Already have a go-to self-care practice? Or maybe you’re needing some inspiration? Here are some great ways to improve what you might already be doing.
First and foremost, go you for having a self-care practice – that alone is an accomplishment in our busy world. That being said, there is always room to switch things up and possibly even improve what we’re already doing.
Maybe you can make an even bigger impact on your happiness and wellbeing?
The self-care discipline
To me, self-care comes in three different forms: physical, emotional, and spiritual. A healthy mixture of these three types of care helps to create a sustainable and life-changing practice.
1. Physical self-care
This type of self-care is what comes to mind when you think of a self-care practice. Physical self-care can encompass eating well, working out, dry brushing, and more. Typically, physical self-care allows us to feel less-stressed and taken care of at the moment quickly.
2. Emotional self-care
My favorite form of caring for yourself. Emotional self-care doesn’t cost any money, and it’s available to you at all times. You have to tap into it. You have to make it a priority.
Emotional self-care can include: expressing your emotions, communicating your needs, and learning how to say No.
3. Spiritual self-care
Quite possibly the most rewarding and challenging practice of the three, spiritual self-care can connect you to your higher self. When practiced, you will start to get back in touch with who you are and what you want out of life.
This practice has the potential also to impact the quality of your emotional self-care. When you get more in touch with what you want (thanks to spiritual self-care), the more powerful your emotional self-care becomes.
7 ways to improve self-care
1. Listen to your body
Tuning in to see what your body really wants is a major routine upgrade.
For example, it can be easy to fall into workout habits that feel good for a period of time, but, over time, you end up hating them. Continuing to force yourself to do a workout that you hate isn’t going to do yourself any good. This mindset can apply to a number of things: the food you’re eating, your bedtime, what activities you choose to do, etc.
Listen to what your body is really wanting and find a happy and healthy solution.
2. Invest time in stretching
Why does stretching feel so good yet we never take time to do it?
Adding on a simple stretching exercise at the end of your workout, first thing in the morning, or before you go to bed, is a great way to upgrade your day.
Not sure where to start? Check out stretching apps like Start Stretching.
3. Try a new recipe or two
It’s so easy to fall into a cooking rut. Trying out new recipes is an easy way to upgrade your self-care routine. Personally, I love picking up a few new cookbooks to refresh my imagination when it comes to daily meals.
4. Work on batch-cooking
Eating healthy is no-doubt a solid physical self-care practice, but wouldn’t it be nice to make it easier on yourself?
Batch-cooking – preparing various components of your meals in a batch form – allows you to make more of the food you love at once. I like to use glass storage containers to store my food once it’s been prepared.
Here are some batch-cooking ideas: baked sweet potato rounds, quinoa with olive oil, sliced and washed veggies like carrots and cucumbers, roasted vegetables, a simple frittata.
5. Upgrade your skincare and beauty routine
Over the past few months, I’ve gotten really strict about the quality of products that I put on my skin. I like to stay as non-toxic as possible!
Swapping out some of your chemical-heavy beauty products for cleaner alternatives is a massive upgrade to your current self-care routine. Also, I really recommend checking out the app ThinkDirty to see what chemicals are lurking in your current products.
For personal care and beauty products, I love shopping at Follain. They’re very strict about the brands they allow in their stores and have an approval process for every product. Readers can save 15% on their purchase at Follain!
6. Customize your bath
Tired of your boring, old showers?
Taking a detox bath customized to your current needs is a powerful way to upgrade your ritual. There’s something so calming about thinking about what you need in that moment (relaxing, energizing, pain-relieving) and then crafting a bath designed specifically to support you.
7. Invest in dry brushing
If I’m being completely honest, I hated dry brushing at first. It made my skin crawl and I felt like it hurt more and more with every brush.
Over time, dry brushing became an integral part of my daily routine. With this practice, I’ve seen improvement in my skin’s texture (no more small red bumps!) and evenness. I’ve also noticed a reduction in stubborn puckering and an increase in tone. This ritual also carries a lot of detoxifying benefits!
7 Ways to improve emotional self-care
1. Make affirmations a part of your day
Do you know why affirmations are so powerful?
When we repeatedly tell our mind something that isn’t yet true, our mind begins to shift the current belief to align more with the affirmation we’re repeating.
Adding in affirmations to your emotional self-care practice can help you take the way you care for your emotions to the next level.
