Some may see practicing self-love as a luxury they can’t afford, but I say it’s the only way to fall in love with taking care of yourself while being the best version you can be.
Life gets so hectic that you forget to just stop and breathe.
You don’t have time to cultivate a much-needed mind-body-soul connection, but it’s time to put your needs first, love yourself, and promote your own well-being for a change.
You’re a human being, not a machine. By always taking care of others and being at their beck and call, you’re neglecting your deeply needed me-time!
When’s the last time you did something for yourself? If you can’t remember, it’s been way too long!
By learning to be your own best friend, you’ll be better equipped to take care of the people who depend on you, like your kiddos.
People generally leave their big proclamations and decisions for the new year, but if you keep postponing your own journey to happiness, eventually you’ll burn out.
For the sake of yourself and your favorite people, it’s time to go on a path of deep healing. Create a positive mindset that will help you understand that your needs are just as important as anyone else’s.
Why? Because nurturing your mind, body, and soul isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity.
13 Ways To Start Making Self-Care A Priority
1. Set aside quality me-time each day
Having a family, a busy work life, or finishing your degree means you seldom leave time just for your own needs. But if you keep looking at it that way – it’s never going to be the right time to put yourself first.
Here’s the trick. No matter what you have on your plate today, decide that between 1-2 PM it’s strictly me-time!
Leave whatever you’re doing, and take a break. Go for a walk, text your best friend, or scroll through social media to see what Zara has new in store!
Shake off all the stress of the day and put a smile on your face. There will always be things more important than putting yourself first.
But if you choose to put an end to that, this could become a nice routine that will allow you to breathe, relax, relieve yourself of any anxiety, and just do whatever you please.
The world won’t crumble if you take an hour to yourself. Your family won’t fall apart if you take a short break to recharge.
The sooner you realize that you cannot function by always being on beast-mode for everyone but yourself, the sooner you’ll find inner peace and joy.
2. Practice positive affirmations
Recent studies show that doing this on a regular basis helps boost your mental health, your well-being, and it successfully combats accumulated stress.
Practicing positive affirmations shifts your focus from your negative dispositions toward a more positive outlook. In any dark, there’s some bright light, you just have to really want to find it.
Nip your negative thoughts in the bud with these positively inspiring daily affirmations:
“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams, and you will always look lovely.” – Roald Dahl
“Am I good enough? Yes, I am.” – Michelle Obama
“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.” – J.K. Rowling
“Your life is already a miracle of chance waiting for you to shape its destiny.” – Tony Morrison
“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell
“The only courage you ever need is the courage to fulfill the dreams of your own life.” – Oprah
“Your crown has been bought and paid for. Put it on your head and wear it.” – Maya Angelou
When life knocks you down or when you’re harsh on yourself, remind yourself of these. Write them down and they can serve as a list of things that will push you through each day of the week.
That way, you won’t allow yourself to be negative or deprive yourself of self-love. These are your reminders that you matter.
3. Travel as much as your situation allows you to
You spend a lot of time around the house, taking care of everyday chores, and fulfilling everyone’s needs. This leaves you with little to no time for some much-needed travel, even if to a place nearby.
The whole idea of going away (even for a day or two) is to recharge, recuperate, and focus on your mental health.
I understand that scheduling a trip at this moment may seem a bit out of reach, but is it really?
I’m suggesting you consider taking the next weekend off, taking your best friend, and spending quality time reconnecting and pampering yourselves.
Your children will survive two days with their dad (there’s always grandma service) and your work doesn’t matter on weekends!
Stop making excuses as to why you shouldn’t, and start telling yourself all the reasons why you should!
This will boost your morale, shift all of your negative focus, and create an abundance of positive memories that will contribute to your overall well-being and happiness.
4. Fix your irregular sleep schedule
I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but the amount of sleep you get each night predetermines how you’ll cope with your busy day.
Sleep affects you both physically and emotionally. And the stress you go through during your day, as well as constant demands on your time, affect your sleep schedule.
Do you see the never-ending circle? To ensure a good night’s sleep, create a routine, and try to stick to it every night.
