In today’s post, I’m sharing 9 simple self-care ideas. Giving you practical, realistic and achievable ways to take better care of yourself. And help bring more balance to your life in the process.
Our misunderstanding of self-care
Self-care can often be a misunderstood term that can lead to a lot of confusion about what it really is.
In short, self-care isn’t just bubble baths and pedicures (although those definitely can be acts of self-care!).
Self-care includes anything we do to improve our well-being and take better care of our physical, mental and emotional health.
Sometimes this includes fun luxuries like bubble baths and pedicures. But it can also include things like flossing your teeth, going to therapy, drinking more water, getting an annual physical with your doctor, saying “no” to commitments you don’t have the capacity to take on, decluttering your house, getting more sleep and so much more.
True self-care is anything you do to take care of you!
And while you may not always have the resources (time, energy, money, etc.) for big acts of self-care. There are many small, simple and accessible things you can do to take better care of yourself every day. No matter what else is going on in your life.
Helping you add more balance to your life and create a life that feels good to you.
The elusive goal of balance
Finding balance in your days can sometimes feel like an elusive goal. But I don’t think finding balance in each day should be the goal at all.
Instead, I think it’s about zooming out and aiming to find balance in the big picture. Finding balance over the course of a week, a month, a season, etc. Rather than trying to feel balanced every day.
Some days you may do more of one thing and less of another, and the day itself may not feel balanced. But your life may still feel balanced in a bigger picture sense. Where you can zoom out to see that each of the different roles and aspects of your life are well taken care of overall.
Simple self-care ideas
In today’s post, you’ll find 9 simple self-care ideas for anyone who is seeking practical, simple and achievable ways to take better care of themselves and bring more balance to their lives.
The simple self-care ideas in today’s post are realistic and accessible things you can do to improve your well-being and add a little more joy to your day. Without feeling like you’re adding one more “to-do” to your already full plate. Or like they’re more things you should be doing.
Instead, use these self-care ideas to give you simple ways to better care for yourself. Even when your life already feels full. Or maybe especially when your life feels busy and full!
They are simple ways you can take ownership over your well-being and take better care of yourself. No matter what season of life you’re in or how busy life feels.
1. Take ownership of your life
The first step in finding ways self-care can help add more balance to your life is by recognizing you have ownership over your life.
Stop thinking of yourself as purely a victim of your current circumstances. Although some events and circumstances in your life will certainly be beyond your control, there are still things within your control to change.
First, start by paying attention to what is and what isn’t working for you in your life right now. Then start looking for solutions or changes you can make to address the things that aren’t working.
Use the ideas in this post as suggestions or jumping points off for simple acts of self-care that can help bring more balance to your life and create a life you thrive in!
2. Simplify – everything and anything you can!
For me, simplifying has been one of the best self-care practices I’ve done. Giving me more time, space and energy to focus on what matters most to me.
Think about what feels busy, cluttered, chaotic or overwhelming in your life. Then, start thinking about ways you could simplify – your home, your schedule and your life!
Aim to simplify what you can, get rid of the clutter and distractions and give yourself more time, space, energy and freedom for what matters most to you.
Simplify your home
Starting in your home, it’s important to remember that everything you own not only takes up some of your space but also takes up some of your time. You have to clean, clean around, look for, organize, take care of, reorganize, pick up, etc. every single item that finds its way into your home.
It may not seem like much time when you think of each individual item. But add up the time and energy EVERYTHING you own requires from you, and it can be a lot! Especially when you have more stuff in your home than you use, need or love.
If your home feels stressful and difficult to manage, start by removing the clutter – the things you don’t truly use, need or love – to start freeing up time and energy.
Less stuff in your home means less stuff to take care of and manage. Not only giving you more time and energy but also helping to reduce stress in your life.
Simplify your schedule
After simplifying your home (or starting the decluttering process), apply the same ideas to your schedule as well.
Look at what currently fills your time, and look for the clutter – the things that are taking your time and energy, but not adding enough value to your life in return.
Are there activities, commitments, obligations, etc. that you can let go of?
This will likely be a gradual process. But start being more mindful of where and how you’re committing your time. Then make sure how you use your time aligns with your priorities.
In addition, making the intentional choice to leave margin in your schedule is a great way to add balance to your life.
Not only does leaving margin in your schedule give you more opportunities for rest and downtime. It can also help you get in the habit of saying “no” to the things that don’t align with your priorities so you can say “yes” to the things that do.
Simplify your life
Eventually, you can start applying these same ideas to the rest of your life. Taking control of not only what fills your space and time, but the rest of your life as well. Including things like your thoughts, habits, patterns, behaviours, etc.
Focus on removing what feels draining or isn’t adding value to your life, and keeping the things that align with your values, fill you up and bring balance to your life.
For example, simplifying your home and schedule will free up time and space in your life. You might use that time and space to find ways to take better care of yourself. Maybe exercising in a way that feels good to you, practicing meditation, focusing on enjoying a balanced, nutritious diet, etc.
Or the extra time and space you free up might simply let you find more enjoyment and joy in your everyday life. You might find you feel more present, laugh more or simply feel happier when you remove the clutter and distractions weighing you down and adding stress to your life.
