As Summer finally winds down, we find ourselves preparing for the back to school blitz and getting back into a routine. While we are in this state of transition, we oftentimes let the chaos get the best of us and we lose sight of all things ‘self-care’ rather than embracing the very thing that can serve us and make our lives EASIER (or make it feel that way at least).

Self-care simply refers to the practice of caring for yourself and protecting your own wellbeing including your physical, mental and emotional health. While my perfect night of self-care would look like going for an outdoor run, indulging in some chocolate, followed by a bubble bath and a good book, that might sound appalling to you. Everyone’s self-care will look a little different. Those of us that live busy lives may even become more stressed out trying to incorporate self-care tasks that take time away from the things that actually need to get done- so maybe checking items off a To-Do list gives the busier folks more feelings of accomplishment and productivity than not.

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Take Care of Something

Oftentimes, we feel fulfillment through taking care of something else- a pet, a plant, a garden maybe. Helping something else thrive can help manage your own stress levels and be very rewarding.

  1. Give Yourself a Gift

I don’t know about you, but I can get a little carried away with this one! Occasionally, it’s nice to treat ourselves to a new pair of shoes (or ten), or maybe a much-needed massage. If treating yourself to something you desire makes you happy, then bring on the joy and add to cart!

  1. Improve Self Talk

We’ve all shamed ourselves for eating too many pieces of cake or looking undesirable in the mirror… but would we ever imagine saying something like that to our friends (hopefully not…)!? Give yourself reasons to LIKE you and be kind to yourself. Start by saying “I am strong and capable” or “my hard work will pay off.”

  1. Prioritize your Mental and Physical Health

You may disagree, but these two go hand in hand. Personally, my mental health is on point when my physical health is. Exercise gives you all sorts of endorphins and brain power to make you feel better than ever- moving your body is a simple way to improve mental health from a physiological level.

  1. Start a Gratitude Journal

Having a routine can help you feel grounded and centered. Even better if that routine also revolves around feeling grateful! Doing something as simple as jotting down a few things you are grateful for each day will help your brain focus on the positive things.

If I’ve lost you with those ideas, try something even simpler- put your phone away for a couple hours. Last week, I got a notification of my daily screen time report- 5 hours and 19 minutes. OH MY. Why am I wasting my evenings away on Pinterest searching up recipes when I could’ve probably cooked a dozen of them in that time!? You can’t tell me that tiktok has you solving any of life’s problems or improves your self-perception staring at instamodels all day. Do yourself a favor and put the phone down so you can be present with your family, pets, and yourself without distraction.

Take a minute and work out what self-care means to you. You may even be doing it already!