More than one person has confessed to me that they “don’t know how to self-care”.
I think that with all the attention self-care has recently received, we have forgotten the ordinary, but incredibly important, ways we self-care every single day. Don’t get me wrong, I love face masks and bubble baths as much as the next person, but there are so many little ways we can take care of ourselves that fall under the umbrella of self-care.
With today being #SelfCareSunday, I want to remind you of the small acts of self-care.
1. Drink Water.
I find I drink more water when it’s through a straw or when I’ve spent a lot of money on the water bottle (darn Swell bottle psychology). Also, I’ve used an app called “Plant Nanny” that helps you track your daily intake of water by watering a cute plant!
2. Eat what makes you feel great.
I won’t say how many meals/ or what because that looks different for each person, but try to figure out which foods energize you & makes your body feel great. I did a lot of experimenting when I was studying for the MCAT and I found things like fresh fruit/ veggies, nuts & dark chocolate made me feel great! I also try to track what I eat in my bullet journal along with how it makes me feel so I know what works/ what doesn’t.
It’s a great way to distress & take a break from studying! You can get as fancy or low-key as you’d like. I tend to neglect washing my hair when I’m stressed so I’ll take some extra time to do that! Oh, and singing in the shower always makes me smile. 🙂
Literally just get up and walk across your room or pop outside for some fresh air (it’s so nice out today!!). I usually study using the Pomodoro technique so it forces me to get up and move every 25 minutes.
Sleep was one of the first things I’d give up during exams. Finally, in my third year of undergrad, I realized that sacrificing my sleep caused me to panic & blank out. When I slept 7-8 hours, I felt calm & I could think more clearly. Like food, sleep preferences are individual, so try to find out what works best for you! There are tons of apps out there to help with this as well (I use the Apple “bedtime” function in the Clock app).
6. Take your medication & vitamins.
Self-care can be part of your daily routine (it probably already is!), so make sure you are keeping up with your medications & vitamins, especially during times of stress. Due to my diet/ living in Canada, I have found a lot of benefit in taking vitamin D & magnesium. It’s always best to check with a doctor if you are unsure.
7. Do your “chores”.
Self-care isn’t always fun (I actually find cleaning fun but that’s a separate point) – it’s doing whatever you need to take care of yourself, including cleaning your room or doing your laundry. I find I’m more productive when I’m in a clean space and fresh clothes.
8. Take self-indulgent breaks.
You’ll be more productive if you take occasional breaks vs. working for a constant 4 hours. Watch a show on Netflix, read a chapter of a book, call a friend, grab a treat, go for a walk – do whatever you need to take your mind of your work & when you feel refreshed, get right back into it!
There are tons of other little things I do that actually make me feel so great once I’ve accomplished them. The main point is that, self-care is easy to do and even easier to forget. There is no right or wrong way to self-care & it doesn’t have to be extravagant. I mean, I’d love for this to be an option…
… but I’ll settle for a chocolate chip cookie instead.