Stress can lead to anxiety, fatigue, and even depression. That is why it is super important to take care of your mind every day. As a fan of healthy options, as opposed to medications, I am sharing with you 5 amazing self care ideas to practice daily that are sure to help you to overcome any stress and/or anxiety you might be feeling.
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How To Be Consistent With Your Daily Habits
Hi girls, how are you today?
Over the past few months, I’ve been diving deep into finding consistency towards maintaining healthier habits to take care of myself throughout the difficult quarantine times.
My struggle with habits is staying consistent with them and not getting bored, or worse, lazy.
In reality, habits don’t have to necessarily be fun.
That’s not to say they should make you miserable, but your habits won’t always feel as exciting as a day in Disney World, that’s for sure.
Last year I read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, and it gave me a lot of perspective on how I can be more consistent with my habits while kicking bad ones into a rut.
Clear states, “Successful people feel the same lack of motivation as everyone else. The difference is that they still find a way to show up despite the feelings of boredom.”
This quote made me realize that boredom is okay and burnouts are normal.
You gotta keep pushing forward, girl.
And THAT is the key to success.
Do You Practice Self-Care Consistently?
Self-care is about meeting your personal needs, be it physical, spiritual, and/or mental. Taking time to cater to these needs is especially important during the workweek when all you want to do when you come home is watch TV.
Don’t be mistaken thinking that the people who practice self-care habits don’t want to watch TV or don’t want to sleep in every day as late as possible.
However, these people make the conscious decision and effort to cater towards their well-being.
Investing in yourself is crucial to managing stress, anxiety and having an overall more positive attitude towards life.
Sometimes it might be hard to find inspiration towards what activities to start, or even what are the best ones to practice habitually.
That’s why I put together this list of 5 easy self-care activities that you can practice daily at home or even at work.
But first, sign up below to get a free morning + evening self-care planner
I’m a firm believer that self-care shouldn’t feel like an escape from your life.
In fact, true self-care should be part of your lifestyle, and the easiest way to make that happen is by transforming them into your habits and routines.
I’ll admit that I haven’t 100% mastered these, but here are the self-care habits I’m working on right now.
5 Self Care Ideas to Practice Daily To Manage Stress
1.Going outside first thing in the morning
Getting sunshine in the morning can help balance your body’s internal clock and make it easier to fall asleep at night, according to SleepFoundation.org.
As I am a morning person, I find that my best time to work is after I wake up (as it is when I am most focused). This means that I go for a walk in the afternoon almost every day.
However, I’ve recently started walking in the morning times a few days a week, and almost always on the weekends.
I usually walk towards a park in front of my building, feed the ducks with some breadcrumbs, and come back home to start work with a fresh mind.
I honestly love the morning breeze and how silent Barcelona feels when everyone else is still asleep.
PS – Cris, my boyfriend, has difficulty waking up in the morning so I’ve recently bought him this light therapy lamp to help him with getting out of bed. If getting up in the morning something you struggle with, don’t hesitate to get this lamp for yourself.
2. Follow a work-start ritual
Another thing that I learned from Atomic Habits is that the easiest way to get into a habit is to make the first two minutes easy.
I used to try to start my workday by writing, but that often feels daunting as the first step in my routine and I try to wait to have coffee just before starting work (I am trying to reduce my caffeine intake).
So instead of journaling, what’s easy is making a cup of tea, lighting a candle, and putting on a calm playlist in the background.
The first two minutes of my ritual signal that it’s time to start writing. No matter how hard the writing actually is (it’s often not as hard as I make it out to be), the work-start ritual is easy and calming and helps set my mood for the rest of the activities.
3. Avoid caffeine after 10 am
Adding on to what I previously said regarding caffeine intake, did you know it can take 5-6 hours for half of the caffeine you consume to leave your system?
That means if you drink a cup of coffee at 4 pm, it’s probably still going to be in your system if you try to go to sleep at 10 pm. These days, I’ve been having a cup of Chai tea around 4 PM and chamomile tea around 7 PM (in summer I switch the evening tea for a healthy smoothie, though).
4. Keep work and self-care spaces separate
It’s been really tempting to work from the couch when I’m at home all day, but it wreaks havoc on my back and after having tendinitis from excess work in a bad position, I learned my lesson, girl.
Because of that, I’ve made sure I start my workday from my desk. If I want to move to the couch later in the day, that’s fine, but my new rule is that I can’t start the day from the couch.
5. Wind-down without screens an hour before bed
A habit I’ve implemented after reading the book The Power of When is creating a wind-down ritual at 10:30 pm. I aim to spend the last hour without screens, but it usually turns into the last 30 minutes before bed.
As a Kindle reader, at first, I struggled with the artificial light coming from my device when I wanted to read before bed. However, I recently found out you can turn down all the artificial light and read your kindle with a lamp by your side, just as with a book. Hooray for Kindle!
Another good way is to use audiobooks (have you ever tried Audible? I became an instant Audible fan and I recommend it to anyone who ever feels lazy with reading, but who would still want to intake more knowledge from books).
Cris, my boyfriend, claims he doesn’t like reading books, so I suggested he tried Audible once because he needed to read a book to improve his PR. Given that he could accelerate the talking speed in Audible, he managed to finish the book in less than a week. It’s truly amazing.
Author Michael Breus, from The Sleep Doctor, recommends spending the first 20 minutes of your wind-down routine getting ready for tomorrow, the next 20 minutes for hygiene habits like brushing your teeth, and the last 20 minutes for a calming habit like reading, stretching, or meditating.
In all honesty, this structure is something I often fail to do since I enjoy watching Clone Wars with Cris before going to sleep, but I like the breakdown of the wind-down hour so I thought I’d share it with you girls.
Being consistent is not always easy, but I encourage you to find comfort in your habits and try to stay consistent even when it feels tough. I am confident that these self-care ideas to practice daily will help you manage any type of stress and/or overwhelm you might be currently feeling.
As previously mentioned, the book Atomic Habits is an amazing resource to help you build healthier habits that take you forward in life. I strongly recommend reading it in case you have difficulty building and maintaining any type of habits in life.