Best Self Care Tips for the Body & Soul
“There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.” Brian Andreas
Self-care is about finding small joys — both in ourselves and in our connection to the world around us. The reasons why self-care is important (and why you might have heard the term being used in recent years) is because it improves the state of bodies and well-being.
But What is Self-Care and Why is it Important?
Acts of self-care are activities that we do in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical selves. It’s eating a diet that fuels us, allowing time to exercise and feel good, and spending time with people we love.
Self-care can often be seen as the obvious acts, like relaxing in a bubble bath after a long day. But it can also be seen in the less-than-obvious, like choosing to stay away from negative situations and patterns that are toxic or harmful to our spirit.
From the science behind deep breathing and meditation to the benefits of aromatherapy, let’s take a deeper look at ways you can start incorporating self-care into your daily routine.
Because self-care isn’t selfish — in fact, it’s just the opposite.
13 Tips for Self Care
1. Nourish Your Body
It’s no surprise that nourishing our bodies and eating a balanced diet is a primary component of taking care of ourselves. Food gives us the vitamins and energy we need to grow, function, and flourish. Fill yourself with fresh juices, good proteins, and a rainbow of fruits and veggies. Eating right will reduce your risk of disease and make your physical self feel good — as well as also making you feel mentally and emotionally stronger, too.
2. Meditate Daily
The benefits of meditation range from reducing stress, to enhancing self-awareness, to lengthening attention span. Meditation promotes overall emotional health and allows you a moment (or a few moments) to be entirely in-tune with yourself. A wise teacher once said that when you become ‘good’ at meditation, you’ll be able to do it with your eyes open in line at the grocery store. Meditating doesn’t have to be intimidating or done in any particular way. It’s all about having a moment of quietness with yourself and helping your brain feel happy.
3. Write in a Journal
When there’s something you need to get out — just write it off. You can write about it the old fashioned way by hand in a journal, or you can pick up your smartphone and jot down notes until your heart’s content. Writing allows you to convey your emotions and your feelings with no judgment. Whatever they are, whenever they are, just release them. Think of it as exercise for your mind.
4. Find Balance
Finding balance in life is a quintessential part of self-care. Loving your work is wonderful, but overworking yourself can lead to stress and anxiety. There must be the balance of both work and life. The same holds true for everything you do, even when eating. We all want to indulge in chocolate chips cookies or a slice of chocolate cake every so often— those are two of the best and simplest joys in life. But to find balance is the key to self-care (perhaps have your greens with dinner, then dive into the cake afterward). Find a balance between time with friends and family and being alone. Everyone is different, some of us need more and some of us need less, so working to find your own unique balance is key.
5. Move Slowly
How often in our day-to-day routines do we move swiftly from one thing to the next? We take a shower fast — we dry our hair fast — we get dressed fast and make breakfast fast. A key to self-care is taking the time to move slowly. Allow yourself an extra moment or two to slow down and reflect. Smell the scent of the rose oil shampoo, feel the cotton on your shirt as you get dressed, make your scrambled eggs with intention while focusing on the rhythm of whisking. By taking the time to slow down, each moment has a magical way of extending. And the best part is, you’ll be able to enjoy every one of them.
Drinking fluids help maintain the function of every system in your body — from your heart to your brain. Healthy adults should be drinking about 1 to 1.5 liters of water (30 to 50 ounces) gradually throughout the day. If you find yourself forgetting to hydrate, keep your water interesting. Infuse it with fresh herbs like basil, citruses like grapefruit or lemon, or even cucumber for extra hydration. By drinking enough water, your cells, tissues, and organs will be happy and hydrated!
7. Discover a New Hobby
As children, we’re always on the hunt for new hobbies. We find excitement in building, creating, and crafting. As adults, we often don’t take as much time to dive head first into new hobbies. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try a ballroom dancing class, hike a mountain just as the sun rises, or make your own pasta noodles. Whatever that slight inkling inside you is, go for it and have the courage to start something new. Hobbies lead to passions and we might as well try as many of them as we can.
8. Be Gentle With Your Thoughts
Be gentle with your thoughts about yourself. In the morning, instead of standing in front of the mirror and pinpointing your “weaknesses”— talk about your strengths. Tell yourself you are beautiful, strong, and filled with compassion. Experts of the mind say we can have anywhere between 60,000 - 80,000 thoughts per day. As you move through your morning, afternoon, and evening, remember to be gentle with your mind. If we can learn to control our thoughts, we can become better with our words and our actions towards ourselves and others, too.
