Funny young woman with a cosmetic mask on her face and cucumbers on her eyes.

Caring for our loved ones is important, but so is taking care of ourselves. How often do you focus on your own well-being and happiness? When was the last time you took a moment to do something for your own health and happiness? One of the best things that we can do for our minds and bodies is to take a step back and remember that we are worth taking that extra time for.

Some people are so focused on everyone around them, that they often forget about themselves. It might seem inconvenient or selfish to carve some time out for yourself, but it’s not. After all, if you’re not taking care of yourself, then how are you supposed to continue helping others? You don’t want to end up compromising your own health or building resentment because of your neglect.

Did you know that research shows that adding self-care into your routine reduces stress, decreases the chance of mental and physical ailment, increases productivity, and results in happiness? By giving ourselves some love, we’re able to approach our lives with a clear, happy mind, which results in positivity.

1. Make better food choices.
Do you find yourself constantly rushing through your meals or eating fast food because you’re crunched for time and always putting your energy towards others? Take a breath and pause for a moment. Is what you’re fueling yourself with good for you? If not, start small and begin making better choices. Obviously, a healthy you is a more happy and helpful you.

2. Give yourself a pat on the back.
In today’s world with its long to-do lists, it feels like there’s always something to do. The tasks seem never ending. Take a moment to reflect about the things you accomplished today, no matter how small. Congratulate yourself for a job well done because you deserve it. You can’t go on everyday without ever receiving an ounce of appreciation.

3. Show thanks.
Just as it’s beneficial to keep track of what we’ve done, it’s also good to be grateful for what we have. Make a note of the things that you feel lucky to have. When you’re feeling down, it’s easy to spiral into sadness. It helps to remember things that you appreciate. Everything from clean clothes to a good friend is worth jotting down.

4. Get in touch with your inner child.
Remember when you were young and carefree? What were some of your favorite things when you were little? Did you love jumping on the bed, watching cartoons, or roasting marshmallows? Treat your inner child and allow the warm feelings of nostalgia to take over.

5. Make a goody basket.
Fill a pretty basket with some of the things that make you feel special. It could be nail polish, candy, bath bombs, lotion, treasured photos, or magazines. Place those pick-me-ups in a container, and keep it in your home or your office for when you need an extra dose of love.

6. Trim your schedule.
Are you short on time? Have you committed to too many things? Are there things that you could let go? Ask yourself which activities and relationships are truly adding value to your life, and make space for those things while trimming the others.

7. Get moving.
What people say about exercise and endorphins is true; getting active results in happiness. Now, I’m not telling you that you need to hit the gym. Instead, find a form of physical activity that works for you. Go dancing with your friends, play golf, have a game of paintball with your buddies, enjoy a hike, go on a bike ride, or whatever else you enjoy.

8. Unplug yourself.
Social media has some benefits. It allows you to keep in touch and see what your loved ones are up to, but does it really make you feel better to continually expose yourself to everyone’s online versions of themselves? Most often people only report on their success, and so it can be hard when you’re comparing your life to someone’s best moments. Too many emails from work? If it’s possible and there’s nothing time sensitive, take a break and just unplug for a few minutes, hours, a weekend, whatever length of time you feel will rejuvenate you.

9. Take a soak.
Muscles aching or you just need to unwind? Draw yourself a hot bath and just lay back. Throw a bath bomb in there or if you need something more therapeutic, try epsom salt. Close your eyes and wash your stress away.

10. Get a rub down.
Although massage therapy may be pricier than a walk in the park or indulging in some chocolate, the psychological benefits of massage outweigh its price tag. Massage therapy can reduce pain, promote muscle relaxation, and improve both mood and sleep quality. One study found that after subjects were massaged, the levels of cortisol (a hormone contributing to stress) in their saliva decreased. Another study also found massage therapy’s pleasurable qualities can lead to recipients reporting a better body image, especially for women.

Remember, by taking care of yourself, you will continue to bring your best self to the table. Don’t neglect your own health and happiness on the account of others. Make time to do right by you.

Ready to show yourself some love and are located in the South Bay or Hermosa Beach area? Book a massage with me. You won’t regret it!