The 5 Most Basic Self-Care Strategies

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Self-care has been a buzzy topic for a few years. And if you’re to believe Instagram, it’s basically a full-time job involving yoga retreats, lots of bubble baths (guilty!), and days at the spa.

But that can feel overwhelming. Sometimes, when you’re feeling truly stressed or anxious, planning a complicated self-care ritual for yourself just isn’t going to work.

Fortunately, self-care can be so much simpler than all of that. Here are the 5 most basic self-care strategies for when you just can’t.

The 5 Most Basic Self-Care Strategies

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  1. Eat something.

    Feeling stressed or anxious? Your blood sugar might be low. Or you might be really hungry, but stress is keeping your body from sending your brain those signals. Have a quick snack, something easy and nutritious like an apple. I bet you’ll feel better within ten minutes.

  2. Get some sleep.

    Sleep is our body’s natural renewal process. But stress can seriously impact your sleep, which in turn makes you feel worse. If you’re feeling depleted or sluggish, try taking a 15-minute nap. Set a timer so that you don’t sleep too long and wake up groggy and disoriented.

    As far as nighttime sleep goes, create a before-bed ritual. Try putting on your pajamas and settling into bed earlier than you normally do. Put on a relaxing playlist or read an enjoyable book. Avoid watching TV or looking at your phone. These practices will signal to your body and brain that it’s time to sleep, and after awhile, it should be easier to drift off.

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3. Hydrate.

Did you know that hydration not only impacts you physically but also affects your mental clarity and ability to manage your moods? For such a powerhouse self-care tool, staying hydrated is easy and simple.

If you’re struggling to remember to drink water during the day, here are a few ideas:

Buy a reusable water bottle that you really love and that you won’t mind carrying around all day.

Set reminders on your phone every two hours to finish up your water bottle and refill it.

Download an app to track your water intake. I love My Water Balance because it’s so simple, and it shows water filling up your screen as you reach your daily goal.

4. Gentle movement.

When my anxiety levels are high, it’s hard to convince myself to do much more than watch Netflix covered with blankets on my couch. But I also know that fresh air and endorphins are two of the fastest ways for my mind to feel healthier.

Try going for a 20-minute walk or looking up “restorative yoga” on YouTube. It’s rare to regret a little exercise, and you couch will be there when you get back.

5. Bathe.

This can be an hour-long bubble bath with salts and candles and roses floating in the water. But it really doesn’t need to be for bathing to make you feel better.

Taking a five-minute shower will make you feel refreshed and may even clear your thoughts and wake you up a bit. Let the warm water flow over your neck and shoulders to work out tension. As you step out of the shower, notice if your body and mind feel any different that when you stepped in.

I hope that these 5 basic self-care strategies give you a place to start on days that feel overwhelming. If you have more ideas about simple self-care, leave them in the comments below!

WellnessEmmi ScottComment