22 Ways to Practice Self-Care

“It’s common to reject or punish yourself when you’ve been rejected by others. When you experience disappointment from the way your family or others treat you, that’s the time to take special care of yourself. What are you doing to nurture yourself? What are you doing to protect yourself? Find a healthy way to express your pain,” wrote Christina Enevoldsen.

Truly, it is in the times when we need self-care the most that it fails to come to us naturally. Are you treating yourself with the love and respect you deserve, or are you letting life beat you down into a person you don’t even recognize?

Every human being ought to know themselves, cherish themselves, and treat themselves with the same care with which they would a treasured loved one.

Here’s some inspiration to get you started:

1. Say “thank you” when somebody gives you a compliment, instead of arguing that it is undeserved.
2. Start your day with a morning stretching routine.

3. Commit to one small healthy change each week – for example, eat a vegetable with each meal, drink an extra glass of water, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Soon these small choices will become habits.
4. Take a walk – or run – in the most beautiful natural area you can find.

5. Dance to your favorite song. If you’re feeling spirited, do this one naked!
6. De-stress with breathing exercises.

7. Start a gratitude journal. Once a day, write down ten things – large or small – for which you are thankful.
8. Chat with a stranger you might normally try to avoid.

9. Treat yourself in an area where you normally exhibit self control – such as eating, shopping, or laziness. A small indulgence every now and then can be refreshing!
10. Declutter a room, closet, or entryway that has been bothering you. Clear your space, clear your mind.

11. Become intentional with your self-talk. Listen to what you say to yourself. Would you speak this way to somebody you love? If not, change it!
12. Schedule a ten minute “playtime” to break up a tedious workday. Use it to do whatever you want.

13. Do something kind for a stranger. Let them merge into traffic, help carry shopping bags, or simply smile.
14. Create a fun weekly tradition to connect with your friends – on Wednesdays, we wear pink!

15. Go out of your way to drive by something scenic on your way to work.
16. Unfollow people on social media that you do not know well or care for. Unfriend them entirely if you’re feeling bold.

17. Find some positive affirmations that speak to you. Practice them each morning. As Tia Walker wrote, “Affirmations are our mental vitamins, providing the supplementary positive thoughts we need to balance the barrage of negative events and thoughts we experience daily.”
18. Lie on a blanket outside and watch the world go by.

19. Commit to a digital detox for one afternoon. Here’s how to do it.
20. If you usually make decisions with your head, make one solely from the heart – or vice-versa. Give your normal decision maker a break. In a strange way, this may take some pressure off the whole process.

21. Make time for a short meditation each morning. A simple ten minute practice can make a huge difference.
22. Write down a list of genuinely nice things people have said to you. Read it when you’re feeling down. Use their most impactful words as inspiration, and pass them along to others.

“Today and onwards, I stand proud, for the bridges I’ve climbed, for the battles I’ve won, and for the examples I’ve set, but most importantly, for the person I have become. I like who I am now, finally, at peace with me,” proclaimed Heather James. Use the strategies above to find and maintain a sense of self-love and internal peace. You are absolutely worth it.

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