Self Care: 17 Best Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself.
At some point, we must press the pause button to do YOU!
Do you feel stressed, overwhelmed, and worried about the future and/or loved ones?
It’s all of us, right?
To be able to look after others, we must look after ourselves too, and be the happiest, healthiest, and best version of ourselves.
Self-care or self-compassion encompasses various ways to intentionally take better care of yourself.
And not feel guilty about it.
Jennifer Ashton, M.D offers “The Self-Care Solution: A Year of Becoming Happier, Healthier, and Fitter–One Month at a time.” Jennifer provides much insight on self – care and shows how beneficial a mindful lifestyle can be.
Taking better care of yourself should be a priority, not just for your benefit and sanity, but as well as for the people around you.
The first step is to commit to your self-care routine with intention and dedication.
You can start your journey right here.
You may also like tips on how to live intentionally every day.
At some point, you have to tell yourself, “I want to be better. I need to be better, for myself, my family, and everyone I interact with.
Deciding to take better care of yourself does not mean you are selfish, so don’t feel guilty.
With all that goes on in today’s frenetic modern world, all the responsibilities and challenges related to parenting and other pressures,
We have to take time to reflect and take better care of ourselves.
“To be a good parent, you need to take care of yourself so that you can have the physical and emotional energy to take care of your family.” – Michelle Obama
Many times we are also bombarded by our work duties, other obligations, and community activities.
We should not wait until we have got to a breaking point to purposefully begin to take better care of ourselves.
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“Women have to take the time to focus on our mental health – take time for self, for the spiritual without feeling guilty or selfish. The world will see you the way you see you, and treat you the way you treat yourself.” – Beyonce.
If you don’t catch yourself in time, frustration, anger, anxiety, and even depression can creep in and reap you of all your joy and happiness.
These 17 ways to take better care of yourself can help you to know how to let go and BREATHE.
What is Self-Care?
Self care is about extending the same kindness, love and grace that you willingly and sacrificially show to others to yourself without feeling guilty about it.
Check this scenario out;
It’s 11:00 pm. You silently close your child’s bedroom door, grateful he finally lost the battle against sleep.
As your eyes dart from one stack of dirty dishes to another stack of unfinished projects, you feel bone-tired.
Your mind is a thick molasses. Waves of weariness wash over your heart.
You don’t even know where to start in processing today’s argument with your children or your spouse, the social media argument about complicated world events, and your argument with yourself about what tasks are most important.
Tears slip out of your eyes as waves of guilt and failure wash over you.
If you have struggled with knowing how to take care of yourself as a mom, you are not alone.
During the COVID – 19 era, when churches, therapist offices, and support networks are closed down, you could have tried to figure out how to take care of yourself emotionally.
Trying to care for yourself should be a natural and God-given instinct.
The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:29-30 said, “Indeed, no one ever hated his own body, but he nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church. For we are members of His body.”
God understands that humans naturally nourish, treasure, care for, and feed their bodies. He knows that we automatically comfort, warm, and tenderly watch over our bodies.
But with children, marriage obligations, and work clamoring for our attention, we need more than our natural tendency to care for ourselves.
“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” – Jack Kornfield
In order to remain emotionally and physically healthy, we must become more intentional about taking care of ourselves.
Here are some important thoughts on how to take better care of yourself emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
They are not lavish or expensive, but practical.
This keepsake is for anyone looking to improve their mood, reduce anxiety, and be their best selves.
#1. Recognize Your Limits
In the beginning, God created humans to live in humble dependence on Him.
Who is the only one who is all-powerful, all-present, in control, and all-capable?
It’s not us. Sometimes we are always on the go, being a “superwoman.”
As humans, we are created with limits. Immense relief comes from humbly recognizing that you are not God.
Experiencing God will help you get a better understanding of His Sovereignty as He reveals Himself to you.
Hannah Anderson, in her book, Humble Roots, says that we are often tempted to a “pride that desires to live beyond natural human limitations… We buy the lie that we could be omnipotent, always virile, never tiring, never needing rest. We buy the lie that we could be omnipresent, always available, never distant, never missing out.”
