Do you have a hard time taking care of yourself? Is self care a totally foreign concept for you? I know that I struggle with figuring out the best self care ideas to implement that won’t cost too much money or time.
Yes, I’m almost the big 4-0. It’s hard for me to believe it, but I just turned 39. I’m not sure how I feel about the whole thing, however, I’ll take the advice of a friend who said – getting older each year is better than the alternative…
Last year on my 38th birthday I wrote a post listing the 38 things I’m grateful for on my 38th birthday. My 38th year has knocked me out a bit. I caught a few nasty bugs and am still dealing with the whole cancer thing. Because of all of this, I’ve decided that the 39th year will be the year of “self-care”.
To mark this special occasion, I’ve come up with a list of 39 self care ideas to implement for my 39th birthday. Some of these self care ideas may not be practical for you, but think about the meaning behind them and try to develop your own list of self care ideas to turn to when you’re feeling a bit under the weather or in need of some inspiration.
39 Self Care Ideas
- Focus on positive self talk. I can occasionally be a negative Nelly and by increasing the positive self talk over the negative, I’ll be taking better care of my own confidence and self esteem.
- Be forgiving towards myself. This goes with positive self talk. I’m not perfect, none of us are and I have to forgive myself for my imperfections and failures.
- When I’m in the mood for something yummy but super unhealthy – try to make a healthier choice. I’ll be happier in the long run (unless it’s a chocolate cupcake from Prairie Girl Bakery – then I’ll just eat the cupcake)
- Call my husband. E always knows how to talk me out of a grumpy mood or when it’s time to just let me be grumpy and mopey.
- Stop by my parents’ house. There’s something about going back to my childhood home and having a quick talk with my parents. Unless my mom is nudging me about something, going to my parents’ home always brightens my mood.
- Instead of reaching for coffee or diet coke, have some cold water instead. It’s an overall healthier choice.
- Hire out where I can. I recently arranged for a cleaning lady to come each week for half a day. It’s a luxury, but sure makes me feel better about the cleanliness of my house and this helps with my mood as well.
- Look back at beautiful family photos or places we’ve visited. That always makes me smile.
- Get outside! Sitting in front of a computer for too long isn’t healthy for anyone! Hopefully with spring here getting out for a good walk will get that much easier.
- Talk to my son. R is 6 and is totally hilarious. He knows more about ninjas and Star Wars than I ever could. Just listening to him talk, sing and laugh instantly brightens my mood.
- Work from home if I need to. I’m very lucky to have a flexible job that allows me to work from home if I need to. Sometimes I find the drive up to work just too long and tedious. On those days, the best self care idea I can utilize is taking a break from the commute and working from home.
- Take my medicine and vitamins. This sounds silly but is so important. I was recently stuck on a major round of antibiotics and there were days where I totally forgot to take them. There’s a reason I’m on the medication and I have to remember to take it. Same goes for my vitamins. I don’t take many, but my body needs them and it has to become a proper routine for me.
- Sleep! I’m sure all parents can relate to this one. Sleep is so vital for our mood, energy and day to day well being. If I’m tired, I’m just going to head to bed. I’m not going to worry about if it’s too early or if I should do something else. I have to focus on listening to my own body.
- Make a donation. Sometimes we can get so self absorbed and not notice what is going on around us. By making a donation, of either time or money, I’m getting out of my own head and working to help others. It’s a win-win for everyone.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Usually, I sweat the small stuff. I stress out about everything and everyone. Letting this negative habit go will be a huge step towards achieving more balance and positivity in my life.
- Help someone else. By helping someone else you both helping that person and yourself as well. A small gesture goes a long way – open the door for someone, hold the elevator or help someone if they’re struggling.
- Hugs. Who doesn’t love a good hug?
- Phone or text a friend. Sometimes you just need to speak to an old friend. Life gets busy and we should never forget our friends and how much they can lift our spirits.
