Hopefully, the idea of self-care isn’t new to you. As we get busier and busier it can be hard sometimes to remember that we all need to take a break and check in with ourselves. Kids, work, families, partners, and the day-to-day grind that becomes unavoidable as an adult can overwhelm us. We often become so focused on taking care of everything else that we forget about ourselves. So make a pledge to take some time out of your busy week and do something nice for yourself. This is part II of our series on free and inexpensive acts of self-care that you can do right now (you can read part I right here).
This one is a major win-win! Not only can you help out a cause you feel passionately about, but studies have shown that volunteering can lower stress and ease depression. More often than not, volunteering is a social act which means you can engage with others who feel strongly about the same cause that you do. It has also been linked to raising ones self-esteem and boosting your overall health. So why not volunteer at your local soup kitchen, participate in a park or beach clean up, or hang out with some adorable animals at your local shelter? Sites like VolunteerMatch.org can help link you up with local organizations.
Don’t have the time? Volunteering can be as simple as pledging to compliment one person in your life each day, helping your elderly neighbor bring in their trash cans, or watching your friends pets for a weekend. Get creative and let the good vibes flow!
Learn Something New
We are living in an era where there are tutorials on everything. Literally everything. So why not take advantage and learn something new? Try your hand at some fun party tricks, learn a new language, or follow along with a yoga video and skip the expensive studio memberships. Learning a new skill actually changes your brain chemistry and form new pathways that will help you increase your learning speed in the future. So challenge yourself to learn that one thing you’ve always wanted to do and reap the benefits.
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I’ve recently taken up guitar. • I come from a musical background, and play piano, drums, and a few others. • But somehow, I never learned guitar. • It was one of those “someday I want to” things. • I decided last week that someday was now. • Also, on a side note, I’m laughing a little at Instagram vs. real life today. • Mike took this a few days ago while I sat playing, happy and carefree. • As I type this I’m sick in my bed for the second day in a row, nibbling crackers and tea that I’m praying won’t come back up and generally feeling like I’m at death’s door. • In this case, I’ll spare you the Insta vs. reality swipe 😂 • What is something you’ve always said “someday” to and have been putting off? . . . . . #sincewewokeup #skoolieconversion #schoolbus #buslife #homeiswhereyouparkit #skoolie #vanlife #schoolbusconversion #busconversion #skoolielife #rv #rvliving #rvconversion #tinyhome #tinyhouse #tinyliving #rollinghome #lifeonthego #nomadlife #digitalnomad #offthegrid #skooliebuild #diy #wanderlust #skoolies #mybuslife #skoolienation #thingsicandowithmyhouse #learningguitar #somedayistoday
A post shared by Bus Life || Mike + Tawny (@sincewewokeup) on Dec 4, 2019 at 10:29am PST
Reach Out To Someone
All this one requires is time, and another person of course. Call a friend who you haven’t spoken to in a while or just reach out and say hi to that one person you want to get to know a little better. It may sound outdated, but why not write a letter (yes, with pen and paper) to a family member, or a friend who lives far away, just saying hello? Or send s funny or heartfelt greeting card to someone special just because. Science has shown that a handwritten card or letter carries a greater emotional impact than just sending a text. And it is always exciting to get mail that isn’t a bill! So why not spend a few minutes of your time and make your day as well as someone else’s?
This is literally one you can’t live without. But how often do you think about breathing? Take a moment to center yourself and really pay attention to your breath. Focus on feeling your lungs fill up with air and the act of exhaling. As you exhale, push all the negative thoughts, stress, and anxiety out with your breath. There are many guides online about breathing exercises and it is perfect to pair with your daily meditation as well. And this self-care practice doesn’t cost a dime!
Do Something That Makes You Happy- And Don’t Feel Guilty About It!
We all know the feeling. You have a million things on your to-do list but you’re still in bed scrolling through your news feed. As we get older, and our responsibilities pile up, we can often feel guilty about doing something pleasurable. You can feel as though your free time should be spent being productive, checking things off the never-ending to-do list.
Instead of stressing, try changing your perspective. Think of self-care as part of being productive. After all, if you feel good and centered, you are more likely to tackle the days tasks with gusto. So pick something that makes you happy and do it! Watch your favorite movie for the millionth time, take a nap, read a gossip magazine, dance around your room and sing at the top of your lungs. Whatever it may be, make the time to do it and just enjoy it. The to-do list is never going away, it will be there when you finish.