Spring has sprung, which means shedding your winter layers, and hopefully, enjoying warmer temperatures. It is also an opportunity to pay more attention to your own well-being. With these top tips for self-care, you will feel energized, rejuvenated, and ready to start summer anew.
There are many approaches to self-care. On the surface, it can refer to taking care of your skin, appearance, or your fitness. Spa days, shopping trips, and indulging in comfort foods are usually what come to mind. But on a deeper level, it can mean changing your outlook to make every day feel more comfortable. However you define it, it is worthwhile to make time for self-care and find what works best for you.
Begin by taking care of your appearance, your physical and mental health, and your overall wellness. To start:
- Care for your skin: If the winter chill has left your skin dry and cracked, make this the time to nourish your body’s largest organ. For lasting relief, try a moisturizer with ceramides, lipids found naturally in the skin.
- Get moving: Cabin fever can run rampant this time of year. If the weather cooperates, immerse yourself in nature by going on a hike through the budding forest. Make an effort to take in the natural smells, sounds, and sights of the outdoors. Studies show that spending time in nature can provide a big mental health boost. If the weather is too wet, try indoor yoga or stretching.
- Indulge yourself: Treat yourself to a simple pleasure. Taking a hot Epsom salt bath, getting a massage, eating a healthy snack, or even putting on a favorite movie can put your mind at ease.
- Meditate: Being present can boost your mental wellness. To get started, sit comfortably and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth five times. Try to clear your mind and focus on breathing from your belly instead of your upper diaphragm. Learn more here.
Throughout your self-care journey, you may find your mind wandering back towards everyday stressors or upcoming tasks. Take a moment to re-center your thoughts should they get away from you. Focus on your current well-being.
After you start to feel more relaxed, make time to do something valuable: nothing. Allow yourself the opportunity to be bored. Make your next task one of rediscovery. Revisit a former hobby or catch up with old friends or family members.
Self-care can also be about creating a daily life that you do not have to “escape” from. Investing time in yourself can make each day feel like a special occasion. Give these ideas a try:
- Declutter: Sort through old clothes, documents, and other items you can live without and donate them. To make this a more dramatic, lasting change, purge your home of unnecessary items in a single weekend. A large, sudden change can have lasting effects and will leave you feeling brand new.
- Learn a new skill: Try a few new recipes, consider learning a new language, or sample some different hobbies. Give yourself time to stick to your new experiences. After all, many agree that it takes at least 21 days to form a new habit.
- Volunteer: Those who regularly spend time helping others are often happier themselves. Find a local cause that matters to you and commit to it.
- Tune up your finances: Use spring as a time to revisit your family’s budget. Keeping track of your spending habits or planning a financial comeback now can help you put your mind at ease when you lack the time or mental energy later.
- Re-plan your typical day: If a typical day is too hectic as it is, consider cutting out certain tasks. Although it may seem harsh, saying “no” more often can help free up time and cut stress from your life.
- Hack your schedule: To make work days less stressful, try “meal prepping.” Cooking and freezing meals in advance is an easy way to stay healthy when a long day has drained your energy to cook.
Give yourself time to take care of yourself this spring. To maximize results, consider taking a day or two off work to spend time on yourself. Your body and mind will thank you for it once you return to the ups and downs of everyday life.