, here’s the one you’ve been waiting for — the justification for ignoring the world for a weekend and staying in bed with a good comedy line-up to watch.

Find ways to enjoy yourself.
Sometimes self-care involves doing the simple things you enjoy.

Sometimes we’re so busy being the perfect professional, family member, friend, volunteer, and fulfilling our other various roles, that we lose who we actually are. Sometimes canceling plans is a good thing; sometimes saying no is the right answer. Don’t feel guilt if you need to refocus your time, money, or attention on yourself. You’re important. And you already made that date with your dog.

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