9. It’s Okay to Say No
If you’re looking for a mantra to repeat, here’s an important one: self-care isn’t selfish. If you have a family member who doesn’t value your worth and isn’t appreciative of the person you are, it’s okay to say no. If you have a friend who doesn’t treat you the way you want to be treated, it’s okay to say no. Opting out of situations that don’t bring you to your highest and best self is okay. It’s more than okay! When it comes to taking care of yourself, protecting your heart and your soul isn’t selfish. It leaves more room for situations and relationships that make you a better, more complete, and whole person.
You have a body so you can move with it. And that doesn’t mean you have to run 7 minute miles every morning or join a gym! Exercise can be found in a brisk Saturday walk over coffee and talking with good friends. It can be “happy hour yoga” right here at Apotheque, where we serve a glass of wine alongside our stretching. It can be a light jog in the evening after work to catch the sunset. Having a daily workout routine is good for your muscles and your mind. It can increase energy levels and help with relaxation and anxiety relief. Integrating regular exercise into your self-care routine is an instant boost for your mental and physical well-being.
11. Breathe In — Breathe Out
Breathing gives us life — and heals us. As we breathe, we take in oxygen, which invigorates our red blood cells and expels carbon dioxide. As you breathe deeply, the diaphragm drops downward, the rib cage expands, and more space is created for the lungs to inflate. Deep breathing means increased oxygen flow into the body which helps the pace of your heart to slow down and offers feelings of tranquility. Breathing does everything from improving our cardiovascular system to helping the mind relax and feel focused. In a moment of anxiety or stress, close your eyes and breathe in deeply, breathe out slowly. It’s incredible how this one simple action will immediately induce calmness.
12. Get Enough Sleep
Self-care isn’t just about putting on a face mask and relaxing for 20 minutes before you go to sleep. It’s about creating a ritual around sleep that you can repeat every night. Turn off the television and place your phone in another room so it won’t be distracting. Wash your face with warm water or take a shower before getting into clean pajamas. Listen to soothing sound tones or read a couple chapters from a good book. Whatever you do, find a routine that works for you and helps you get enough rest. And if you still find that you’ve had a night of counting sheep, give yourself the gift of a nap the following day.
13. Try Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy utilizes natural oils for physical and psychological well-being to help reduce anxiety, improve depression, and boost energy levels. In aromatherapy, essential oils are extracted from parts of plants (leaves, stems, flowers, bark, and roots) and are then distilled into a concentrated form. To incorporate the therapeutic use of essential oils into your self-care routine, they can be put into a diffuser or massaged into the skin. From there, the molecules and aromatics of the oils mingle with the sensors in our nasal cavity, lungs, and pores, engaging our senses and eliciting emotional responses based on these smells.
Classes, Workshops, and Events to Promote Self Care
Our classes promote movement, energy, and strength. Try Happy Hour Yoga, an active and dynamic Vinyasa flow class that integrates a special glass of wine for a blissful and rejuvenating experience. Try Meditation, to balance your body and your mind and lead towards more conscious thought patterns and choices. Bend and move as you learn the techniques and healing powers of Pilates. Classes are guided with a seasonal focus and are shared on our calendar throughout the year.
Our workshops incorporate Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, aromatherapy, spirituality, energy healing, and nutrition and health. They are meant to inspire and engage mindful practices and promote wisdom, knowledge, and intention. Join us for workshops like Healing & Positive Vibrations, taught on the first Tuesday of every month. In this class, we focus on a self-care healer: sound vibrations that resonate deep within our cells and have the power to change negative thought patterns to positive ones.
In this ancient form of healing, you’ll tune into self-care through sound to:
Relax the mind and inspire creativity.
Awaken your body senses.
Allow a deeper sense of well being.
Fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
Help you fall into a meditative state more easily.
Release stress and help you break through emotional blockages.
Improve your mental focus.
At Apotheque, we also believe in the the power of self-care through social events. We invite you to celebrate your uniqueness and connect with your tribe through events, bridal parties, and our cozy wine lounge. Even though self-care is about the self, it’s equally about how we relate to the world around us.
What self-care really means is having the ability to tell when and why something is in your highest and best. It’s about enjoying a creamy cappuccino alone with a good book — followed by taking a long walk on the beach in the sunshine. It’s the balance of acting and speaking in a way that makes you feel good.
It’s the balance of life.
And at Apotheque, that’s an idea we love to share. As you move through your day, remember to take care of yourself. Protect your soul and your thoughts and know it’s okay to be a work-in-progress (we all are, after all).