After a year that forced us to spend more time indoors, in our home, than we ever had before, the world turned away from typical comforts like going out for a movie and had to invent new rituals for self care. We were all isolated separately, our routines were shaken up and taking care of our mental health became more important than ever.
During upheaval it’s natural to turn to comfort, and the demand for self care ideas rose. According to Healio self care isn’t a fad that’s going away anytime soon, 80 percent of Americans intend to regularly practice self-care after COVID-19 pandemic. And why should it? Taking care of yourself is a great method of improving quality of life.
But not everyone practices self care in the same ways! What works for one person, might not work for another. So if you’re looking for self care ideas for women, from women, look no further.
What is Self Care?
The World Health Organization defines self care as “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
While self care is founded in overall health, it also includes other areas of improved well being such as personal hygiene, meditation, wellness and physical activity. Self care is important because you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else!
If you’re a business owner or boss reading this article, note that a lack of self care can actually make your employees less productive! If you’re looking for a way to increase employee productivity, check out our corporate wellness programs.
Just Say No
Sometimes self care for women involves doing nothing. “After a busy day in back to back calls, some of the best self care is skipping a Zoom happy hour, ordering takeout and spending some time offline reading a book or hanging out with my dog. I am a social person and love to connect, but it’s good to block off quiet time ideally sans technology,” says Mandy Menaker, Head of PR for ClassPass.
Saying no to that Zoom hangout or walk with a friend might be just what the wellness doctor ordered.
Build Up and Reference Your “Smile File:”
A “smile file” is a collection of feel good digital items that you can screenshot and save on your laptop or phone. The images you save should make you feel good! To start your smile file, try searching through Instagram, or even checking in on your work Slack chat. Maybe someone complimented you on how you handled a tough project! Try creating your smile file in a wellness journal.
Write Reviews for Your Favorite Local Business
Whip out your (digital) pen and take some time to write reviews for your favorite local business on Yelp (or ClassPass). This not only helps them by improving their online presence, it also makes you feel good because you’re helping them out.
Prioritize Alone TIme
“I am also a big proponent of prioritizing alone time especially at the end of a workday. I share a studio with my boyfriend so reading in the tub is normally my version of it! Overall I’ve noticed I need this way more than I used to since Zoom meetings drain me more than going into the office did,” says Marnie Lemonik, Client Solutions Partner at ClassPass.
The pandemic made many of us realize that just sitting in silence, maybe with a hot drink in your hand, is a small luxury. Being able to enjoy the moment, doing absolutely nothing, is not lazy, it’s a great way to practice self care. In a digitally overpowering world, this time away from your screen might turn your whole day around.
Not only is stretching soothing, it’s genuinely good for you! Stretching activates your parasympathetic nervous system and increases blood flow to your muscles. Try taking some time to do nothing but gently stretch. It can help you pull focus from stressors or worrying thoughts, while increasing blood flow and your energy levels. Try folding some morning stretching into your daily routine.
Get in Some Movement
“I’m making a concerted effort to move for 30 minutes everyday, even when I don’t feel like doing it – be it going for a run, dancing in my living room or doing some yoga. I always feel better at the end of it,” says Liz Jegede, Conversion Web Developer at ClassPass.
If you don’t have time to fit in a workout class, try going for a quick walk instead. Bonus tip to make your walk more mindful: Pick one thing to focus on before you leave so my mind stays in the present. For example, look at all of the top floor windows of houses, or the chimneys.
Create a Sacred Ritual
“I love having my own tea party! Picking out a tea flavor, the process of brewing it, and sipping on a nice hot or iced cup of tea always makes me feel so much better! It really gives me a second to take a deep breath. Can always have a friend join too!” says Mollie Craighead, member of the ClassPass Client Solutions team.
But it doesn’t have to be tea! Test out different activities and create a ritual that feels great to you. Other ideas include tidying your work space, brewing a cup of coffee or making a special sandwich.
Pick Up a Book or Find a Blog and Read
Reading a fun fiction novel before can help you to unwind and go to a different world. Non fiction or business books can require more brain energy to process, so reading something fun and light at night can be a big asset to your self care routine.
Need book ideas? Check out this list from James Clear to find your next go-to book.
If you’re not the book type, find a blog that resonates with you and read it regularly. DOSE is a wellness lifestyle blog focused on feel good content. Other great blogs include the Defined Dish, Cup of Jo and Apartment Therapy.