Very often, we think that we can be perfect fun moms, involved in every activity, and providing our children and families with every opportunity.
We act like super moms, sometimes inflicting the notion that nothing will get done if we don’t do it.
And when we do, we become exhausted and drained.
Remembering our limitations—and humbly accepting them as an expression of our faith and dependence on God—is an important step towards wholesome self-care.
We don’t take care of ourselves because we’re selfish, proud, or egotistical. We take care of ourselves because we humbly admit that we’re not all-powerful—we’re not God.
With this in mind, I hope you can examine yourself and your environment and decide to start to take better care of yourself!
#2. Recognize That Your Body Is Your Responsibility
Who could better care for your body than yourself?
In Genesis 1:28, God called humans to steward the earth and all of creation.
Have you ever thought about your body as being a part of all creation?
Hannah Anderson points out, “You may have never thought of steadying your body as part of the call to steward the earth, but it’s not that much of a stretch. We are, after all, made from the earth, a mixture of minerals and elements that have only been made alive by the quickening Spirit of God.”
Along with your responsibility to take care of your children, your job, your ministry, you have a responsibility to take care of your body.
You can start by pampering yourself with this!
God desires for us to be healthy and strong and to take care of our bodies, mind, and spirit. “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself.” – 2 Corinthians 6:19.
Fuel your body with healthy eating habits and supplements that are vital in sustaining your immune system and general wellbeing.
Eat healthy home-cooked meals instead of ‘fast’ food.
Don’t unnecessarily tax your body. Give it the rest, nutritious food, and exercise it needs.
Don’t forget to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Water is very good for the skin, it helps with digestion and boosts your immune system.
#3. Find Joy In Simple Things
God has created many beautiful experiences for us to enjoy.
1 Timothy 6:17 says that God “richly provides us with everything to enjoy.”
In his book, Pure Pleasure, Gary Thomas encourages believers to find pleasure in food, family, fellowship, and more.
He says that when we search for legitimate, healthy sources of pleasure, we will be less likely to fall into temptation and illicit pleasures.
Even when we go through very difficult times, we should look for the simple joys that are all around us: the sun on our faces, the smile of a child, or the gentle song of a flowing stream.
Looking for joy in simple pleasures is an important way to take better care of yourself.
You can look at old pictures, listen to your favorite songs, volunteer your time at a charity you like, get a massage, indulge in a bubble bath, join a women’s weekly prayer group or enjoy the benefits of your favorite essential oils and candles.
You can just relax outside in this!
For all-round relaxation and aromatherapy, you can also get you an essential oil shower steamer set.
#4. Work/Life Boundaries
Work/life boundaries have never been more important than they are today.
In a cultural shift away from remote jobs and towards in-home jobs, work has more potential than ever to invade every minute of our personal lives.
If you work at home, seek to develop a predictable schedule about when you will work and when you will relax.
Communicate to others when you are working and when you are “off.” When you’re relaxing, take it seriously.
Don’t even open your computer or your work email. Keeping your work from invading every minute of your day is critical in self-care.
#5. Process Your Pain
Unresolved pain, grief, or shame tend to sneak out in ways that are devastating to your body, soul, and health.
You may lash out at others or distract yourself with work to try to avoid difficult memories or thoughts.
Learning how to take care of yourself emotionally is critical for self-care.
Address even the seemingly small things that might seem insignificant like losing a twin sibling before birth, infertility, having a miscarriage, having a best friend move away, or betray you.
Acknowledge your grief. Talk to supportive friends and spiritual leaders. It’s been said that a problem shared is a problem halved.
Often communication with people gives you exactly what you need to hear for you to continue your journey in taking better care of yourself in the most positive way.
Read books on healing. Go to a therapist. Addressing your emotional needs is critical for truly relaxing and taking better care of yourself.
#6. Just Say No
“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” -Anna Taylor
In Luke 4:42-44, crowds were begging Jesus to continue healing and helping them. But he said no. He had to move on to other towns and preach there.
