Great Self-Care Tips That You Can Actually Follow!
Here at Board and Life, we know how important self-care is. It’s something we’ve become super aware of over the past year or two as we have transitioned through life phases, moved, changed careers, etc.
So, we wanted to offer some self-care tips that we follow and that you can follow, too. None of these are overly life-changing.. most of them are just small tweaks that can have huge effects (positive ones) on your well-being.
Start Your Morning With Something That Makes You Smile
It’s incredible the power that your mood and your emotions can have over how your day goes. One great self-care tip we have is to start your day off right. If you start off in a positive mood, the rest for the day may seem to go better than most.
An easy way to do this is to smile, laugh, and generally start the day with something that will make you do one – or both – of those things.
The best part is that there are so many different ways that you can achieve this. You might set a funny alarm or maybe put on your favorite shirt. Perhaps you love your shower gel or you have a very funny mug that you always drink from.
Whatever the thing that makes you laugh is, make sure that you get to do/see it in the morning! Smiling is great for self-care so let’s start off the day on a positive note.
Drink Lots Of Water Throughout Your Day
A big part of self-care is giving your body what it needs – and one of the most important things that it needs is water! Since our bodies are made up of a high percentage of water (like 60%), this makes sense!
The trick is to drink water throughout the day – and not only when you are thirsty. If you drink water when you are feeling thirsty, your body is already too dehydrated. Sipping constantly (and peeing regularly) throughout the day is actually far better for our bodies.
Being hydrated enough can save you from the worst things that bring down a day: primarily headaches and day-time fatigue. Having enough water in you is also important for just keeping your body running properly – from digestion to your immune system.
We like to have our water bottles topped up basically all the time. We have a double-walled stainless bottle and it’s easy to fill and clean!
Put Your Phone Away For At Least 1 Hour A Day
One of the most important tips we can give (and something that we also practice regularly) is putting our phones away. It’s wild to think how dependent we are on these tiny devices now. Yes, we know that they can be our link to the outside world – a way to stay connected. But too much time on them can be terrible for our minds and our moods.
So, we suggest putting your phone down/away for at least an hour a day. In fact, more if you can! We work during the day and we basically keep our phones in another room so that we can work with fewer distractions. When we break for tea or lunch, then we check them for emails and whatnot. But that’s about it.
You can really notice a difference when you first put your phone away. You’ll go to grab it but it won’t be there. Then you tend to realize how much time you spend checking it and how frequently you check it. It’s a good wake-up call to have!
Spend Some Time Outside
Another great self-care tip we have is spending more time outside. Something about nature is super relaxing – and honestly, you don’t even have to be outside for too long.
Obviously, if the weather is nice and warm, it’s easier/more enjoyable to be outside – but just getting some fresh air even in the winter can be great for your overall mood and mindset.
We think one of the reasons people don’t spend more time outside is because they feel like they need to be “doing something” while they are there. Seriously? Just grab a chair and sit outside your house. Go for a short walk. Go to a local park and lay on the grass with a blanket. “Going outside” doesn’t have to be a huge event – just get some fresh air.
Related – The Benefits of Hiking
Listen To Relaxing Sounds/Music
Self-care is all about embracing what you like. So, each person is different – and this one might not work as well for you. That said, we are huge fans of listening to music to relax/de-stress. The trick is to find music that is relaxing for you!
Bruce is a big music lover and he loves ambient music or post-rock with very few lyrics to relax and even get work done. If you want to try just nice sounds to relax there are plenty of great tools like Noisli which you can install on your browser.
There are also lots of apps that you can try to relax if you are interested!
Eat Healthy Food
Eating well is another simple but powerful self-care tip that we have. Since “we are what we eat”, it’s usually good practice to fill our bodies with good food and not absolute garbage.
We’ve shifted our diet to include far more fresh fruits and vegetables and overall just less processed food and especially less sugar. We’d say that now we eat pretty well – and we recognize what kinds of foods are “sometimes foods”. And we found that we don’t even need a lot of time to cook healthy meals!
Related – Healthy Snacks That Take No Time to Make
If your life is like most people’s, you might feel like you are always busy and never have the time to complete everything. Instead of getting overwhelmed and trying to do it all, learn how to prioritize your tasks and what really matters right now.
Learning how to properly prioritize will take some practice and you won’t master it overnight. That said, eventually, you will know which things are actually important right now and which ones you don’t really need to worry about.
A good way to prioritize is to make list – and there are loads of great list-making apps that can help.
Find A Way To Move Your Body Regularly That’s Enjoyable
You often hear people just say “oh, just exercise more” as if it’s easy for everyone. While it may be easy for SOME people to just pick up an activity or lace on their shoes to go outside for some activity, it’s not this way for everyone.
One of the reasons for this is because people think that “physical activity” has to be a specific activity – like running. But, if you hate running, then why force yourself? Of course, you won’t want to do it.
So, to get in the movement your body needs while enjoying it – find activities that you like. These can be things like yoga or even biking, Pilates, weightlifting, etc. – as long as it’s something that gets your body moving. It is well-known that exercise makes the body happier and healthier in many ways.
Slow Down And Focus On The Present
If you have a stressful life and live in a busy city, it can be super easy to always feel stressed and like never have enough time. Often, that feeling even continues when you come home in the evening.
So, this is what we sometimes do: try to consciously slow down. That might mean walking slower, cutting your vegetables for your dinner in slow motion, etc. You might feel silly in the moment but it will show your mind that you don’t need to be in “go, go, go” mode all the time.
At the same time, try to focus on the task you are doing. Even if it is just walking, focus on that. It’s super important to live in the present – or at least try your best to be mindful of it. Don’t think about all the things you still have to accomplish or the stressful day you had at work – there is time for that during your evening reflection.
Reflect On Your Day
This can be done in writing (journal) or just in your head. It’s important that you are not distracted by the TV or by family members during reflection time – that’s why it is best to do it in the evening before bed.
Even when you had a bad day, it is still important to also think about the good things that happened.
Write Down Your Thoughts
Related to the point above, writing down your thoughts can really help you feel better – especially when it is negative thoughts. They don’t have to be reflections of your day – you can just “word vomit” and write down everything that you want to get out of your head.
This really helps us – sometimes we just write down what we feel like. Sometimes we do it on the computer, sometimes we do it by hand. You don’t even have to keep what you have written down. Just getting it out of your head and into words can really help clear your head and make it easier to relax.
Related – Tips for Keeping a Journal
Go To Bed At An Hour That Allows You To Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is definitely something that we struggle with but generally we think that we are better than the general population. We DO get loads of sleep that we feel our bodies need. Now, this is going to differ for everyone, so (if you haven’t already) test different sleep lengths and see when you feel the most refreshed.
If you are waking up absolutely exhausted – you might need to drink more water overall and get more sleep. If you start sleeping loads but still feel exhausted, then you may have an underlying health issue. Bruce was diagnosed with sleep apnea (he stops breathing in his sleep from time to time) and that makes him feel SUPER exhausted in the morning.
One tip we have is getting to bed early so that when you wake up naturally it’s not late in the day. If you get up early – but still got the sleep you needed – this can help you feel/be more productive that day… which is amazing! You might feel less rushed and stressed – both things that you’re trying to get rid of with good self-care practices.
Related – Our Morning Routine To Start The Day
And there you have it – a few of the self-care tips that we follow to take care of ourselves. Honestly, we know self-care sounds like such a buzzword these days but it’s actually super important. We feel like there isn’t enough emphasis placed on taking care of yourself – so that you can be the best you for you and for the people that matter most!
As always, Stay Curious,
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