This means not forgetting your night-time skincare routine, laying off sugar and caffeine right before you go to bed, and practicing positive thoughts, instead of harboring negative ones.
If work is causing you some unnecessary stress, find a way to rid yourself of it as the day comes to a close.
Deal with it during the daytime, so that you know when night comes, it’s time to go through your routine that will help you focus and find some serenity.
Nights should be your sacred time, when you create a zen atmosphere and get rid of all the negative distractions of the day.
5. Try to implement daily exercise into your life
We all know how much exercise can do for our bodies. But did you know it affects you remarkably in other ways too?
Exercise boosts your immune system, alleviates stress, anxiety, and worries, and improves your mood significantly, all while making you healthier each day!
Not only will it help you shed some weight (if that’s your goal, of course) but it will significantly improve the quality of your life.
Exercise doesn’t always have to include the gym, as we all know how pricey memberships can be. Instead, go for walks, run with your friends, or take up a hobby that allows you to be active!
You won’t believe how stress-free your life will soon become, and how much easier dealing with everyone’s business will become.
Exercise will bring you nothing but good, positive vibes, and a welcome change to your lifestyle you didn’t know you needed (until now).
6. Start eating healthy
I have always struggled with my diet. I’m not necessarily overweight, but I’m far from my ideal weight.
I used to have a really healthy body that I didn’t appreciate. I always used to believe that I was way too fat, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Now that I’ve gained more weight than I’d like to admit, I’ve finally made myself eat right.
Some changes needed to be made, and if I wanted to be happy on the inside, it definitely had to be done.
It was difficult in the beginning, but now, after a few weeks of eating healthy, I’ve noticed some amazing changes, and I’ve also lost some of those pesky pounds.
There are some really delicious, yet nutritious foods out there that will ensure you eat healthily, that actually taste great.
You just have to make an effort to take that first step toward wanting to make a change. And soon as you do, you will fall in love with taking care of yourself.
Once you go healthy, there’s no going back!
7. There’s nothing wrong with saying ‘no’
It’s really difficult for people to learn to simply say no when they’re being asked to do something they don’t want to do.
But in order to put yourself first, it’s crucial to get rid of energy vampires and refuse to do something when you’re overworked, stressed, and not in the mood.
Always saying yes can lead to a burnout that will deteriorate your progress on your self-care journey.
It’s going to take some getting used to, but once you get the hang of politely declining being taken advantage of, you’ll start feeling more empowered.
You’re not obliged to be at anyone’s beck and call. You have every right to do things that contribute to your well-being.
If you’re being asked to go against your inner voice, feel free to say no. Your gut will tell you when someone crosses a line. You know what to do when that happens.
8. Enjoy nature
Getting some fresh air and being one with mother nature really makes all the difference!
Spending some time outside (even 15 minutes) reduces your stress levels and helps you be more mindful of your surroundings.
And when you combine some nature time with some physical activity, you know it’s going to feel SO good.
Take a hike through the woods, go for a jog all by yourself, put some music on, and motivate yourself to go for as long as you can.
Breathe in that fresh air as much as your daily schedule allows you to, as I know you’re probably restricted to four walls most of the day.
Any chance you get to go outside – take it. It’s a natural energy booster you should never take for granted.
9. Get a pet!
Having a pet can improve your life no end. I’ve had my dog for exactly three years, and my life has been saved in more ways than one.
Before I adopted her (my dog’s name is Tia) I couldn’t really handle stress that well. Things were bad for a long time, and there was always something going wrong in my life. (True story.)
But once she entered my life, it’s like everything got a whole new purpose. I had no idea how much this gentle, mindful, smart, loving being could help me be okay again.
Dogs are known to help their humans cope with stress, as they can sense when you’re down, and they’ll immediately initiate cuddling.
They are your best friend, and you are their entire world. The love you get from a dog is something you can’t understand until you get one.
Playing with your dog, taking it for walks, and simply cuddling will work wonders for your mind, body, and soul. I promise!
10. Let yourself be appreciated and loved for everything that you do
When you spend a lot of time taking care of others, it becomes a sort of norm. This makes you very bad at accepting compliments, as you feel it’s your duty somehow.