- Watch a funny movie or tv show. So simple, yet so therapeutic. A good belly laugh that makes you cry is a simple, inexpensive and easy self care idea.
- Go to the spa! If you’re lucky enough to have the resources to go to the spa then you totally should. For me, this is the ultimate in self care. I’m going to try and go for a simple massage at least a couple of times this year.
- Listen to inspiring podcasts. I’m always looking for positive vibes and inspiration and find that on my long commute, listening to podcasts can help keep me inspired.
- Music. My husband would say that I’m not really a music lover. I tend to disagree – we just have different music tastes! I love listening to upbeat music and singing along either at work (when my door is closed) or in the car.
- Turn off all of the email and social media noise. This is a biggie for me and one of the most important self care ideas on my list. I need to stop worrying about what’s happening on social media and my inbox. It will all still be there after I take a short break.
- No more comparisons. I struggle with this one all the time. In the blogging world, I’m always comparing myself to other bloggers at a similar stage. In my personal life I make these comparisons as well. This isn’t helpful and I need to keep that in mind.
- Flowers. Buy myself some beautiful tulips or sunflowers – both bring a smile to my face and aren’t too expensive.
- Learn something new. In my opinion you can never stop learning. I love reading an interesting article or watching a webinar on something I know nothing about. Plus, all of this random info comes in handy watching Jeopardy with E.
- Plan a vacation. If we’re in the midst of planning a holiday, I’ll stop what I’m doing and look for hotel or activity ideas to brighten my mood. If we haven’t decided where to go, then I’ll do some “research” on cool possible destinations and locations.
- Let it sit. Sometimes I’m too hard on myself and I try to do too much at once. In these situations, I have to remember it’s ok to let things sit. The laundry doesn’t all have to be folded right away and if the plate sits in the sink for an extra hour or two nothing is going to happen.
- Take a compliment. I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult to accept a compliment without apologizing or stating that I’m not worthy of the complement. I am worthy of these kind words and I need to remember that. There’s no need to apologize.
- Express my feelings. I sometimes hold in my feelings about a particular situation and then it just sits and festers in my mind. A way to show myself some love is to be honest and just state how I feel. If I’m upset, let the person know. By not ruminating on these feelings, I’ll be reducing my stress and taking care of my mental health.
- Order in dinner or arrange for a delivery service. Sometimes I can get totally overwhelmed by meal planning and it adds such stress to my day trying to figure out what we’re going to have for dinner. I’m not sure why this stresses me out so much but it does. If I know I’m going to have a stressful week then I’ll order a vegan delivery service to bring a couple of meals to us. We eat healthy food, I don’t have to worry about what we’re eating and it gives me meal ideas for the future as well.
- Meditate. I don’t currently meditate but it’s something I’d like to get into a bit more. Just to center myself, take deep breaths and listen to my body can go a long way.
- Exercise. Yoga, spinning, running – I love all of them but have such a hard time finding spare moments to fit exercise into my daily life. I’ve been working on it and have set some healthy goals and hope to keep up the progress I’m making.
- Keep on blogging! I find writing and blogging very therapeutic. I really like reading other blogs, exploring new topics, recipes etc. While it can sometimes feel like a lot to balance, I enjoy it so I can consider blogging, tweeting, pinning and facebooking to be great self care ideas 😉
- Make a cup of tea.
- Make a list of 5 things I’m grateful for.
- Read inspiring quotes. Do a quick search on Pinterest and find some amazing quotes to make me smile.
- Colour! In my post on dealing with hypothyroidism I mention my love for colouring books. I enjoy just zoning out and colouring away. I have even more fun when R joins me.
- Remember that there are only some things I can control. When I was a kid and found myself stressed, mom would paraphrase the serenity prayer to me – there are some things I can change and there are some things I cannot. I need the strength to know the difference.
What are your favourite self care ideas? I’d love to read about them in the comments.
If you think you know someone who could use some helpful self care ideas please share this post with them!
I will be sharing this post at some fantastic link ups and link parties.