7 Simple Self-Care IdeasMaya Porebska-Smith
June 1, 2022
As we slowly start to step out into the world after two years in a global pandemic, we need to be gentle with ourselves and take heed of some of the lessons we have learned during this time. Namely, that self care is important, not selfish. Moreover, taking time to meet our own mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs actually helps us be better to ourselves and others. At Botanica, we are big fans of self care and we wanted to share some of our favorite self-care ideas with you!
What is self-care?
Self-care is an active process that encompasses the rituals, practices, and mindset we use to cope with stress. Self-care takes many forms and looks different for everyone! Importantly, self-care helps us reflect as individuals on the things we need and the ways we want to be cared for. While most of us are well-versed at caring for others, we often forget to take care of ourselves. Self-care is one of the ways we get to love ourselves.
Taking care of yourself: dare to not compare
Opening up Instagram, it’s nearly impossible to not see some curated version of self-care. From extensive daily rituals, getaways, or full-on spa days, we are inundated with ways that people are engaging in self-care. While there is nothing wrong with these lavish expressions of self-care, the reality for many is that they don’t have enough time or resources to practice self-care the way other people on the internet are seemingly doing. In this sense, self-care can seem alienating to those who don’t feel able to participate in the same ways. However, it’s important to remember that self-care is about YOU giving something to yourself, and that can be whatever works for you! From free self-care activities to fancy ones, the intention is the same – making time to care for yourself and all the preciousness that you are.
We challenge you to not to compare the ways you take care of yourself with the ways others do. Instead, be curious about the ways you can care for yourself.
Self-care ideas for everyday life
Here are some of the self-care tips and activities we practice:
1. Take a moment to breathe
This may sound simple, but its so easy to forget. In moments where you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed, take a few minutes to close your eyes and slow down your breathing. Focus on your inhale and exhale, maybe even give yourself a hug. Hugging yourself gives you a sensory experience of comfort, safety, and self-compassion, giving you the space to calm yourself. Catching ourselves before we get too wound up helps us re-center. Once you’ve taken a few moments to breathe, thank yourself for taking this time to give your body the calm it deserves.
2. Serene space
Is there anywhere in your home you feel most calm? Regardless of the answer, creating a sanctuary for yourself can be a great way to practice self-care. Whether you have a whole room or a corner to yourself, bring in objects that bring you calm or are special to you.
We love to include candles, an essential oil diffuser, or plants but items like photos, art, or your favorite quotes are also great to include. Creating a physical space that you’re able to go to when you need a moment alone can be helpful in creating a self-care ritual.
For those with little ones, having a space that’s just for you can feel extra important. Showing your children that self-care is an important part of our ability to show up for ourselves and others models respectful and self-compassionate behavior to young ones. If your kids are feeling excited about self-care, try helping them create their own serene space so that they too can take time when its needed. For more on practicing self-care as a parent, see our blog.
One of our favorite ways to care for ourselves is by nourishing our bodies. Hydrating is an important part of caring for our bodies. Slowing down to make a delicious drink gives you a moment to pause and interrupt negative thought cycles. Regardless of which option you choose, taking time to hydrate is a way you can practice self-care from the inside out.
4. Offer Affirmation
Many of us could stand to be kinder to ourselves. Try incorporating an affirmation into your day. It helps to stand and look at yourself in the mirror or hold yourself in a hug as you give yourself words of love, compassion, and encouragement. Find the strength in this softness and keep reminding yourself how worthy you are. If you are looking for other ways to include affirmations into your life, try these guided journals, notebooks, and planners for additional inspiration.
5. Move it or Groove it
Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is MOVE! At times, we may not feel like talking about what’s weighing on us and moving our bodies allows us to move through those emotions. Remember that movement can be whatever makes you feel good. Maybe it’s a walk around the block, a solo living room dance party to your favorite song, a hot yoga class, stretching, or a weekend hike — find what fills you up. It can also be fun to try a new workout class or visit a park you’ve been wanting to see.
6. Feed your mind
In an increasingly digital world, opening and reading a physical book has become rarer. Create a daily self-care ritual for yourself by reading a book you’ve been meaning to read for a while. Even just a page a day helps you insert time for yourself and the things you want to do into your busy day. Check out your local library, bookstores, or ask friends to borrow a book. If you are feeling inspired to read more, Raven Reads has curated subscription boxes for both adults and children that features Indigenous literature.
7. Make a Self-Care Checklist
Make a list of things that you love to do for yourself so that when you’re feeling low, you’ve got a wealth of self-care ideas to support yourself. When we feel overwhelmed it can be hard to figure out exactly what we need, so creating our own lists of cherished self-care practices can be really helpful. We can always add or modify these lists as we learn more about the ways we love to care for ourselves!
These are some of our favorite self-care ideas. Let us know your favorites or the ways you like to practice self-care.
“Hugging Yourself Reduces Physical Pain.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers. Accessed May 25, 2022. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-science-willpower/201105/hugging-yourself-reduces-physical-pain.
Scott, S.J., Natasha of Unjunkiefied, and Charllotte. “275 Self-Care Ideas & Activities to Deal with Life (2022).” Develop Good Habits, March 1, 2022. https://www.developgoodhabits.com/self-care-ideas/.