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Simple Self-Care Tasks That Will Change Your Life

Simple Self-Care Tasks That Will Change Your Life
 

Instagram might have you thinking that the only way to practice self-care is to take a photo-shoot worthy bath (and post a picture of it, obvi). But uh, that's definitely not the case (though if you love a good bubble bath, do you). In terms of self-care, you've got to do one thing first: Nix the idea that there's a perfect or correct way to do it.

 

Selfcare Tips

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Here, we share self-care pointers for everything from snoozing more to spending time with the right people. Whether they suit you on the daily or you commit to them once a month, make it a priority to add them to your routine, to help yourself feel better, whenever.

“Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up,” says Vandana R. Sheth, R.D.N., a certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “We often wake up after a night’s sleep slightly dehydrated," which often means starting your day off feeling crappy.

DRINK WATER IN THE MORNING

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When is the last time you did this? Each week, choose something that will add to your life: A colorful legging to encourage proper yoga. A beautiful new journal to record your dreams. An extra hour of sleep, or exercise, or creative expression. If nothing else, give yourself a moment: We all need a moment of grace, forgiveness, or acceptance every now and then.

Gift Yourself

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Eating healthy, fresh foods sounds easy enough until, well, life happens. Peter LePort, M.D., medical director of MemorialCare Surgical Weight Loss Center at Orange Coast Medical Center, says this is where scheduling solid meals comes into play. “By pre-planning your meals you can often eliminate the impulse, ‘pressed for time’ purchases,” he says (think: candy bars at the register).

Healthy breakfast

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Bert Mandelbaum, M.D., a sports medicine specialist and orthopedic surgeon, says a little bit of adaptability goes a long way, especially when it comes to fitness. Burnout and injury happen, and a willingness to change up your workouts makes it feel less stifling—and maybe even more exciting.

 

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Yoga Class in Zurich

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“It’s important to take time to breathe,” says Alexandra Elle, author of Growing in Gratitude. “People believe self-care has to be expensive and lavish, but it doesn’t," she says, adding that it can look as simple as putting your phone (or any other device) away for five minutes to just sit with your own thoughts.

Selfcare routine

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It seems simple enough and, yet, 40 percent of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep a night, according to a 2013 Gallup poll. (Healthy adults should average seven to nine hours of shut-eye per night.) “During sleep, your brain rids itself of toxins, consolidates memory, and builds neural highways,” Williams says. Which, yes, means you can snooze your way through self-care.

Selfcare sleep

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“Write down the lies—the negative self-talk, self-doubt—and then combat that with what you know to be true, what you're capable of,” Elle says. “Putting that on paper helps to acknowledge the negative, while not letting it overtake the positives in your life.”

Selfcare Notebook

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Twist your arm, right? But, seriously, your ultra-cute bag might be wreaking havoc on your neck and back, says Neel Anand, M.D., a professor of orthopedic surgery and director of spine trauma at Cedars-Sinai Spine Center in Los Angeles, California. Opt for a smaller handbag or lighten the load in the one you have, making room for only the essentials.

Selfcare Sunday in Zurich

Take a moment to recognize any tough obstacles you’ve overcome, or lessons you’ve learned—and think about how far you’ve come. Then try to see yourself through the eyes of those who love you. They don’t see imperfections, failings, and mistakes. They see love, never-failing love. Try to see it too.

 
Detox

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“Since we often have our work lives following us everywhere through our phones these days, having strong boundaries around work emails, texts, and calls, or even just Facebook if that is very distracting for you, can really help create more downtime,” Wollerman says.

 

Still, it's easier said than done to just limit your screen time—luckily, your phone might actually be able to help you out (some let you set a daily limit). If that's not an option, set a specific time before bed and unwind with a book instead of scrolling through Instagram.

 

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