In a society where self-care has become such a huge focus in the recent years and months, we’re often told that “these are the things we need to do when we’re feeling down / ill / depressed, in order to improve ourselves” and well, make ourselves feel that little bit better. And whilst that’s great; we all need these coping mechanisms for our down days – we often think only about self care in times of “need”. Boyfriend break up with you? Self care day. Rough day at work? Self care evening. Having a bad time with your mental health? Self bloody care. And again, this is brilliant and we totally should focus on our self care when we’re having a rough time but what about all the other time? You know, all the other days of the year when we’re not having a bad day, our boyfriends haven’t just broken up with us and our mental health is on a pretty good keel. What then? 

Self care is for every day. Not just the bad days. We should be looking after ourselves and doing things to positively effect our well being every. single. day. I think this consistency in, “I’m going to do this because it feels good / I need to do it / it’ll make me feel even better than I already feel” will then in turn make caring for ourselves when we are in a bad place all that easier. Because we already know how to do it. Because we always do. Every day.

This is something I’ve been focusing a lot on this year and I’m going to write a separate post about subtle ways I’ve gone about improving my life over the last 5 months and a point similar to this entire post will likely be in there but today I wanted to share some teeny, tiny almost insignificant things we can do every day (or nearly every day – circumstances depending) that will improve our overall well being. Today, tomorrow and every bad day to come.

Drink enough water

Obvious. But one that gets frightfully overlooked. I have a connection to water. Water calms me and has ever since I developed my generalized anxiety disorder back in 2011. I sip on water when I’m feeling anxious, I think about water if I need to calm my racing mind and being around water is an absolute dream. But drinking enough water is so overlooked but it’s the easiest thing to do to improve your well being. If you don’t like plain water, there are plenty of alternative!

Stretch

Taking 5 minutes for yourself when you get out of bed in the morning to just stretch it out can feel wonderful. Like literally, it feels amazing. Why wouldn’t you want to do it?! Basic arm, neck, shoulder and leg stretches, which take 5 minutes of your day but can have an amazing effect on the rest of it. If you have pain which isn’t going away or something you feel needs more attention, it’s always worth checking it out with your local GP or a physiotherapy specialist such as Physio Comes To You.

Express gratitude

This doesn’t have to mean from a rooftop, with a speaker in the middle of town. You don’t even have to do anything in order to express gratitude but feeling grateful and actively thinking about things that you’re grateful for that day can have a huge psychological and mental benefit on your overall well being. I kept a gratitude journal a few years ago and wrote down one thing I was grateful for every day for a year. I completed it but it didn’t really work for me because by the end, I felt like I was scrambling for things to write. Now, I simply take a few minutes each day to think about or say out loud what I’m grateful for in that moment.

Breathe 

Since starting Yoga and taking Yoga seriously for the last year, I’ve learnt a great deal about the importance of breathing and the effect it has on the body. There’s so many difference types of breath we can do (I’m not qualified enough to explain them nor do I know all of them) for difference situations and just taking stock of your breathing throughout the day can be so beneficial. If my anxiety has be “over breathing” I can notice that and sort it out. If I’m exercising and feel myself slacking, I can breathe through it. Seriously… Breathe.

Get outside

I know this is a difficult one because everyone’s situations are different and there may be a ton of reasons why you can’t make it outside on any given day but just for the sake of this post, let’s keep it in. I always, always, always try and get outside at least once a day. I work from home so I don’t have any need to commute and working from home certainly has a impact on this one (which I’m sure you’ll agree with if you work from home yourself). In the summer, I take my laptop outside to work (if it’s not too hot, in which case I’m in front of a fan!). In the winter, I’ll take my dog for a walk over a nice park we have near us. There’s so many options!

Posture

Ugh, one I am awful at but definitely have started noticing more. Your posture can have a huge effect on things such as muscle aches, headaches or tense shoulders. We spend so long hunched over our phones and laptops that we forget how to sit properly! In fact, right before I started typing this sentence, I realised how hunched I was and quickly sat up straighter. Again, take stock. Notice.

Do you have anything to add to this post that hasn’t already been mentioned? Do you do any of these things in your daily life? How do you improve your own well being? Let me know, share tips and discuss!

118 Comments

  1. I try to get outside for some fresh air and a walk every lunchtime, and to drink as much water as I can, which makes the world of difference to your mood as you’re getting exercise and hydrating yourself properly!