He didn’t allow himself to be dissuaded by popular opinions or by the demands of friends or society.
Instead, he simply moved on, “for I was sent for this purpose.” Jesus had a clear sense of purpose and values.
Tim Elmore recommends writing down five of your most important values and using them to help you make decisions in gray areas.
Eliminate parts of your life that don’t fit your values as a part of your self-care regimen.
Just learn how to just say no and don’t feel bad or guilty about it.
#7. Taking Time to Be Quiet
Taking time to be quiet is an important part of any self-care love routine.
Psalm 37:7 says, “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him.”
Psalm 62:5 tells us to wait in silence for God.
Then Psalm 131:2 speaks of the importance of stilling our souls before God.
Many Bible passages encourage us to live a quiet life (1 Timothy 2:2, 1 Peter 3:4, and 1 Thessalonians 4:11).
Make time in your life for silence before the Lord.
Wait on him and try to connect to Him from the heart. Still your heart and acknowledge that it’s not all up to you—it’s up to Him!
This implies telling yourself that you are going to pause and slow down at intermittent times during the day.
Try to relax, go to a quiet place in or outside the house, look around you, close your eyes, and take deep breaths in and out several times.
You’ll notice that you will feel more relaxed before you start off again.
Even if you don’t subscribe to the common cultural views of meditation, you can still follow the Biblical command to fill your mind with God’s word.
Psalm 119:15 encourages us to follow the psalmist’s example of meditating on God’s words and ways.
God told Joshua that meditating on God’s word would give him courage (Joshua 1:8). Paul told Timothy to meditate on God’s purpose for his life.
Try to find a quiet place where you can focus on a small portion of God’s word. Turn it over and over in your mind.
Try this as a fun lounge vibe.
You don’t have to spend 30 minutes in meditation every time. Two to five minutes—while in the restroom or while feeding the baby—are often sufficient.
Meditate on God’s word and stop the endless soundtrack of frenetic thoughts that try to take your attention. Ponder on the Lord and His love for you for two minutes.
Wondering how to take care of yourself as a mom? Consider adding stretching into your life. A simple internet search will lead to easy stretches that you can do any minute of the day.
Watching your kids in the park, you can do a slow nod exercise or a hip flexor stretch.
Before you wind down for the night or while the kids are asleep or at school, you can take a little time, inhale, exhale and stretch.
Watch how much relief you’ll experience.
These are so inconspicuous that no one will even notice you are stretching!
If you work a desk job, try to get up every hour and stretch. Your blood will start to flow and you will notice an increased mental acuity.
Commit to journaling regularly as an important way of processing your emotions, understanding your life, releasing your frustration, and taking care of yourself emotionally.
Boundaries for the Soul: How to Turn Your Overwhelming Thoughts and Feelings into Your Greatest Allies By Allison Cook provides some important jumping-off points for journaling about triggering events.
It is very healing to write down your responses to Allison Cook’s probing questions in this book.
Her questions will help you get some distance from overwhelming emotions, talk to them kindly as if they were frightened children, comfort them with the love of Jesus, and re-integrate them into your renewed purpose.
This all-inclusive women’s Care Package provides simple ways to make you feel better.
Journaling is an important way to process your feelings, encourages self-awareness, and improves your mood.
Some ideas on how to start journaling are to start with positive inner reflections first like what makes you happy, what inspires you, your idea of a good day, eight things you love about yourself and your family, what makes you proud about yourself.
#11. Gratitude Diary
Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation and thanks. It focuses on the positive.
What are the three things you are thankful for today? Is the sun shining?
Can you breathe freely?
Do you have food and a place to live?
Is there someone in your life that has shown you that you matter to them?
A gratitude journal helps you to focus your attention on positive things in your life, great or small.
First Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Regardless of the circumstances, you can find at least three things to be thankful for.
Keeping a gratitude diary or journal helps you come back later with gratefulness and remember what God has done, making your day more productive and focused.
