The things we do every day can add up. When we let our days go by without mindfully looking at our actions, self-care is often forgotten. After all, when you have to care for so many other things in your life, “me” time is a luxury, not a necessity. Well, it’s time to change that mindset. Consider investing time in yourself and incorporating these self-care tips to be happy every day – well, almost every day.
1. Try to Exercise
It’s a well-known fact that exercise makes people happy. Recent studies found that people who have a more active lifestyle report greater feelings of enthusiasm and excitement. The best part? The study found that people who exercised or performed any physical activity for at least 15 minutes improved their quality of sleep and their overall mental health.
2. Eat for Your Gut
The more researchers look at the gut-brain connection, the more links between our mood and our gut health they find. Our gut houses almost 90% of our serotonin production, aka the happy hormone. Making sure you avoid foods that disrupt gut bacteria, indulge in gut-healthy foods, and incorporate probiotics is critical to maintaining your happy levels up day after day.
3. Spend Time Outside
Whenever you spend the entire day indoors, you’re bound to feel blue. Spending time outside and breathing fresh air can help lower blood pressure, control your stress levels, and allows you to be more mindful. Not to mention, sunshine can help mental health. Do your best to take a daily break of at least 10 minutes in the outdoors and see how it instantly changes your perspective of the day.
4. Find a Pet
Hopefully, you have a furry best friend waiting for you at home after a long day. If you don’t, try to enlist a friend’s pet to give you some much-needed love. The simple act of walking a dog can drastically reduce your stress levels. There’s evidence that pets can help lower depression symptoms and help people with PTSD.
5. Get Organized
Staying organized might not strike everyone as a self-care practice – but it is. When you take the time to plan your days, your stress levels will be significantly lower. Additionally, when your home is decluttered, your mind will also be. Every day spend a few minutes organizing your thoughts, ideas, and the things around you to feel calmer and happier.
6. Find Your Self-Care Routine
The truth is self-care means something different to everyone. If you’re unsure what type of self-care fits your lifestyle, try this quiz. If, on the contrary, you know running through your skincare routine is your calm moment, go for it. Whatever your self-care routine looks like, embrace it, and go through it every single day. Caring for yourself will make you happy in the long run.
7. Unplug from Everything
We’re bombarded with information 24/7, whether we want it or not. Our email inbox keeps piling up with newsletters, ads, and checkups from your boss. All of this is extremely exhausting. Try to unplug from everything digitally for at least 30 minutes each day. If you can, cut out all technology at least an hour before bedtime to improve your sleep. Try to schedule a digital detox occasionally, to regain perspective on what matters the most – you.
8. Read Something
Most people think that they have to sit down and read an entire book to be considered self-care. Thanks to technology, we can read more than books. Although, here’s a great list of self-care books to read. If books are not your thing, try listening to a podcast, or just read through meaningful articles to help you disconnect from the world for a few minutes.
9. Get Some Sleep
Do your best to stay away from the stress-sleep cycle. Lack of sleep promotes moodiness and stress. If you want to feel happier every day, you need the right amount of sleep under your belt. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of deep sleep every night. If you can’t get there, try to schedule a 15-30-minute nap during the afternoon to recharge.
10. Try Breathing
Perhaps the most overlooked activity of our daily lives besides blinking. Breathing dictates many of our bodily functions, and it’s critical for our well-being. While breath can’t instantly make you happier, it can help you reduce stress levels. Do your best to incorporate a breathing session at one point during your day to keep your stress levels at bay.
11. Consider Meditation
Practicing mindful meditation is one of the best ways to be happier every day. With meditation, individuals embark on a journey to become more grateful, more mindful about their surroundings, and eventually, more joyful. Find the meditation style that best suits your lifestyle. If sitting still is not your thing, consider an active meditation practice instead.
12. Start a Journal
Whether you have a gratitude journal, a food journal, or an emotional journal, journaling is a powerful thing. Sit down with your journal and write down your feelings and gratitude for the day. In the end, you’ll realize that the things that bother you are not that important, and the little things you ignored probably bring happiness to your life.
13. Use Affirmations
An easy way to lift your spirit in a nano-second is using affirmations. When you repeat positive affirmations – and believe them – you can feel happier almost instantly. Make sure you leave yourself short affirmations in key places to bring an unexpected smile to your face. That’s self-care at its finest.
14. Ask for Help
Finally, be honest with yourself. Not every day is meant to be filled with sunshine and happiness. When you genuinely feel blue, ask for help. A small act of self-care has the power to be genuinely transformative. Don’t worry about judgments or anything. When you talk to others about your struggles, there’s no doubt you’ll feel relieved and supported.