18 Ways You Can Take Care Of Yourself Today, This Week, And In This Moment

Throughout the monotony of everyday life, the difficulties and challenges we regularly face, and the mounting stress that is often a byproduct of being an adult, we tend to push self-care aside and opt for instant gratification and immediate relief.  

We don’t take proper care of ourselves anymore in this obstreperous world, and we instead allow the busyness and unpredictability of life to expropriate the care and nurturance we are entitled to provide ourselves with.

What does it mean to take care of yourself?

Taking care of yourself means that you are providing for your needs in ways that are conducive to enhancing your physical and mental wellbeing. In order to live a fulfilling life, we must satisfy our earthly needs as well as our inherent ones.

Self-care is of the utmost importance when it comes to accommodating your needs. Sadly, because of the way the term “self-care” has been marketed, we are prone to believe that self-care simply entails using a face mask, getting your hair done, or splurging on a fancy dinner. However, this is not completely accurate.

Practicing healthy self-care means that you are taking care of your needs, and that can unfold differently for each individual in their journey for achieving happiness and fulfillment. Self-care for one person may not be the same for another; once we establish and identify our needs, we all fill them in unique ways.

What happens when you start taking care of yourself?

Once you’ve established a set of self-care resources and strategies, you begin to feel less burdened with life. Your mental and physical needs are being met and because you’ve set yourself up with the tools you need to fulfill your needs, you’re in a greater position to enjoy and embrace your life.

You are meeting those needs yourself, you’re not looking to someone else to fill them for you. This results in a higher degree of happiness and a healthier level of self-esteem.

Taking care of yourself allows you to take responsibility for your needs, and once you’ve actively taken on the endeavor to satisfy those needs, you find what works and what doesn’t and you’re able to successfully apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life.

How do you begin to take care of yourself? 

If the concept of self-care is as foreign to you as it is to many, you may be completely uncertain about where to begin. However, taking care of yourself is often simpler than you think. It doesn’t have to be grand gestures, exorbitant purchases, or lengthy retreats and getaways.

Self-care can be as simple as brushing your teeth. You are satisfying your physical needs by practicing good hygiene, and you are supporting strong and healthy teeth.

It can be as effortless as taking 5 minutes to meditate and gather your bearings. Through this self-care skill, you are fulfilling a mental need by allowing your brain a break from any stresses you’re struggling with and affording it a brief moment of peace and calm.

Self-care can be as simple or extravagant as you make it. It’s up to you how you choose to conduct your self-care because self-care is individualized for each of us based on our unique needs.

Here are 18 ways you can take care of yourself today, this week, and at this moment.

1. Make a plan for your week

If you’re the type of person who thrives under the accountability of a structured schedule, make one on Sunday for your upcoming week.

Plan out as much as you can. Plan desired times for your meals and snacks, exercise, errands, and appointments.

Structure often eases unnecessary tension that can coincide with an open and free schedule. Reduce this stress and take care of yourself by making a plan ahead of time, and even if you veer from it throughout the week, at least you have a starting point you can circle back to.

2. Take a bath or a shower

One of the simplest things you can do to practice self-care is taking a relaxing bath or shower.

Practicing good hygiene doesn’t have to be a monotonous task. Turn your daily hygiene routine into an act of self-care and allow yourself to become fully enmeshed in the experience.

If you’re the bath type, go all out. Splurge on bath bombs and bath salts, buy a nice washcloth or sponge, ignite a calming candle, and play some peaceful music. All of these efforts contribute to not just a typical bath, but a full experience that leaves you feeling taken care of.

If you’re not the bath type, just go for a long shower. You can similarly replicate the niceties of a luxurious bath by purchasing premium body wash, playing your favorite music, and washing and conditioning your hair with products that smell intoxicatingly fresh and crisp.

3. Sit outside with your coffee in the morning

If the weather is inviting, take your morning coffee outside and allow yourself to sit in the warmth of the sun and feel the cool breeze. Take this time to absorb the goodness that nature has to offer and enjoy the moment with your caffeine.

Being in nature, even just sitting on your front porch, often grounds us. It creates a space where we can be more aware and conscious of the present moment and brings our attention to what is happening in the present.

Nature also welcomes introspection. Giving yourself this moment in the morning with your hot beverage provides you with an opportunity to think clearly and leaves your mind unencumbered by work emails or social media.

4. Eat a nutritionally balanced meal

Take care of your physical needs by fueling your body with a nutritionally balanced meal.

We live in a world where the answer to a lot of questions is “eat.” If you’re celebrating, you eat. If you’re mourning, you eat. If you’re low on energy, you eat. We eat to not only satisfy and nourish ourselves but to intimately take part in the experiences life has to offer.

