For most people, self-care is very low on the to-do list. Sometimes, it’s not even on the list at all.
In between work, family life and a million chores, treating yourself to a massage or downtime with a book just doesn’t seem achievable. On the rare occasion you do get a few quiet moments to yourself, thoughts of doing something more productive usually creep in and ruin all chances of relaxation.
We say it’s time to shake off the feeling that self-care is selfish or not worth making the time for. Self-care is like the oxygen mask that appears on a plane during an emergency - you have to put on yours before you can help others. A few moments of self-love every day can lead to lifelong benefits (aka inner happiness, clarity, stress relief - you know, just little things). It’s a very powerful way to care of yourself. Not to mention, a key component for living your best, fullest life!
To help you reap the rewards of self-care, we’ve kept this guide so simple you could follow it in your sleep. These acts of self-care promise little-to-no effort required, meaning you no longer have an excuse for skipping out on it.
Keep reading for eight effortless acts self-care.
1. Try keeping a diary
A pen and paper represent a fantastic way to empty the frustrations, stress, and negativity you’ve carried throughout the day. There’s no set rules about you write either, that’s up to you! Whether it’s reflections on the past, positive affirmations or simply about your day - journaling is a surefire way to drain bad thoughts from your brain and make room for better ones.
2. Call a friend
Self-care can mean so many things. For some, that means an overdue phone call with a friend you haven’t seen in ages. Or even a friend you saw yesterday. And the best thing? You can literally do this anywhere, anytime. The only effort required involves picking up your phone and scrolling through your contact list.
3. Treat your skin to good things
When we say “treat your skin” we don’t necessarily mean drown it in expensive creams, serums and lotions. Take a step back and look holistically at your current skincare habits. Are you drinking plenty of water? Are you regularly cleansing and moisturising your skin? Are you feeding it with nourishing ingredients?
At Aleph HQ, we seek self-care through our range of beauty. Each product is formulated with gentle and skin-loving ingredients (like Jojoba Oil, Totarol and Alaria Esculenta Extract) which help create a flawless finish immediately and also improve our skin over time too!
4. Take your work breaks (not at your desk)
Let’s be honest, everyone’s guilty of this. The thought of skipping lunch in favour of finishing work as fast as possible might be tempting, but rushing through the day will only result in a mental burn-out. In order to prevent this from happening, take regular breaks to keep your mind productive and stress-free. Eating lunch in front of your desk doesn’t count!
5. Use those work breaks wisely
If you’re on a tight schedule, breaks can come far and few between. Make the most out of your lunch/coffee breaks: go for a stroll, listen to a podcast, read a book. Basically, do whatever it is you need in the moment. Come 5pm, you’ll leave work with a spring in your step (rather than dragging your feet).
6. Watch your favourite movie
Is there anything better than sinking into the couch and escaping into one of your favourite movies? Especially after a long day? Answer: Nothing. Besides being a fun hour or two with friends or family, a movie is a great way to relieve stress and find a little laughter. This might just be simplest form of self-care around, but it’s definitely one of our top favourites.
7. Do an audit of your social media
It might sound odd, but there’s something to be said about a social media purge. Social media, for the most part, is fairly unavoidable - so why not make sure the stuff you’re seeing is the people / things you really care about? Next time you’re looking for a simple self-care outlet, conduct an audit of your phone and wave goodbye to any accounts causing you unhappiness. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how uplifting this simple act can be.
8. Plan your dinners for the week
Nothing says #selfcare like nourishing your body with good foods. By sitting down and planning your Monday-to-Friday meals ahead of time, you’re sure to make healthier choices, save time and money. With your meals sorted for the week, the daily “what’s for dinner” thought that plagues us is no more!
In the end, self-care is less about the ‘what’ and more about the ‘why’. Forget the notion that self-care is selfish or not worth the time and rediscover how to find joy in the simplest acts - no real effort required. Begin weaving these low-lift actions into your daily regime and before you know it, they’ll become more like second nature.