Self-care is a joke, amirite? It sounds great. You totally deserve the “self-care” of a leisurely bath in a claw-foot tub surrounded by candles from Anthro! And you totally have the time to source locally-crafted bath salts and candles, set everything up, fish Michelle Obama’s bio out of the tub when you drop it, and then clean up the water you spill when you chase your cat away from drinking salted bathwater. So soothing. You’re busy. Self-care is just another thing on the neverending checklist.
But how many times have you taken a mental health day? A day to binge The Bachelorette or Handmaid’s Tale? Be honest. If you’re anything like us, it’s been a few.
In 2017, researchers for The Journal of Abnormal Psychology found that the number of 18 to 25-year-olds who experienced stress over the course of one month was 71% higher than 18 to 25-year-olds in 2005. Life is stressful. A few short moments daily for self-care can become a long-term victory. Look, you’re already doing it: you clicked on this article. Score one zen chant for you!
Here are a few of our favorite daily self-care tricks:
1. Get outside. You knew this would top our list, right? Vitamin D, fresh air, even just looking at the color green are all proven to help you feel more awake, alive, and happy. Bonus points: your ability to concentrate and your mood both improve through exposure to natural light. Cloudy days count, and this doesn’t have to be a big investment: according to Harvard Health Publishing, spending a few mindful moments outside can help.
2. Be mindful. Oooo, foreshadowing! Practicing mindfulness is the self-care jackpot, and it’s a lot simpler than it sounds. So because of tip #1, you’re outside. Now, put the phone down. Pay attention to the sounds, what you see, what you smell. When you’re eating lunch at your desk, stop working. Really taste what you’re eating. Make a rule for yourself that phones are not allowed in class, meetings, or when you’re out with a friend. Even something as simple as waiting in line is an opportunity to get more mindful, because this is as simple as choosing to be present in the moment for a few minutes each day. For extra help, try a resource like Pocket Mindfulness or a journal with short prompts to trigger mindful moments.
3. Build healthy sleep habits. I mean, come on. This is the one tip that can make all the difference… but it’s also the one many of us ignore. You might be sleeping too little. If you’re prone to depression, you might be sleeping too much. You know all of the tips and tricks to this one. Now do it.
4. Get active. It doesn’t matter how. This is all about moving your body in a way you love and boosting those endorphins. The National Institute of Health reported on the dozens of ways increased blood flow to your brain could reduce stress, elevate mood, and even improve attention. The best part is that research shows activity can be cumulative over the day and be just as beneficial, so three 10-minute walks are as helpful as one 30-minute walk.
5. Curate all the things. Seriously. The most basic way you can practice self-care is to create an environment where care thrives and make sure you’re living the life you want to lead. Don’t like your job? Make a plan to change it. Want to read more? Find 10 minutes in your day to read (maybe outside! Maybe listening to an audiobook while doing something active outside!). Friends with someone who makes you feel toxic and drained? Start drifting from that person. Your life is yours. Live it that way. Be intentional with your time and your energy and the self-care becomes part of how you live.
You can’t find any of these self-care hints at Anthropologie. But choose a few. Weave them in between the moments of your day. Join us on Earth Fed Evolutions and share your journey with us so others can learn from you (pro tip: helping other people helps you feel good, too!).
Remember, the best self-care comes before you need it. Stress builds. Diffusing it a little bit day-to-day can go a long way toward that curated, beautiful life… candles optional.