Self-care has become synonymous with spa days and bubble baths, but there’s more to it than once-in-a-blue-moon treats for yourself. We believe true self-care and self-love aren’t just about pampering yourself occasionally, but about creating practices, routines, and a life that supports the happiest, healthiest version of you.
The magic of loving yourself first
Why is self-care important? For starters, research shows that the benefits of self-care include increased confidence, productivity, and happiness.
On the flip side, neglecting self-care can lead to feeling anxious and burned out. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” you know what we’re talking about. It’s nearly impossible to run a home and a business, take care of a family, or even be a great friend if you are running on fumes. Taking care of yourself first is like putting on your oxygen mask before helping those around you. It gives you the energy, the love, and light to be able to best support your kids, your partner, your friends, or your coworkers!
How to practice self-love and self-care
Anything you do to nourish your physical, emotional, and mental health is a type of self-care. From shutting down negative self-talk to prioritizing physical activity, here are eight self-care strategies to fill your own cup first, making sure you have more than enough to pour into others.
1. Be your own best friend.
If you’ve ever found yourself saying or thinking things about yourself that you’d never dare say about another person, it’s time to practice some positive self-talk. That means dismissing any negative thoughts about yourself that come up and replacing them with positive ones.
Easier said than done, right? To help you get started, write down a few things you love about yourself and read them every night before you get in bed, or use our morning mantras to create your own positive affirmation for the day.
YL tip: Pick one of our essential oil blends for empowerment to diffuse or inhale while you recite your affirmations.
2. Get the nutrition you need.
One perk of being an adult is getting to eat whatever you want, right? While eating your vegetables isn’t always the fun choice, feeling good about yourself and caring for yourself starts from the inside out. Your daily eating habits have a long-term impact on everything from your immune system and gut health to the quality of your sleep.
Keep your nutrition simple by drinking plenty of water, eating the rainbow, and getting in some good fats and lean protein. If you feel like you’re still not getting the nutrients you need, we can help you fill in the gaps! Check out this blog on why you might need supplements and where to begin, then shop our line of supplements to get the extra nutrition support you need.
3. Give your brain a break.
With seemingly endless to-do lists, someone always calling your name, and a kids cartoon jingle constantly stuck in your head, it can feel like your head is going to explode. Take a few minutes or even a few seconds of control with meditation. Adding a meditation practice to your day has many benefits, from boosting your mood to lowering stress. Even if you find it difficult to calm your racing thoughts at first, just sitting and taking a few deep breaths will do wonders to help you relax physically and mentally.
4. Make movement a priority.
Whether it’s a walk around the block, a dance party with the kids, or a powerlifting session at the gym, the health benefits of moving your body, and negatives of sitting all day, are too great to ignore. If you’re out of practice with movement, start small with 10 or 15 minutes a day and pick something you love or something easy to work into your schedule. Walk the kids to school instead of driving, dance while you cook dinner, or do a 15-minute yoga video before sitting down to watch TV in the evening.
5. Challenge yourself.
Sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone to find the things that work best for you, your routine, and your body! Pick an area you are struggling with and find a way to challenge yourself. Not feeling motivated to work out? Join a fitness group to add some healthy peer pressure to your self-care plan and treat yourself to a post-workout massage with Peppermint oil and V-6™ Vegetable Oil Complex. Trying to drink more water? Fill a 32-ounce tumbler with water and your favorite YL Vitality™ Drops flavor to help trick your brain into thinking you’re sipping soda.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got month-long challenges for mental wellness, gratitude, and adding more love in your life.
6. Exercise your kindness muscles.
You know that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you do something nice for a stranger? Make that feeling a part of everyday by shifting from infrequent random acts of kindness to regular acts of kindness. You could volunteer at your local animal shelter or food bank once a month, leave a positive sticky note in the breakroom each day, or donate a dollar to charity with every online order you place.
7. Reclaim your time at work.
If you’re like most full-time workers in America, you spend 1/3 of your life working—and that’s not even counting your commute if you have one. To prevent burnout and enjoy better work-life balance, try weaving self-care into your workday. Work onsite? Listen to podcasts or stand-up comedy during your commute and eat lunch outside with your coworkers. Work from home? Take Zoom calls while you get your steps in or invite a close friend over to work with you.
8. Embrace the art of slow travel.
Vacations are an important part of self-care, but have you ever come back from one and felt like you needed another vacation to recover from it? If you often experience travel fatigue, then slow travelling may be just what you need. An alternative to traditional tourism, slow travelling is all about pacing yourself for a more immersive experience.
For example, instead of cramming your itinerary full of tourist spots, slow down and get a taste of what day-to-day life is like for the locals. Stay in a home with character; eat at small, family-run restaurants; and spend time exploring your surroundings without feeling pressured to document it on social media. When you let mindfulness and self-care guide your itinerary, you’ll come back from your vacation more refreshed and ready to share your best self with your friends, family members, and the world.
Want more self-care tips? Check out these posts on loving who you are, feeling more powerful, and using essential oils in your self-care routine.
What is your favorite way to work self-care into your routine?
Tell us in the comments!