- “Forest bathing” has become a popular way to care for yourself while connecting with the Earth.
- Self-care doesn’t have to be costly if you focus on doing things that make you feel good.
Personal wellness means something different to everyone, but it can be universally agreed upon that it feels great to feel great. If you’re looking for a way to take care of yourself, you can try something like “forest bathing,” which includes visiting a natural area and having direct, physical contact with the earth to achieve rejuvenating and restorative benefits that could include improved sleep and reducing inflammation.
If you want other affordable ways to care for yourself, try checking out these easy-to-adopt practices to make yourself feel centered and happy.
- Go outside and put your bare feet in the grass. Feel the earth beneath your feet and feel grounded.
- Make yourself your favorite childhood lunch. Chicken nuggets and French fries aren’t just for kids.
- Write a letter to future you. Chronicle all that’s happening in your life now. Whatever is consuming your world right now might not be as big of a deal in five, 10 or 15 years.
- Dance. Show off your dance moves in the privacy of your own home or in public; it’s up to you.
- Drink water. Drinking water maintains the body’s fluid balance, which helps transport nutrients in the body, regulate body temperature and digest food.
- Sleep past your alarm. For the sake of your successful professional career, relegate this to days that you’re not working.
- Write out a list of five things you’re grateful for in this moment. Oprah Winfrey has been doing this for years.
- Call your mom — or someone else you love talking to. Smartphones do a lot more than text and send tweets. Use the phone to actually speak to someone you love talking to and catch up.
- Wake up in the morning and say you love yourself out loud. Starting the day off by talking to yourself might feel a little silly, but your positive affirmation might bring a day of content.
- Stretch. No one’s saying anything about yoga. For those with sedentary jobs, take frequent breaks to touch your toes and reach for the ceiling.
- Look in the mirror and tell yourself you look fierce. Optional: growl and scratching hand movement.
- Read. Be it a news article, feature, fiction, children’s book, comic book, poem or even the back of a cereal box, if it interests you, it’s worthy of your time.
- Watch over some animals. If you can’t achieve this in person, animal YouTube videos are an excellent substitute.
- Stay in your pajamas all day. Don’t let convention make you feel guilty for wearing pajamas all day.
- Let yourself feel real emotion: cry, laugh or smile. Perhaps rereading a favorite poem or book, watching a movie or listening to a song will elicit this reaction from you.
- Belt out your favorite song alone in your car. The car is your stage and there’s an audience of one, so use the privacy to show off your vocal range (or lack thereof).
- Eat the first spoonful out of a fresh jar of peanut butter. Go right ahead, break all the rules.
- Walk tall. It works for giraffes and ostriches. Your improved posture will change how you see the world and how the world sees you.
- Light a candle of your favorite scent. Scents have the power to transport and conjure memories.
- Take a walk without your phone. Test yourself by leaving your phone behind as you take a leisurely stroll. Eliminating the distraction from your pocket or purse will clear your mind.
- Catch some of the sun’s rays. The sun is the culprit for skin cancer, wrinkles and premature aging, but moderate sun exposure does have health benefits. Make sure you slather on the sunblock before heading outside.
- Start an Instagram or Twitter for your pet. Does your furry friend have tons of personality and exude star power? Be your pet’s publicist, start a social media account and see where it goes.
- Organize a cluttered area of your home. If this task feels too overwhelming, start small with a closet or drawer. Remember: A clutter-free home is a clutter-free mind.
- If you have an instrument, then take it out and play it. Make good on your promise to practice and have your own jam session.
- Watch a TED Talk. “Ideas worth spreading” is the tagline for TED, which stands for technology, entertainment and design. The nonprofit is devoted to sharing ideas with videos that are usually short and range in topics from augmented reality to gaming to storytelling. Soak in one of the talks and learn something new.
- Meditate. Download a free app like Headspace or Calm for voice-guided meditation practices. Close your eyes and zone out.
- Try “forest-bathing.” In Japan, there is a concept called shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing,” which is part of preventative healthcare and healing. Try adopting Eastern practices and scout out a little slice of nature and just lie there.
- Visit an older relative. It’s common for senior citizens to feel isolated, so surprise and delight an older relative by paying them a visit. Think about bringing flowers or prepared food, so your relative can feel your presence even after you leave.
- Listen to a podcast. There’s a podcast for just about every niche these days; listen to whatever topic brings you joy.
- Journal. Take pen to paper or start typing away on your computer. What you write is for no one’s eyes but yours, so let it all out.
If you’re looking for a more luxurious way to care for yourself, check out these elegant wellness retreats around the world.
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