Self-care is becoming more and more important- and with good reason. However, we can’t all afford to jet off to a tropical paradise or indulge in luxury skin care products every time we feel overwhelmed. WOD Magazine has rounded up some of the best free and inexpensive things you can do right now to add to, or begin, your journey into self-care. Life can be hectic and stressful, but taking a few moments every day, or week, to do something just for you can have incredibly positive effects on your overall well-being.
All you need for this is a few minutes a day. Meditation works best when it is a daily practice but there really is no right or wrong way, just whatever feels best for you. You can lie down or sit up, do it in bed or on your daily train commute, in the morning or in the evening- just find what works for you and make it a habit. There are plenty of meditation apps to try or you can just throw on your comfiest sweats and put on a calming playlist. There are so many documented health benefits of meditation so why not give it a try? There’s really nothing to lose.
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This one is nothing new, but the benefits of regular exercise have been thoroughly proven. It can help you fight disease, promote better sleep, reduce anxiety, boost confidence levels, give you more energy, and improve your mood- just to name a few. The key is to find a workout (or several) that you actually enjoy doing. If you genuinely look forward to your weekly Zumba class or fall in love with your local rock climbing gym, chances are you’ll stick to it. Changing your perception of exercise as an act of self-care rather than a punishment may actually make you look forward to it.
Take A Bath
Just thinking about soaking in a hot bubbly bath can melt some of the days stress away. People have been taking baths for centuries, and with good reason. They relax your muscles, can improve your heart health, and moisturize and cleanse your skin. Try using some Epsom salts, bath bombs, or soothing essential oils. Light some candles, put on some relaxing music, or grab a good book and settle in to your tub to let your worries melt away.
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Get Out In Nature
Humans have a deep connection with nature, after all we spent much of our existence living in it. Exposing yourself to the great outdoors has proven positive effects such as improving your mood, increasing productivity, and of course getting a good dose of Vitamin D. Make a hiking date with a friend, take a yoga class in a park, or look up a local botanic garden or arboretum. Or try bringing the outdoors inside by keeping a few plants on your desk or hanging up pictures of beautiful landscapes.
Show Some Gratitude
Gratitude is powerful, yet it is so easy to forget everything we are thankful for and focus in on the negatives instead. There are so many wonderful ways to begin practicing gratitude so try a few and see which ones you like best. Try starting a gratitude journal, downloading an app, or simply looking in the mirror each morning and verbalizing something you’re grateful for. However you decide to practice gratitude, do it and do it often, it may just make all the difference.