20 Ways to Practice Self-Care

Personal needs that are not met are an insidious drain that leak into all areas of our life.

I once put out a survey where I asked those responding what it looks like when they aren’t properly taking care of themselves - i.e. lack of sleep, minimal exercise/movement, self-care, etc.

Any of these sound familiar?

  • Back and legs issues

  • I feel sluggish, lazy and tired

  • Feel lethargic, don't eat as well

  • Ugh. I become a slug. I can't think right, I become depressed and then the wheels fall off everything.

  • My back hurts, my body aches, I can't move well

  • pain

  • I generally feel like shit across all areas of my life - health, energy, sleep, attitude, and mood, not to mention body image issues.

  • My back gets sooo sore! And I get cranky when I don't work out..

  • Irritation and low back pain

  • I am grumpy

  • My overall well being suffers

  • I have less patience and I am unhappy

While we are keenly aware of what happens when we don’t take care of ourselves - it’s also common to find that despite our glaring self-awareness - we still choose to put others and other areas ahead of our own self-care.

Sadly, the time we are most often willing to commit to finally plugging up this self-care drain is when we have no choice but to focus on it.

Adrenal health is one of the most underrated health topics -- particularly in this technology-driven culture that has developed around us.

While it may seem impossible to avoid screens, research shows a troubling trend that technology can trigger a prolonged stress response. This stress response, if repeatedly triggered for extended periods of time, can cause a cascade of biochemical and hormonal imbalances in both men and women. The adrenals lie at the center of this issue, as these tiny glands control cortisol release and help you manage stress.

The problem arises when we spend most of our days releasing cortisol - checking stressful emails, dealing with rude people, managing rowdy children, paying bills, etc. Before you know it, your entire day was spent in a cortisol-releasing stress response without you even realizing it.

With the long list of responsibilities we have in our lives, breaking away for self-care may seem impossible -- or even selfish. However, if you are not healthy, you can't effectively accomplish all of your responsibilities anyway. But you don't need to meditate on a hill for hours upon hours -- you just need to start somewhere.

Here is a list of 20 simple ways to practice some self-care and break the burnout cycle in its tracks:

  1. Make yourself a cup of tea and just breathe while it brews

  2. Get some fresh air - go outside and take a walk for 10 minutes

  3. Take a 2-minute downward dog

  4. Do 20 jumping jacks

  5. Drink a glass of water with some lemon

  6. Grab your favorite essential oil, roll it on your wrists and take a deep breath

  7. Call your best friend

  8. Take a nap

  9. Get a blowout

  10. Read a good book

  11. Make yourself a nourishing meal

  12. Make a playlist of songs you love

  13. Write a gratitude list

  14. Stop and take 10 deep breaths

  15. Take a digital detox for a day (or just an hour to start)

  16. Light your favorite candle

  17. Go take a yoga class

  18. Get outside on your bike

  19. Make a list of nourishing foods and do a grocery store visit

  20. Do a braindump to clear your head

Mary Sabo