Last week I shared my post, Self Care: The Key to Healthy Living, and I was thrilled by the response I received from you wonderful readers. It was so fun to learn about your favorite self care tips as well as the challenges you face to incorporate them in your everyday life.
I’ve been looking forward to expanding upon the topic, and today we’re going to do just that. But rather than sharing my own strategies, I’m excited to spotlight the self care suggestions from some of my favorite bloggers.
So get excited, because they have some great self care tips to share!
Self Care Tips: Blogger Round-up
Make it Manageable
Laura over at The Mindful Mom Blogger is the mother to a very active toddler who keeps her quite busy. As a woman of “many hats,” she completely understands the challenges of incorporating regular self care when time is so scarce.
Nevertheless, Laura finds a way to squeeze it in. And I must say, her remedy is quite brilliant. She makes sure to incorporate 10 minutes of what she calls “me time” each day. And she often divides that time into two five minute blocks; one in the morning and one in the evening. (Read more about her me time strategy here!)
While five minutes might not sound like much, Laura explains that once she implemented the practice, she found that her mornings began “on a calm and positive note, and the evenings ended the same way. That in itself made a lot of difference.”
In her post, Laura shares five small, manageable self care tips that you can start implementing today. Two of my favorites include saying no and practicing gratitude. As she explains:
One of the best ways to reduce the constant pull of responsibility that continually weighs us down, is to start saying no.
What are some things you can say no to? For Laura, it means limiting her son to one co-curricular activity at a time, and not accepting every invitation that comes her way.
While saying “no” isn’t easy, especially at first, it’s worth it when you have more time to do what’s important to you. And as Laura reminds us, that includes self care!
Moreover, “knowing you have time and space in your calendar to do the things you love doing is a huge mood booster.” Bonus!
Laura also explains the importance of practicing gratitude for both self care and boosting your mood. She notes gratitude’s positive impact on our mental health by helping us put things into perspective and find the positive in each situation.
She recommends setting aside 5-10 minutes each day to write down three things for which you are thankful. Laura explains how this simple strategy not only helps you appreciate what you have, but can also help you determine whether a stressful situation is worth your energy and emotion or not. That’s a double win in my book!
If you want to learn more quick 5-10 minute “me time” activities, or if you’re interested in learning strategies for mindfulness and meditation, be sure to check out Laura’s blog over at The Mindful Mom Blographer!
Make a Schedule
While Laura practices short 5-10 minute “me time” segments, Hillary over at Hillary Michelle suggests creating a self-care schedule.
In her post, “Stuck in a Slump,” Hillary talks about the dangerous of – you guessed it – getting “stuck in a slump.”
You know those days, right? They’re the ones when you just don’t feel like yourself. You lack motivation, your emotions are low, and you lose interest in what once brought you joy.
One of the things I love about Hillary’s post is her honesty. Explaining one of her own recent slumps, she wrote:
“I just felt gross! I wasn’t working out, I wasn’t disciplined in areas I normally was, and I just moseyed around my days. If I am being completely honest, I would go to bed dreading the next same boring day…I felt aimless and purposeless, I felt tired and bored. I was antsy.”
In order to get out of this rut, Hillary first recommends reflecting on your previous week – “the slumpy one.” Ask yourself, what was missing? Also, what did you spend too much time doing? Were you watching too much Netflix? Did you skip working out? Were you eating unhealthfully? Did you overcommit yourself? Etc.
After you figure out the problem areas, then make a schedule for the next week that includes what you need (more sleep, healthy foods, relaxation, exercise) and excludes what you don’t (binging Netflix, too many commitments, long work hours etc.)
And most importantly, Hillary reminds us make time for yourself in that schedule. She explains:
“One of the best ways to get out of a slump is to escape for a second. By yourself.
Go do something that you LOVE to do. Head out for a drive and blast your favorite jams. Go to your favorite coffee shop, turn off your phone, and read. Maybe you’re a sunrise girl. Or a sunset girl.
Go do whatever it is that brings you joy and helps clear your mind. Turn off your phone, get rid of distractions, and reset.”
I love that last statement: Turn off your phone, get rid of distractions, and reset. What a wonderful reminder for our non-stop world.
If you want to learn more of Hillary’s strategies to get out of a slump and incorporate self care, be sure to check out her blog here!
Nicole over at Believe & Balance focuses on self care throughout much of her site. And when you read the opening statement to her post “The Importance of Self Care,” it’s clear why she puts so much value in the practice. As Nicole explains:
“The most important person in your life is you. Period. End of story.”
And she’s 100% correct. Before you can care for everyone else, you need to ensure you’re taken care of, both physically and mentally. Otherwise, you’ll burn yourself out.
Make a List
One of Nicole’s great pieces of advice is to identify a list of several different self care ideas that interest you; the more diverse the better. As she explains, having these different “types of activities is important to keep your self care routine fresh and balanced.”
So grab a pen and paper, write down all the activities that bring you joy, and start pursuing them!
Say Goodbye to Guilt
Nicole also offers the sage advice to let go of the guilt. As she explains, “YOU need to take care of yourself. It should be one of the top priorities in your life.” So look at the list you just made, schedule those activities in throughout the week, and get started!