3. Establish simple routines and rhythms
Establishing simple routines and rhythms in your days may not seem like self-care at first. But rhythms and routines are a great way to support yourself, make your life simpler and reduce some of the mental load you’re carrying.
Look at the parts of your day that feel like pain points or feel like they’re not working. Can you simplify or streamline them with a new system, rhythm or routine?
For example, we all have to do laundry. If you’re constantly facing a mountain of laundry and always feel behind, could you find a better laundry rhythm to simplify getting the laundry done?
Maybe it’s doing one small load of laundry every day that’s quick and easy to wash, dry, fold and put away.
Or maybe it’s designating one day a week for laundry. Having a designated day means you’ll never have to worry about when you’ll get the laundry done because it’s part of your weekly routine.
Look for things you do on a regular basis that could be streamlined or simplified. Look for ways to make the task easier or less time-consuming.
Then, brainstorm ways you could start establishing regular routines or rhythms that would help your days feel like they run more smoothly. Rather than always feeling like you’re playing catch up or are one step behind.
4. Do something you enjoy
As you simplify your home and your life and establish rhythms and routines to make getting things done easier, you’ll continue to free up time and energy in your days. A great way to use that extra time and energy to bring more balance to your life is using it for something you enjoy.
Think about what lights you up, what you love doing and want to do more of. Then start making it happen!
Often, life feels unbalanced when one aspect of your life feels neglected. For many of us, the easiest areas to neglect are the hobbies or activities we do just because we enjoy doing them.
The reason many people stop doing the things they love is because there’s never enough time or energy. There are too many things on the to-do list and never enough time.
But by simplifying your home, your schedule and your life, you give yourself the opportunity to have more time for the things you enjoy. Which is a great way to create a more balanced life you love!
5. Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude is a simple act of self-care, but can have a profound impact on your life.
Practicing gratitude retrains your mind to start focusing on all the good filling your life. Shifting your mindset away from what you lack, what’s going wrong, etc. And giving you a more positive outlook and mindset.
And the best part is, practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult.
You can spend a few minutes each morning thinking of 5 things you’re grateful for. You can start and end your day by writing down 3 things you’re grateful for. It can even be as simple as noticing good things around you or taking the time to genuinely thank someone.
But the cool part is, the more often you get your brain to practice noticing the good and feeling gratitude, the easier and more natural it becomes. And over time, you develop a more positive, grateful and appreciative outlook and mindset in general!
6. Get more sleep
I once read a quote from Dr. Jenn Hardy that said, “It’s hard for joy to poke through a thick blanket of exhaustion” and it really struck a chord with me.
When you are constantly overtired and exhausted, it’s not only hard to show up for life at your best. But it’s also hard to enjoy what’s going on around you.
As an introvert and Highly Sensitive Person, the quiet alone time I get at night is precious to me. But I’m learning that sacrificing sleep to get that alone time isn’t the answer.
Getting more sleep not only makes feeling productive and focused the next day easier. But it also gives you the capacity to enjoy life rather than just make it through the day.
7. Get outside
Getting outside and spending time in nature is well worth the time, especially if your life feels busy.
Time spent outdoors helps reduce stress and calm the nervous system. As well as increasing energy levels, improving your mood and increasing your focus.
Remember to keep it simple and do what feels good to you. Even a quick walk around your neighbourhood or sitting outside for a few minutes can help you experience the benefits of being outside.
8. Practice mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness has been proven to have many benefits. It can help reduce stress, improve sleep, improve memory and focus, help reduce emotional reactivity and more.
Mindfulness is simply the act of being fully aware and present in the moment. Noticing everything around you and all sensations, thoughts, and feelings and accepting them without judgment or reaction.
Mindfulness meditation is a great way to explore mindfulness. But it’s important to remember that there are many ways to add mindfulness to your days even if meditation isn’t your thing.
For example, you can practice mindfulness while doing other activities, such as walking, eating, drinking coffee or even doing the dishes.
The key is bringing your awareness completely to the present moment and whatever task you are doing. Noticing the sounds, sights, smells, sensations, etc. and focusing all your awareness on the task you’re doing.
When life feels busy, full or chaotic, practicing mindfulness is a great way to ground yourself and bring yourself back to the present moment.
9. Build a self-care toolkit
Remember, self-care is simply the act of taking good care of yourself, physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s finding ways to nourish yourself, take care of yourself and help build a life that feels good to you.
Building a self-care toolkit is simply finding ways to take care of yourself that work for you. Use this list as a starting point, then add to it and customize it to make it work for you.
Your self-care toolkit can be a resource you turn to whenever you need healthy and helpful tools to take care of yourself. Use it to remind yourself of what you can do to take care of yourself and help create a balanced life.
Your toolkit can be especially helpful during times where life feels stressful, unbalanced or like you’re lacking in self-care. Instead of turning to less healthy or helpful habits or patterns of coping with stress, use the self-care ideas and tools in your self-care toolkit to find healthy ways to take care of yourself and bring balance back to your life.
Simple self-care ideas
I hope this list of simple self-care ideas gives you some achievable and accessible ways you can take care of yourself and create a life that feels good, even if your life is busy or full.
Remember, self-care care doesn’t need to be another thing on your to-do list. Instead, it can be simple actions you take to live in a way that nourishes and nurtures you.