Feel like you’re too busy for self-care? Here’s how to make a self-care plan you can do every day.
Your friends say it, your doctor says it, and you see it all the time in health magazines: It’s important to make a self-care plan for improved mental health. That sounds nice and all, but how?
What if your everyday life doesn’t exactly have space for hours of yoga, meditation, and endless spa days? Admit it: that’s totally what you’re picturing when you hear the word “self-care.”
Here’s the thing: Grabbing a little me-time isn’t just reserved for people who read Goop. As much as we’d all love to trade places with Gwyneth Paltrow, we’re not all living in sunny California and selling $75 candles.
Self-care isn’t all green juice and fancy yoga mats. And it doesn’t have to involve some Tom Haverford-inspired “Treat Yo' Self Day” where you charge pedicures and designer clothes to your credit card, followed by wondering how the heck you’re supposed to pay rent.
Feel what we’re throwing down, here? A lot of people believe self-care is only for those who have lots of time and oodles of cash. But prioritizing mental wellness and peace of mind should be for everybody.
And practicing self-care comes with some pretty dope benefits like more confidence, better relationships, increased energy, and mad stress-management skills.
So like… how do you make a self-care plan without spending a ton of money and time on a meditation retreat? We’ve got a few ideas that everyone can fit into their everyday lives:
1. Make time for face time
Look, we’re all about me-time, but sometimes self-care means spending time with people who get you. One way to start soaking up some feel-good vibes ASAP is to schedule time with a friend or family member who always makes you smile.
Don’t have time for a lengthy hang? Get a call or Zoom date on the books, or get in the habit of texting regularly.
2. Take a cue from Oliva Newton-John and get physical
Ugh, exercise. You know it puts you in a better mood, but it’s so hard to make yourself do it. The key to getting off your ass is to find something you love and to make realistic goals. Start with running or power-walking for 20 minutes a day, three times a week, and go from there.
It may be daunting to make a self-care plan involving workouts when you view it as a time-consuming commitment. So, thinking of it as just 20 minutes thrice a week (yeah, we said “thrice”) makes it doable.
How to make a self-care plan tip 3: Say “YES” to downtime
People—especially millennials—often feel guilty about doing nothing. Well, we hereby give you permission to do nothing.
Not all the time, of course … but definitely sometimes. Fight the urge to look for something productive to do the second you get home from work and let yourself chill out. Run a bath, read a book, or just sit on the couch for a bit and check out the view from your living room window.
Trust us; you're not being lazy. You're giving yourself a mental wellness break.
4. Skip the slumber party with your phone
If the last thing you see before you fall asleep each night is your Twitter feed, maybe it’s time to stop doom-scrolling and let yourself drift off to sleep with some positive vibes in your head. Don’t take your phone to bed every night.
Read a book, meditate, chat with your partner, or just close your eyes and breathe.
5. Have a no-power hour
Think of it as a miniature digital detox. For 60 minutes, live your life like there’s no electricity. (You don’t have to literally cut the power—your roommates will probably be pissed.)
Turn off the lights, have a conversation with whoever you live with, get some reading done, or just lay back and be with your thoughts.
6. How to make a self-care plan with a little Zen: improve mental health by mastering meditation
“Mastering” mediation doesn’t mean you have to move to a Buddhist monastery and take up a vow of silence. Seriously, all you need is 10 minutes. Try this 10-minute mediation daily for a little dose of self-care that can fit into any busy schedule.
Heck, you can even bust out a little Zen at work whenever the stress strikes!
7. Eat feel-good foods
While we certainly have deep-dish respect for the healing powers of pizza, there’s a lot to be said for choosing foods that promote mental health.
Add some leafy greens, fish, nuts, berries, and avocados into your diet for a self-care plan that's as easy as eating lunch. Don't worry; you can still totally have the pizza on your cheat day.
8. Give back
If you’re in a woe-is-me mindset a la Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, consider the self-care powers of caring for others. You can volunteer, donate funds, or even help someone in your life who needs a hand with moving—or a shoulder to cry on after a breakup.
9. Give yourself permission to get help
It’s okay to not be okay. Despite what you’ve seen on Instagram, nobody is 100 percent fine. Part of self-care means talking to a mental health professional if you need support.
Still wondering how to make a self-care plan?
Oh yeah, one more awesome self-care tip: try scarfing some CBD gummies for a dose of deliciousness with a side of chill. CBD gummies do not contain THC, so they won’t interrupt the flow of your busy day. But they just might make it easier and a whole lot less stressful.
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