Allow food to nourish your body, mind, and heart. Sometimes it’s okay to eat that ice cream when you’re sad; it’s okay to eat what sounds good to you at the moment. Give in to your cravings from time to time, and this will take care of some of your emotional needs.

Providing your body with a meal that meets your nutritional needs is an act of self-care. You’re caring for yourself by listening to your hunger cues, giving your body the energy it needs to perform, and affording your brain the nutrients it needs to think clearly and function properly.

5. Take your medications

Taking your prescribed medications is the very core of self-care. Caring about your health and wellbeing enough to take the medications prescribed to you is a huge step in the right direction.

Medications such as antidepressants and mood stabilizers help balance your brain chemistry and support a healthy and stable mental function. Blood pressure medications and pills that strengthen your bones, heart, and other salient organs support physical wellbeing.

When you are taking the medications prescribed to you, you are showing yourself true care and compassion because you are trusting in the ability of the medicine to do its job and provide the benefits you need to survive and thrive.

6. Take some time to journal

Journaling is one of the best ways to clear your mind, remove ruminating thoughts, and process thoughts as they come and go. Journaling supports introspection and reflection and is a skill that allows you to get your thoughts out in the open without fear of judgment.

Confiding in a journal is freeing. It grants you the ability to express how you truly feel without input or unwanted opinions of others. It empowers you to exercise your right to embrace your feelings and emotions without consequence.

Schedule time in your day to journal, even if it’s for just 10 minutes. You will feel a release of pressure once you put your thoughts on paper, and you will relieve yourself of stress and worry. Take care of your mental needs by processing thoughts and emotions by way of your pen.

7. Listen to a meditation

Meditation calms you down and manifests peace and serenity. When your mind is busy and full of life’s ongoings, one of the best things you can do to quiet things down is listening to a short meditation.

Mediation grounds you and allows you to slow down and breathe. It clears and focuses your mind and encourages you to center yourself and find mental balance.

Pausing from life and gifting yourself five to ten minutes of meditation is a way to show yourself self-care because it proffers a break from the craziness that life brings. Slow down, focus your mind, and breathe.

8. Fold and put away your laundry (right after it’s done)

We all do it; we take our laundry out of the dryer, fold it, and let it sit where it lies.

Putting your laundry away right after you fold it is an efficient and effective way to support your mental health. It’s a simple but annoying task that must be done, and once it’s complete, you feel pleased with yourself.

Give yourself a reason to feel a sense of accomplishment. Complete the task of putting your clothes in their designated drawers and allow that feeling of satisfaction to wash over you.

9. Make plans with a friend

Take some time to grab coffee or lunch with a good friend. Prioritize your friendships with those you care about and nurture the relationships that deserve your time and energy.

Interacting with loved ones fills you with warmth and love. It gives you a moment to step outside of yourself and place your care and consideration on someone else, and it provides you with the chance to talk things out with someone you trust if need be.

We often let life get in the way of making time for people we love, but one of the best ways to show care for yourself is by allowing yourself to spend quality time with your close friends.

10. Call a family member or friend

Reaching out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while gives you a boost of joy. Sometimes circumstances keep us from maintaining regular contact with loved ones, so setting time aside to call a friend or family member you care about will help you keep these relationships in your line of sight.

Conversations bring us together and strengthen our bond with those we care about. Prioritizing this time to speak with loved ones supports your emotional and mental wellbeing because it gives you that outlet to express yourself to someone you know well.

Talking with a loved one also gives you the ability to practice your listening skills. Sometimes we need a break from talking about and thinking about ourselves, so it’s refreshing to hear what others have to say. Taking your focus off yourself puts your mind at peace and allows it to expand into caring for those around you.

11. Take your makeup off, or put some on (your preference)

Sometimes your skin craves a break from your typical makeup regimen. Allow your face to be naked for a day or two and see how that makes you feel. It may be difficult to allow your face to be free of foundation and eyeliner but get out of your comfort zone and enjoy the clean, free feeling that can result from a naked face.

If you don’t typically wear makeup, sometimes applying some light color makes you feel brighter. While makeup is absolutely not necessary, it can enhance your features when used properly. Swipe some mascara on, apply some blush, and notice how you feel.

The important thing here is to do what makes you feel good. If going makeup-free for a day is how you practice self-care, then do it. If you always have a naked face, treat yourself by wearing a bold eye shadow or sharp eyeliner. Explore both options and do what makes you feel your best.

