Self-care is for everyone

While we all like to spontaneously treat ourselves a little now and then (chocolate anyone?), it is the consistent and deliberate things we do for ourselves that truly keep us mentally, physically and emotionally healthy.

Self-care is vital at all ages and, because our needs and abilities may change over our lifetime, it is important to periodically consider: What is my self-care plan today? What am I doing now to take care of me? 

Below are some ideas to get you started. Try to find activities in all three areas that interest you and make them a part of your regular life. Involve friends or family members to make them even more fun. If you are having trouble getting started, pick just one and go from there.

Love your body so it can love you back.

  • Eat well: healthy foods and healthy portions
  • Sleep/rest: at least 7 hours a night
  • Regular maintenance: hygiene and medical care
  • Exercise: walking, running, swimming/water aerobics, gardening, yoga (even chair yoga) – check with your local YMCA for more ideas
  • Physical Touch: get your hugs – or give them!

Put aside stressful thinking and give your mind a chance to refresh itself.

  • Mindfulness/Meditation/Prayer: set aside time for quiet contemplation (as little as 10 minutes can help), or do it through a yoga class (physical, too!)
  • Digital detox: block off time where you put away all the screens (if you’re a “multi-screener,” start by reducing to just one screen at a time)
  • Journal/Draw: put the thoughts on paper and then let them go
  • Stimulate your brain: brain activities that build your mental confidence, such as puzzles, games, reading, crafts or learning something new

Build and protect your resilience against the ups and downs of daily life.

  • Establish boundaries: put limits on things that demand your attention and cause stress, including work, family and other activities
  • Safe space: find a quiet retreat where you can go just to be with you
  • Remember you are awesome: do something that you are good at that fills you with confidence
  • Express gratitude to others: write a quick note (or email) to someone who makes your life better or simply inspires you
  • Express gratitude to yourself: write yourself a thank you letter or create a gratitude jar and fill it (at least once a day) with things you appreciate about yourself
  • Find a community you enjoy: spend time with your family, alumnae chapter, book club or perhaps a prayer group (also mental) or exercise class (physical!)

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