2. Expand your book collection
I’ve gained my greatest personal insight from reading self-help books. They help to shift perspectives and create more personal awareness.
When it comes to caring for our emotions and creating emotional self-care, there must be a certain level of awareness. The three below books can help you to not only create more awareness, but they’ll give you a glimpse into what’s needed to create lasting happiness.
3. Practice saying no
A large part of emotional self-care is learning how to say No.
…but have you ever practiced it?
Select a few sentences from below and practice saying them out loud to yourself in the mirror. Much like affirmations, the more comfortable you are with saying and hearing these lines, the easier they will become to implement.
Thanks for asking, but I can’t right now!
Sounds like fun! Maybe next time?
I’ve got too much on my plate right now to make that happen.
4. Trust your intuition
Learning to tap into your gut instinct is a massive upgrade to your current emotional self-care practice. When you learn to trust what your body is trying to tell you, you can navigate life with more ease.
5. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
I’m a big believer that change happens outside of our comfort zone. When we get comfortable with being uncomfortable, we stop resisting the life-shifting possibilities. We learn to lean into discomfort on an emotional level and understand that each moment we feel sad, anxious, or angry, we’re simply learning a lesson.
6. Find a breathing technique that works fo you
Tapping into your breath can empower you to slow down and uncover what’s going on within. When this happens, we can focus on responding not reacting to situations. Looking for breathing exercises? Start here.
7. Call on essential oils when needed
A note about essential oils: not all oils are created equally and it’s important to use a brand that’s third-party tested and approved. Learn more about the essential oil brand I trust.
Did you know that you can use essential oils to help build healthy boundaries? Yup! It’s true. Building boundaries with essential oils is a powerful practice because you have a chance to dive into the emotional component of each oil. Also, having a tool on hand to help reinforce your boundary-building process is always helpful.
7 ways to improve spiritual self-care
1. Incorporate healing crystals
Adding healing crystals to your spiritual self-care practice can help to evoke feelings of love and compassion towards yourself.
2. Try different types of meditation
Did you know there are all different types of meditation practices? None are better or more effective than the next, rather, what matters is what works for you.
Personally, I am a big fan of the guided meditation found through the app Headspace.
3. Use essential oils to heighten connection
Did you know that all essential oils contain an emotional component? Using specific essential oils can help you to create a stronger connection to your spirituality. Oils can be used for specific emotions or blended together to help support you in your own unique way.
Here are some common oils for a spiritual practice:
- Frankincense | the oil of truth
- Cedarwood | the oil of community
- Jasmine | the oil of sexual purity + balance
- Rose | the oil of divine love
4. Create a cleansing ritual
Using cleansing tools like palo santo and dried sage bundles can upgrade your spiritual self-care routine. Routinely cleansing your space will help to rid any negative energies. The uplifting energy helps to raise your vibration, and, in turn, re-connect you with your higher self.
5. Uncover what you ego is saying
Tuning into what your ego is saying is a hard but necessary step. When we are listening to our ego, we often find ourselves living from a place of lack and self-doubt.
That being said, listening to what your ego is trying to communicate is a great way to learn what blocks you might be holding on to. It’s a powerful way to address fear and uncover a new way of thinking, one that leans to your higher self.
6. Connect with a like-minded community
Whether you’re religious or not, we all have some intrinsic desire for a spiritual connection. Connecting with others who are on a similar path is a powerful way to give your current spiritual self-care practice new life.
Local yoga studios, community centers, meditation centers, synagogues, temples, and churches are all a great place to start looking for people to connect with. When we connect with others who are on a similar vibrational level, we can collectively raise our vibration as an individual and as a community.
7. Try something new
What better way to find yourself than to try something out of your usual routine. When we step outside of our comfort zone, we open ourselves up to new possibilities and new discoveries about ourselves.
We create the opportunity to have a spiritual awakening.
The power of me-time
Self-care is a personal practice that can change and evolve as your needs change and evolve. It’s important to remember that self-care isn’t selfish. In fact, it’s necessary to your happiness and overall wellbeing.
When you carve out time in your day just for you, whether it’s 2 minutes or two hours, you’re giving yourself a chance to address your needs. Addressing your needs allows you to fill up your own cup and create feelings of inner peace and happiness – something we can’t expect others to do for us.
At the end of the day, upgrading your self-care routine is a powerful way to care for yourself.