    Amy | hookedonthemusic.com

  2. Self-care is so important! I love taking time out for myself. Posture is one of my favourite things – I always got told to put my shoulders back when I was a kid, so now it’s just ingrained in me! If I’m slouching I find my back gets really sore 😀

  3. Yes, you’ve totally hit the nail on the head here. It’s like saying “I’ve started feeling better so I’ll stop taking my inhaler daily” and then wondering why your asthma comes back. Prevention is the best cure and all that! Making small changes on a daily basis can help your overall state of mind and I’ve been trying really hard to implement some changes to my own life. Like you, getting outdoors is very important to me. I also find taking time to look after my skin, hair and body is making such a difference – putting on a body lotion or a face mask reminds me that I am important and worth caring about, and makes me feel so much more human!
    Beth x

  4. Loved all these tips you shared with us, we can easily apply them to our everyday schedule. I love the idea of self-care every day, not just when we are feeling down. I tend to do outrageous things when I am sad, I should be spontaneous every day….

    Something I will do every day is Stretch! I rarely do this. I am actually currently at work with a stiff neck from all the stress I am under. Thank you for these tips! Going to stretch right away lol

    xoxo,

    Budgetgirlife.com

    @budgetgirlife

  5. Love this. Water is my number one go to self-care tool. It’s sometimes hard to remember but has so many overall benefits! I also have a mini gratitude journal but forgot to pick it up lately so thanks for the remainder 🙂 I really enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Such a great post! I do the same thing with drinking water when I get nervous. It’s kind of annoying for me though because then I feel so full lol. But at least I stay hydrated!

  7. I agree that we should take care of ourselves and do things that make us happy. I count my blessings, read an inspiring book, watch a funny movie, listen to music, etc. 😊

  8. You are so right about self-care being something we need to work into our daily habits – it helps keep us strong and resilient for when those tough days you mentioned come along. One thing I love to do each morning is I let myself have a cup of coffee and 15 minutes of quiet with one lovable big oaf of a dog on each side of me. Starting the day with their incredible unconditional adoration makes me feel like I’m amazing!
    Joan Senio
    kindness-compassion-and-coaching.com
    @joansenio1

  9. These are such useful tips to improve our self-care game. It is so important to practice it because it’s how we relax from a long day of work or whatever we’re up to.

    Drinking enough water is so important. It’s also how we keep our skin healthy! 100% with expressing gratitude. Sometimes, there are people out there who have it worse than us and we should be thankful for what we currently have. Posture is so important. This is where the whole ergonomics game come into play. Having a bad posture can cause long-term injuries!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  10. Great tips, it really can be so simple but I, like so many others, am guilty of not looking after myself very well! I need to focus on number 1 this week! x

  11. This is such a great list! One that we can easily do every single day if we just pay attention to it a little. Thanks for sharing!

    Soffy // themumaffairs.blogspot.com

  12. Lovely post! I especially agree on the ‘getting outside’ part. I always always always have to go for a walk at least once a day, even if it is late in the evening or in the most miserable of weather conditions. I need that part of the day for me to calm me down:)

  13. some great tips here, couldn’t agree more with drinking water – helps so much! I have recently got back in to yoga as well, which works wonders. Thankyou for sharing.

    abbiejadewanders.co.uk

  14. Love all these tips. The little things can still make a huge difference! I’m terrible at drinking water. in fact, it was one of my New Years resolutions to drink more water throughout the day. I can definitely think a lot clearer when I’m hydrated though. Going on walks always helps me as well. Thanks for sharing!

  15. This is a wonderful post! I agree with the water, I recently stopped drinking so much water (normally I drink around 10 glasses a day) but I really need to get back into it because not only am I more anxious as well, I feel physically worn down if I don’t! Another self care thing I do is take at least 30 mins a day to work on my appearance. Whether it be a little makeup, or doing my hair, or finding an outfit that makes me feel good! It definitely adds to my confidence and makes me feel a little better about myself on rough days!

  16. Totally with you on this – it’s so important to practice self-care everyday, even when you’re feeling good! I need to take some of your advice – especially when it comes to drinking water. I’m terrible at that!

  17. I love how simple these things are, I know the title says tiny but they really are tiny. I definitely feel a difference if I haven’t been drinking my usual levels of water. I need to improve my posture though, the hunching over a screen all day life is not doing me any favours x

    Sophie