Give it a try
As Nicole reminds us, “you don’t know how it feels until you try! Making time for self-care when you’re already busy and balancing tasks can seem impossible and unnecessary.” Just remember, you don’t have to be a self-care guru to benefit from these self-care techniques: just try one or two today. You have nothing to lose, and a whole lot to gain.
Kalia over at Front Seat Ryder (don’t you love that name?) focuses closely on strengthening self esteem through self love. And as we bustle through our busy days, trying to do everything for everyone else, a strong and confident self esteem is absolutely necessary.
As Kalia explains, “self-esteem helps keep us centered and grounded.” Without it, we feel stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed by the pressures and “expectations” of life.
One of Kalia’s pieces of advice from which many of us could benefit is silencing our negative self talk. As she notes, we are always the hardest on ourselves.
Negative self-talk alone can bring our self-esteem down in a heartbeat. So when you find yourself thinking negatively about yourself, stop those thoughts in their tracks! No more “you aren’t good enough”, “you will never accomplish your dreams”, “you’re ugly”. Because here’s the deal – they’re lies.
When you find yourself in a downward spiral, Kaila suggests changing it up. Speak positively to yourself. Find some self-loving affirmations for the days you are in the hole. “You are smart.” “You are kind.” “With hard work and dedication, you can overcome anything.” These are the truths.
With practice, you will catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, and stop them in their tracks before they sink in and hurt you.
(Kaila also offers a free download for self-love affirmations, click over to her site and get them here!)
Get to Know Yourself
Taking a fun twist on self care, Kaila explains that to love yourself, you have to know yourself. Speaking from her own experiences, she shares:
“There were years of my life I remember putting myself on a shelf. I never got to know Kalia. She was a cool chick sometimes, I suppose… But I had no idea what made her tick. I didn’t know what brought her true joy in life.”
In order to develop a strong self esteem, however, you need to find time for yourself each day. As Kaila puts it, “take time to “date” yourself. Find out what your heart truly wants. Find something you enjoy, and do it often. These little pieces of me time will help de-stress your mind, body, and soul.”
“Whatever it takes, make time for you.” It will help keep your head centered and your heart full.
Kaila offers several other helpful strategies to boost self-esteem and start showing yourself some love. If you’d like to learn more, be sure to check out her advice (and meet her adorable dog Ryder) out over at Front Seat Ryder.
Yolanda from Put the Kettle On is full of helpful strategies to find peace and balance in our lives. As she notes, “PutTheKettleOn.ca explores the feel good ways to live for today. With today’s stresses, a lot of us think about what we want to have in the future. My goal is to cherish the great things I have right now and make the most of life in the present.”
And throughout her blog, Yolanda shows us how to do the same.
In her post Self Care 101, Yolanda offers 9 fantastic strategies to help us take time for ourselves. Sharing her own experiences, she recognizes how hard it is to make self care a priority, but she also understands that taking time to care for ourselves is a non negotiable if you seek balance in your life.
One of my favorite self care tips from Yolanda is to rethink your bedtime. As she suggests:
“Go to bed 30-45 minutes before you plan on falling asleep. Grab a book, listen to music, or write in a journal.
The point is to unwind.
You’ve probably been thinking about everyone else except yourself all day, so this alone time is important to…
a) Set yourself up for a good night sleep
c) Do something that relaxes you.”
I couldn’t agree more with Yolanda’s advice. Like self care itself, we can’t function well on minimal sleep. Period. So rethinking your bedtime is absolutely key.
(If you’re looking for mores suggestions on creating a perfect bedtime routine, check out my post here!)
Make a Happiness Playlist
Given my own love of music, this suggestion also resonated with me quite deeply. As Yolanda explains, “it’s proven that happy music can lift your spirit and literally set you up for a positive day.” She recommends signing up for a free account on Spotify and creating playlist just for you.
What’s more, she even created a Happy Playlist, and shared it with us here: Get Your Groove on Happy Playlist. How fantastic is that?! (Thanks, Yolanda!)
Yolanda recommends, “once you have your happy playlist – listen to it when you wake up, when you’re in the shower, on your way to work, or while eating breakfast. If you wanna get a dance party started – even better!”
Also, if you’re looking for more musical inspiration, be sure to check out Nostalgia Diaries, where they have “Music Monday” with fantastic playlist ideas.
Find Some Happiness Advice
And while we’re on the topic of happiness, I also recommend checking out Yolanda’s deep dive into happiness with her post, “Happiness Advice from the Kids in Our Life.”
This wise, heartfelt post is a joy to read. In fact, I think it’s impossible to hear the tips from these kids and not smile. So if you need a little boost today, take the time (self care!) to read some happiness advice from the kids in our life.
And that’s it for our self-care round up! I hope you take time to explore these blogs and learn more about the wonderful voices behind them. There’s a wealth of information in each one.
If you’re looking for more tips on self care, please check out my post Self Care: The Key to Healthy Living, where I share strategies to incorporate self care in your life every day. Then, download this self care worksheet to help you make that step. Your future self will thank you.
Do you make self care a daily habit? Does anything hold you back? What are your favorite self care strategies? Let me know below!