What does self care mean to you? Is it getting on a plane and getting away from everything in sight? Is it going to a spa? Taking a walk? Is it sitting down with a warm cup of tea? Reading a book? Or watching your favorite movie with popcorn and candy?
Self care can be any of the above. In fact, there are over 100 ways to fit self care into even the busiest of schedules. However, some people fail to practice self care because they simply don’t think small enough. People often think of lavish hotels and fancy five-star vacations, which can definitely be options for self care, but they don’t think about the less expensive, or even free options, so unfortunately, they do nothing at all. This happens to be the quickest way to lead to burnout, which we all want to avoid at all costs. Believe me, it isn’t pretty. So, let’s review five free ways to practice self care.
#1 Sit in Silence
Have you ever sat in your car for a while before walking into your house? Were you mentally preparing yourself to for what was to come when you walked in the door? There is something so peaceful about that moment just after you have parked the car right before opening the door. Sitting in silence is a way to re-center yourself, to clear your mind, and to think freely. You can also sit in a comfortable place inside your house, at a park, a quiet place at work, or wherever you feel comfortable. You can think, write, or do nothing at all, intentionally.
Journaling is a great way to do a brain dump; take all of the thoughts in your head and put them onto paper (or an electronic device). You can get a pretty, fancy journal, a one subject notebook, or you can even use the notes application in your phone. If you don’t know what to write, here are a few ideas. One, write 5 things you are grateful for. Two, make a to-do list or a bucket list. Three, write about your day, your week, or your month. You can write about the past or you can plan for the future.
One exercise I like to do when I experience writer’s block is to set a timer and write for 5 minutes without lifting the pen from the paper. If I get stuck and don’t know what to write, I write “I don’t know what to write” repeatedly. This works! You will only write that sentence a few times before something else pops into your head. Writing, and journaling, allows you to be present and to focus on the moment.
#3 Get in touch with your creative side: Paint, Draw or Color
All of these creative ideas allow your mind to focus on what you are doing in the moment. While you are choosing what to draw or paint, what colors to use, and all the details about your work, you temporarily lose focus on anything else. It can be very therapeutic to channel your inner child and to be creative. In fact, some forms of therapy include painting or coloring because of their calming affects.
#4 Take a Walk
Whether you are walking in a park, down a city block, on a track, or on a trail, walking helps to clear your mind and also helps you to meet your exercise quota for the day. It’s a two in one! Walking has been known to help with weight control, reduce risks of heart disease, improve balance, and a host of other benefits. You can walk alone, with a spouse or a friend, or even in groups. When was the last time you went for a walk?
#5 Take a Bubble Bath
Most of us are busy so we rush to do most of our daily activities. We rush to get a shower. We rush to get dressed. We rush to go wherever we are going. Rush, rush, rush all day long. So, taking time out to enjoy a calming bubble bath can be a wonderful form of self care. It’s a good way to finally slow down and stop rushing. You can light a candle, play calming meditation music, and just sit back and relax. No rushing, just enjoying the moment.
I hope you have enjoyed these 5 FREE ways to practice self care and avoid burnout. There are so many more. In fact, in my upcoming book Self Care: A Better Version of Me, I share over 100 ways to practice self care. They range from free to expensive and everywhere in between. If you would like a free copy of my self care checklist, click here. If you liked this blog and want to read more like it, and you are not already on my VIP list, consider joining! Until next time, happy self-caring!