How you take care of yourself is important. It’s also important that you work to find the right self-care activities for U! If you’re not quite sure where to start, you’re in the right place! First, read the Love Lists below for ideas to get you started. Second, check out the “You Can Rest” How to Love U Journal. It’s specifically designed to work with this post’s message to help you discover how to love U and create your own self-care plan!
38 Ways to Take Care of Yourself
If you’re like I was, you may think of journaling as sitting down with a notebook and writing down what happened that day. That’s definitely a way to journal but it’s not the only way: I journal at least 4 different ways!
1) I’ve been writing almost every night since I was 12 years old. I lie in bed and I get to enter this unique other world that I’ve created. It’s the most consistent method I’ve found to help me fall asleep.
2) I love making list (if you haven’t already noticed). I have been keeping a notebook where I include to-do lists, grocery lists, purchase lists, and other random lists or notes to myself for about 10 years. Although I use Evernote now (and Google Docs), I still keep a physical notebook. Something about quickly writing tasks down helps them to stick in my head. Writing ideas out helps me keep them more pure because it’s harder to self-edit with a pen.
3) A couple years ago, I bought my first Danielle Laporte planner. Although it’s a planner, her prompts work similar to a journal….a very simple journal!
4) Last summer, I read the book “Write it Down, Make it Happen.” Knowing that it came with writing assignments in each chapter, I ordered a gold and white, polkadot notebook.
Between that book and a great conversation (among many) with my friend Courtney, I realized that I’d been journaling for years! Not only that, I realized that I journaled A LOT! And although I still don’t write down what happened to me each day, I have learned that when I’m feeling stressed out, opening that cute, polkadot notebook and writing about what’s going through my head is extremely helpful. Check in with yourself as often as you need to:
- Get in touch with someone you trust
- Visit a therapist (in person or online)
- Find a support group
- Listen to your body
- Eat something
- Get a checkup
- Put your thoughts in a journal
- Get to know yourself
- Take a personal day
- Take a social media break
- Take your meds or vitamins
- Create or tweak a routine
In “Decide What’s Important”, I talked about my semi-spontaneous trip to San Diego last April (2016). This year, I wanted to see if I could find a similar deal to another destination. Unfortunately, it’s easier to say you’re going to plan a trip than to actually do it. Having several trips already planned for the summer made it even more difficult. In March, I was sent to LA for a week for a TV shoot*. The day after I returned, I learned I’d be going back to LA for another in April. It’s a good thing I didn’t plan a trip! The April TV shoot ended up lasting almost 2 weeks because of the long Easter weekend. With so many days to myself, I realized I could make myself a “mini-vacation”! *squeals*
Since our shooting schedule was so fast paced, the last thing I wanted to do was spend my free time wearing myself out. Instead of filling my days with activities, I decided to spend as much time on the beach as possible. I spent 3 (nonconsecutive days) on the beach absorbing the sun’s energy*, letting the water calm my spirit, reading, getting ideas on paper, and taking lots of selfies. I even took my “mini-vacation” a step further by spending a day in my hotel room with the balcony door open. I had worn myself out the day before (whoops) but I still wanted to experience the ocean air and sunshine. Because my “vacation” was in the middle of a work trip, I didn’t have to spend any extra money on it! So even if you’re super busy with work (or life), make a point to set some time (and money, if you can) aside to treat yourself:
- Go somewhere special
- Visit your favorite store
- Try a new beauty product
- Get a spa service
- Buy yourself flowers
- Try something new
- Enjoy your passions
- Change your hairstyle
- Take yourself to dinner
- Plan a trip
- Do something you’ve been putting off
- Hang out with friends
“Sit Down Somewhere” was inspired by my friends. I can’t even tell you how many times they have told me to “Go sit down somewhere!” I swear they have an alert system because several of them will pop up out the blue like, “What are you doing? Are you relaxing?” Meanwhile, I’m usually 4,000 items deep into a to-do list and mildly offended. Although this happens a lot, I learned my lesson shortly after Thanksgiving last year while my friend Marie was visiting. Our visit consisted of lots of laughter, good food and a really bad allergic reaction to pomegranate juice that Saturday. So bad that I threw up, my face swelled up and I bursted blood vessels in BOTH eyes.
I had a LOT of vacation time to use up so I had taken the week after Thanksgiving off to relax and do things around my house. Me being me (despite my eyes looking like I’d been fighting demons) I went to IKEA to buy a mirror and a console table for my TV two days later. I drove 30 minutes to IKEA, browses the store (as one does), realized my trunk’s opening was too small for the mirror, drove back home to rent a U-Haul pickup truck, and drove BACK to IKEA for the mirror. On my way back to IKEA, it hit me that there was a high chance I was doing entirely too much!
I began to worry that I was straining my eyes (I was) so I made an appointment with an eye doctor and planned to relax. The next day, I put together the console table and confirmed that I was, in fact, doing entirely too much. This realization came right around the time I began receiving calls and text messages telling me that I needed to be sitting down and not straining my eyes. I finally understood and spent the rest of the week actually sitting down somewhere and resting my eyes LOL! In the words of Marie, “you always neglect the personal value of doing nothing.” But I’m learning! Do nothing from time to time:
- Go to sleep
- Take a nap
- Sit down
- Lay down
- Watch a movie or tv show
- Listen to relaxing music
- Cuddle your fave animal (or person)
- Take a long bath or shower
- Snuggle up under a blanket
- Put on your softest pajamas
- Light candles or incenses
- Read a book
- Drink some tea
If you take anything from this post, I hope you see the importance of taking care of yourself: of checking in with your needs, of treating yourself just because, and of sitting down somewhere and resting!
How do you currently take care of yourself? What are some things you’d like to try from the lists above? Let us know in the comments below!
And get your copy of the “You Can Rest” How to Love U Journal today too!
Inspiration – Operation Love U – Love List
*Notes: In case you’re new here, I am an advertising Art Director. Sometimes I get to travel for work to shoot tv commercials. 🙂
Love List • Self Love