12. Read a book that will teach you something

We have infinite knowledge at our fingertips. There are millions of books out there that promote the enhancement of your intellect, so pick one that will inform you on something you’d like to learn about.

You can choose a book that teaches a hobby or skill, or you can read up on history and past events. You can pick a book that will act as a mirror, revealing to you more about yourself through the process of reading.

Reading an informative book can only benefit your mind, especially if your book of choice is centered on self-help and applying your strengths. Learning more about yourself and how to most effectively live your life is just one of the immeasurable lessons you can learn from a book.

13. Watch a TED Talk on something you are unfamiliar with

YouTube offers an array of informative TED Talks, so browse and find a few that pique your interest. You can learn more and build upon a subject you’re familiar with, or you can opt to absorb completely new information.

You can learn anything from the importance of mindfulness to the ins and outs of eating disorders and mental illnesses. You can learn more about your personality, or you can take in a Talk discussing the power of procrastination.

The TED library offers a plethora of diverse knowledge. Pick a few videos that sound intriguing and allow your mind to explore new topics. Learning useful information is a way to show yourself care, in that you are expanding the wealth of information you have available to you.  

14. Take a break from social media

Social media encourages connection and creativity, but we all need a break from time to time. It becomes cumbersome, scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, seeing beautiful smiling faces, perfectly curated birthday parties, extravagant gender reveals, and new, fluffy puppies.

We are constantly exposed to all the best parts of people’s lives, and this can greatly affect us. We know that our lives are not perfect, so why does it appear that everyone else has it all together? Everyone posts the highlights of their lives, so we are prone to believe that their lives are immaculate and without flaws.

You deserve a mental break from social media. If you have to temporarily delete your apps in order to prevent yourself from using them, do that. Your mind will be less cluttered by the ongoings of everyone else’s lives, and you’ll free yourself up to focus on how beautiful your life is instead of playing the comparison game.

15. Take a walk or go for a run

Moving your body is an efficient way to provide both physical and mental self-care. Exercise releases chemicals that make us happier, and regular movement strengthens your muscles, elevates your heart rate, and productively utilizes your energy.

Going for a simple walk or run gives you time alone with your thoughts. You can choose to take the run in silence and allow your mind to wander, you can listen to upbeat music that puts you in a positive headspace, or you can take in a podcast about a topic you find interesting.

Give yourself time to get your body moving in a way that celebrates your strength and abilities, clears your mind, and lifts your mood. Take care of your body and mind and do it in a way that brings you joy.

16. Sign up for a new type of exercise class

It’s easy to get into a workout rut. We tend to lean towards what we’re familiar with and what’s comfortable, sticking to our daily jog, our typical yoga classes at a convenient studio, and our early-morning spin classes.

However, by sticking to these patterns, the body gets used to the movement, and eventually, you’ll find yourself bored with something you once loved.

Break up the exercise monotony by signing up for a class you’ve never tried before, whether that be barre or Pilates, rock-climbing, or water aerobics. You’ll escape your comfort zone by diversifying your exercise regimen. This keeps things exciting; trying something new keeps you on your toes.

Variation supports mental self-care and adds spice to a comfortable and bland workout routine. Expand your horizons and explore the fun things the fitness world has to offer.

17. Make a doctor appointment for a check-up

A way you can care for yourself this week is by making an appointment with your Primary Care Physician or family doctor.

Make your physical health a priority and get everything checked out, especially if you already have underlying health concerns.

Even though doctor’s appointments commonly cause anxiety, take the step to make the appointment and commit to going. You’ll feel better when it’s done, and you’ll know the status of your physical wellbeing. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your health.

18. Make an appointment with your psychiatrist

The same goes for your mental wellbeing. Mental health so often takes the back seat in our lives and we don’t take proper care of our minds. We let life get in the way and we get lax with setting ourselves up for stable mental health functionality.

If it’s been a while since your last appointment, take the time this week to schedule yourself in with your therapist or psychiatrist. Time spent with these medical professionals not only allows you to keep your mental health in check, but it is literally therapeutic.

We sometimes let things build up in our minds and don’t give ourselves a healthy outlet to let it all out. Talking with a trusted therapist or psychiatrist gives you that outlet.

Arrange some time with your provider soon, and regularly; this is one of the best ways to take care of your mental needs.

In conclusion, harnessing these 18 simple tips supports a healthy self-care practice. Use them when you need them, and reflect on how you feel when you prioritize your needs in life.

woman holding her hands over her heart
Photo by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash
Eden is a 26-year-old Aries who loves learning and exploring mental health, self-love, self-care, and eating disorder recovery.

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