Practicing self-care is important, it can provide more mental clarity and help you develop healthier habits. Sometimes finding the time in our busy day to practice self-care can be difficult, but it’s important to set aside time every day to take care of yourself, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. By doing so, you’ll notice a difference in your emotional well-being and physical health. The World Health Organization defines self-care as: “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.” Self-care is anything you do to take care of yourself that makes you happy and physically healthy.
There are two main ways to practice self-care, which are emotional and physical self-care. Emotional self-care can include journaling, taking a relaxing bath, watching a movie with friends, or cleaning your home. Physical self-care can include practicing yoga, going on a hike, or going to the doctor when needed. If you’re looking to take care of yourself, while also taking care of the planet here are 8 ways to have an environmentally conscious self-care day:
1. Relaxing Bath
- Baths can help relieve muscle pain and tension, lower stress, and detoxify your body. You can create a self-care bath with items you already have at home. Start by setting the mood with candles, plants, and some music. Additionally, bring a sweet treat like chocolates and some wine. Finally, for a good soak, finish the bath with some unscented salts and a DIY facial mask made from natural ingredients. Saving water is always important, so try to make baths a treat, not a daily ritual.
2. Outdoor Workouts
- Treat yourself to an outdoor class, they provide the music, experienced instructors, and all the workout materials you need. You might already enjoy going to the gym or doing home workouts, but it might be time to change things up and go outside! Being outside when the weather is nice and warm can make your workouts more enjoyable. You’ll be reducing your waste since you don’t have to buy any new materials. A few fun options are Pilates, yoga, swimming, tennis, SoulCycle, or a dance class!
3. Social Media Break
- Studies have shown that spending too much time on social media can increase feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. Practice emotional self-care by taking a break from technology. Social media can be addicting, so it’s important to have the willpower and be intentional about taking a break. Turn off your notifications, set time limits, and set some boundaries. Replace mindlessly scrolling on your phone with mood-boosting activities like going on a walk, reading a book, journaling, or cooking. You can start small by decreasing your time online. Nowadays there are many apps you can use to track your screen time, start there!
- Journaling is a great tool to reduce anxiety, deal with emotions, organize your thoughts and reflect on your day. Practice writing for 15-20 minutes 3-5 times per week, write about your day, your deepest thoughts, and issues in your life. It will help you clear your mind and make you happier. Studies have even shown that it can help improve sleep, physical health, and immune function. If you are not sure where to start, try prompts! There are many prompts available online that can help you get inspired. Journaling is free and easy, all you need is a journal (or a computer), a pen, and 15 minutes.
5. Have a Spa Day
- Help destress and increase your happiness with a spa day. Treat yourself to any of these basic spa treatments: massages, manicures, pedicures, body, and facial treatments. If you’re having a draining or stressful week, you could benefit from a relaxing spa treatment. You deserve to unwind and relax and if you don’t want to do the work, let a professional handle it for you. A few benefits include enhancing sleep, reducing tension, releasing serotonin, reduced headaches, relieving pain, and improving blood flow and circulation. No matter the treatment, you’ll notice an improvement in your mental and physical health.
- The very nature of hiking makes it an environmentally conscious activity. Be respectful of the trails, the wildlife, and the locals. Studies have shown that hiking can be a great way to improve your heart health and decrease bad cholesterol levels. There are also many benefits for your mental health like easing stress, improving your self-esteem, relieve insomnia, and improved memory. You’ll be taking care of your physical and emotional health by hiking.
- If you’re choosing to stay indoors and save some money, you should consider doing a staycation. You can explore the beauty of your hometowns and support the local businesses. A great bonus is that when you avoid traveling by plane, you’re significantly reducing your CO2 footprint. If you enjoy being surrounded by nature then a great option is camping, you can bring your favorite snacks, some candles, and your favorite book. If roughing it in the outdoors is not your cup of tea then you can also book an overnight stay in your favorite local spot. Another great option is to stay home, invite a few friends over, order takeout, make some fun drinks, and enjoy them over some board games or movies. There are plenty of options for a fun and environmentally friendly staycation!
- Growing your veggies, fruits, or herbs allows you to become more self-sustainable. This great hobby will save you money and provide you with healthier foods. You can practice sustainable gardening by using fewer chemicals and using your own organic growing methods like composting. Gathering seeds from vegetables that have already matured will save you money. You can even water your garden sustainably, just save the water from your showers when you’re waiting for it to heat up. If you’re a beginner at gardening then start small with an herb garden, which can be grown indoors by a well-lit window and are lower maintenance. If you want a complete guide on how to start gardening, we have gathered a list of great beginner tips to get you started here.
As self-care becomes more popular, the more waste we are also creating. However, you can be environmentally conscious while practicing physical and emotional self-care. Being sustainable doesn’t have to be hard or expensive, and there are always ways to make these practices a little greener. Start treating yourself today with these environmentally friendly activities, you deserve it!
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