#12. Spend Time Outdoors
A park, field, or stream is an excellent place to work on self-care. You might want to spend some time walking by yourself or with a friend.
Almost any of these self-care ideas can be done outside. You can exercise outside, express gratitude outside, or meditate outside. You can even journal outdoors!
Sometimes, we find that we feel closer to God when we are in nature.
Spending time in nature can help your wellbeing and mental state by relieving your stress and anxiety levels and improving your mood.
#13. Eat Chocolates
Chocolate should be a part of every self-care love routine!
Rich, creamy squares of luscious dark chocolates can boost your mood and give you renewed energy.
Try a piece by yourself or with a friend!
Chocolate edibles at any time of the day are not just refreshing but help you to relax and practice self-care at home.
#14. Listen to Calming Music
Wondering how to take care of yourself as a mom? Listening to quiet, relaxing music is an easy way to take your kids along with you on your self-care journey.
Try Heartbeat Lullabies by Terry Woodford or the calming nature sounds and music by Dan Gibson.
Kids can benefit right along with mom as you care for yourself with gentle, soothing sounds.
Listening to music that elicits positive emotions can help you to relax and elevate your spirit which improves your mood and general well-being.
#15. Smile More
A clerk at the store, a child in your arms, or a neighbor across the street would be happy to receive your smile, which in turn can improve your mood, relieve your stress, and lower blood pressure.
Scientists have found that a smile gives your brain more feel-good hormones than receiving a large sum of money!
Smiling lifts your own spirits and encourages others.
Spreading smiles is free, painless, and rewarding. Make smiling an important part of your self-care love routine.
Sleep should be a priority in our self-care journey.
Bill Fish, a certified sleep science coach and co-founder of Tuck stated that “Getting a proper night sleep is essential to our health,” in fact, sleep is now known as the third pillar of wellness along with exercise and nutrition.”
Create a sleep schedule and try your best to stick to it. That way your body knows when to settle to rest and when to rise.
A full night sleep promotes mental wellness and diminishes the negative effects of poor sleeping habits that include fatigue, irritability, anxiety, and negative thoughts.
#17. Digital Detox
Distancing yourself from digital devices like smartphones, computers, tablets, and social media platforms help you to focus on real-life interactions and can make your brain to relax and also improve your sleep and focus.
It is a known fact that many families and relationships don’t have many faces to face social interaction anymore.
Most of the time, everyone is by themselves and on their phone, tablet, playing a game, or on social media.
You could be in the same house and you are talking to your spouse or children from the cell phone.
Develop a digital detox hour, hours, or a day that you’ll focus your mind on yourself to improve your focus and reduce stress.
You can call it or relate to it as a biblical fast, maybe that could help you to keep the phones away and stay off social media for sometime to rejuvenate and take better care of yourself.
The journey of taking better care of yourself starts in your mind. You must understand your dependence on God and the limits of your body and spirit.
The journey of taking care of yourself emotionally continues as you process your grief, change your thinking about your own value, and start practical steps like meditation, stretching, and journaling.
“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” -Oprah
How does this journey end? In reality, the journey of self-care never ends. It’s not a one time deal.
But it does come to a culmination as you begin to have enough energy, passion, and joy to invest in others again.
As you entrust your own needs to God and humbly accept your own limits, you begin looking at others’ needs as more important than your own.
The Bible instructs that you take care of others with the same attentive care that you take care of yourself (Mark 12:31 – The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’).
And, in this way, the purpose of self-care is complete.
Your mind is one of the most fragile yet most powerful things in your body.
It is so important to look after yourselves and learn how to look after your beautiful mind.
Are you seeing things from a different perspective?
Don’t make excuses for not practicing self-care.
You are so worth it!
Please don’t allow procrastination to rob you of the well deserved wholeness and happiness that you deserve.
“Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.”
– Roy T. Bennett
How are you practicing self-care? What routine have you put in place that is solely for you? Please drop a line in the comments – it can help someone.
Sending lots of love and positivity your way………..♥