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10 Self Care Routines You Can't Afford to Skip

It's hard to scroll through any form of social media without coming across a pin, infographic, or post about why self care is vital to your overall wellness. The effects of taking time out to treat yourself with a yoga session, massage, a day off, or a hike in the fresh air are undeniable, and there are very few among us who would say taking care of ourselves sounds unappealing. The problem with some of these suggestions is finding the time to carve out for just you. Life is busy, and sometimes human nature takes over and pushes these "unnecessary" activities to the back burner. Luckily, self care doesn't need to be a big, grand gesture once in a blue moon. The following are some simple ways to participate in honoring your body, mind, and spirit that can be done in just a few minutes at any point in the day, leading to a more productive, fulfilled, and happy human!

1. Wash Your Face

Whether or not you wear makeup or facial products, going about your daily life is going to throw some pretty gnarly shit at your skin. Take the time to cleanse your pores, refresh your skin, and wake yourself up with a gentle wash.

2. Wear Sunscreen

It might eventually become the gnarly shit that you're going to wash off your face anyway, but the benefits of slapping on some SPF far outweigh the negatives. Protect your beautiful skin from the harmful rays of the sun, even on overcast days, and your youthful radiance will thank you over the next few decades.

3. Drink Your Water

Sure, you drink water, you drink enough? It's easy to overestimate how much water we take in on the daily, but remember: if you're waiting until you're thirsty, you're waiting too long. Challenge yourself to take down a half gallon each day!

4. Practice Gratitude

Did you know you can rewire your brain simply by identifying 3 things every day that you're grateful for? Practice gratitude until it becomes a habit, and watch how your outlook changes for the better.

5. Smile! Yourself

Telling someone to "smile more" is absolutely one of the most bullshit things to inflict on another person. I'll smile when I goddamn well feel like it, thanks. Our happiness (or impression of such) isn't for the comfort of others, it should be an organic reaction coming from within. However, making the effort to smile when you see your reflection has been proven to have enormous benefits to a person's overall self-worth. Smile at yourself because you deserve it, not because someone is telling you to.

6. Meditate

This is usually the self care suggestion most people skip, because meditating can be hard as hell to get into. The good news is, you don't have to start off at an advanced level! Meditating is something literally anyone can do, it just takes practice. Start off with five to ten minutes a day, maybe before bed (also a great way to start eliminating harmful cell phone use before trying to shut down for the day) and get in the habit of tuning out your thoughts and connecting yourself to a higher frequency.

7. Nourish Your Body

Your body is the physical vessel that carries us through life, so it makes sense to want to fuel it with high quality foods. Still, sometimes the things we know to be total junk are just more convenient, cheaper, or straight up more tasty. And that's okay! All things in moderation. You can do yourself a favor without having to meal prep simply by aiming to increase your servings of fruits and veggies by one each week, or by dedicating one day a week to meatless meals. Small changes, big payoff.

8. Moisturize

Just moisturize, yo.

9. Forgive

Making an effort to empathize with strangers or anyone who has caused you grief is one of those things that take some time...worth it, though. Catch yourself when you feel big irritation coming on over something that maaaybe isn't that big of a deal, and choose forgiveness. Forgive the transgressions of the other person, and then forgive yourself for getting upset at all.

10. Love Yourself

Love yourself like you're the best friend you'll ever have. Love yourself like your mental health depends on it. Put all your effort, every day, into forgiving, appreciating, nurturing, and loving yourself. Stop criticizing yourself internally. Stop deflecting compliments. Stop doubting that you are anything other than great, unstoppable, joyous, and brave. Know that you're doing your best, and take the time to thank yourself for that. Live life like you're in love with your existence.

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