But it’s not. This is your own free will and your kind heart at work. You are selfless, humble, appreciative, and full of compassion. Let yourself be loved for that!
Let your spouse express their love without feeling like you don’t deserve it. Let your best friend tell you why she loves you so much. You deserve it!
Let your children love you in their own special, goofy ways. You are a rockstar in their eyes!
Don’t shut people down when they’re pouring compliments your way. Embrace them, accept them, and appreciate them.
You are well worth every kind word that you hear. It’s not easy being everyone’s go-to person. So, when your efforts and time are appreciated – give yourself a pat on the back.
When you learn to appreciate yourself for all the amazing things that you do, it’ll rub off on others too. Take care of your mind, and you’ll learn never to neglect it again.
11. Allow yourself to go out and let loose at least once a month
No, it’s not a selfish notion to think about going to a club, dancing until your feet hurt, and regretting it all in the morning (but not really).
No, it doesn’t mean you’re neglecting your spouse or your children. It’s taking some much-needed time to explore your individuality and just be happy in the moment.
People who understand that life doesn’t stop the moment they settle down, have a family, and become responsible adults, lead the best lives.
Remember, you are the creator of your own happiness. You shape it with your thoughts and actions. You can choose to do something for yourself or you can choose to keep postponing your joy.
Live a little! Get out of your routine, and dance your booty off! It’s going to improve your mood and ability to deal with whatever tomorrow brings exponentially.
Stop harboring negative, worrisome thoughts. You have tomorrow to handle whatever needs handling.
Today, put on your best outfit, love yourself to the max, and simply decide to laugh the whole night through.
12. Take up a hobby that fulfills you
Have you ever wanted to take up dancing? Maybe you’ve always secretly wanted to learn how to tango and surprise your partner! Well, why not?
If not now, when? When you’re old and gray? Seize every chance you get to show yourself some love. Do what sets your soul on fire.
If it’s tango, so be it! But there are so many possibilities out there. You can take up piano lessons, learn how to box (hell yeah!), or go rock-climbing. What’s to stop you?
You are the only one in your way. Dare to do what you believed you couldn’t, push your own limits, and challenge yourself to do the things that scare you.
Only then will you see what you’re truly made of. And my gut tells you you’re going to be rather impressed!
Doing something that makes you happy (that you don’t have to share with anyone) will help you fall in love with taking care of yourself.
The sooner you do it, the sooner your life will take a whole new turn for the better.
13. Consider volunteering
Volunteering is an amazing, selfless way to give back that will indubitably affect how you see yourself and the world around you greatly.
Giving back is soul-nurturing, and let’s be honest – if everyone decided to do this at least once or twice a month, think how much of a difference it would make!
You certainly cannot change the world, but you can change the mark you leave on it.
Volunteering will humble you, sadden you, completely shift your priorities, and make you see how short, fragile, and unfair life can be.
In turn, you just might start taking better care of yourself, after seeing so many whose lives took a quick turn for the worse.
Allow yourself this humbling experience and your soul will be grateful. I’ve been volunteering for a while now at an animal shelter, and it’s been a profoundly beautiful experience.
It takes so little to make someone’s life better. The same goes for treating your own precious self.
Give yourself the same love you give others because you never really know what life has in store for tomorrow.
And practice it every day. Choose self-care, and being there for others will become a breeze. Fall in love with taking care of yourself, and you’ll never settle for less again.
Being mindful of yourself and your needs is the way to become the best version of yourself, and attract positivity and good vibes in the process.
If you want to be a good partner, you need to love yourself first. If you want to be a good parent, you need to take care of your mind and body first.
Can you see the pattern now? It all starts with your relationship with yourself.
Once you realize that you are your longest commitment (therefore your number one priority), being kind to yourself will become the norm.
Preserving your mental, emotional, and physical well-being is the key to your mind-body-soul connection. Nurture them wisely and your productivity rates will be off the charts.
Prioritize your well-being over any tasks, pleas, and nuisances that aren’t your worry. Your mental health journey is important and you have the power to see it through.