Why is it that the simple act of taking time for ourselves can be so damn hard? We feel like we never “have the time” because we don’t make the time. From the overwhelming crush of work obligations to kids and pets who need our constant attention to the hours we spend searching online for the perfect presents, by the time we get to the end of the day, there are no hours left just for us.
If all of this sounds a little too familiar and you need a reason to engage in some self-care rituals, consider this: Research shows that practicing self-care reduces both physical and psychological stress. Some studies indicate it can even add years to your life.
Another wonderful thing about self-care? It can be whatever you want it to be—as long as the activity feels restorative, nourishing, and full of self-love. If you’re in a season when you’re having a difficult time carving out space for yourself, consider these simple-to-implement self-care practices from BRANWYN women just like you.
Great self-care ideas from BRANWYN women everywhere...
1. Write your morning pages
My favorite self-care practice is journaling three pages every day. It helps me clear my mind and be present where I am. When you first start, superficial things appear. But then, as you continue, even if you don't even know what else to explain, good things appear on the paper. It helps put an overwhelming mind in order. And even for creativity, it is a very useful technique. — Berta, @berta.raspall
2. Try a new outdoor activity
I find solace in the mountains and love to engage in outdoor activities such as hiking, snowboarding, paddleboarding, or snowshoeing. It's not just a hobby for me but a necessary part of my health regimen. The natural environment provides me with a genuine sense of tranquility, which helps me destress and maintain my mental and physical well-being. — Kimberly Fortune-Bowens
3. Make the bed
A daily self-care practice I do is making my bed every morning. This is something I never used to do, but a made bed really makes my living space look more put together (even if there are clothes everywhere) and makes going to bed at the end of the day that much more cozy and comfy. — Erika, @agirl_whoexplores
My favorite self-care tip is being outside every day, and getting sun on my skin! I joke that I’m solar-powered, but as time goes on it is no longer a joke, and now, just straight up true. It lifts my spirits, helps give me perspective and remember how I’m a part of the world around me. Even when it isn’t sunny or warm, you can always find me outside every single day! — Mak, @bound.for.nowhere
5. Try the five senses exercise
When I feel overwhelmed I use a technique called the five senses exercise. You sit where you are, close your eyes and observe what you feel, what you smell, etc. This usually can help me feel grounded and calm. — Jasmine, @majestical_jazz
6. Ditch the phone
Credit: Lane Oliveri of @susainwonderland
I love breathwork meditation combined with an ice bath session, but if there are no ice bath facilities around, I just love to go offline for a few hours (no phone, no music, no wifi) and enjoy nature. I love to wander around in the forest, hike a mountain, or watch the sea and its movements. — Susa, @susa_in_wonderland
7. Find beauty in rest
When the outdoors has done a number on me, I love spending a full day at home doing things that make me feel beautiful. Enjoying the peace and quiet in my home with a poetry book makes me feel beautiful. Honoring my thoughts and journaling makes me feel beautiful. Spending time preparing a luxurious meal for myself makes me feel beautiful. Doing a full shower and skin care routine and getting in bed WAY early makes me feel beautiful. Waking up the next day fully rested knowing my body crushed some insane miles or saw some insane views, and that I took care of me and honored me afterward, makes me feel the most beautiful. — Erica, @ericaraehikes
8. Try hot and cold therapy
I do a 25-minute sauna followed by a 5-minute cold shower every morning! I’ve been doing it for several years and have found it to work wonders for my anxiety, ADHD, and mental health. It forces me to put away all my devices and be present. — Justine, @wanderfulwives
9. Explore the power of botanicals
As a budding herbalist and the owner of a botanically infused oil business, one of my favorite self care practices is incorporating botanical friends into my day. From hydrating rose powder and fresh maple syrup (loaded with antioxidants) in my coffee to blessing my body with infused oil after a wild hot springs soak to washing my hair with herbal shampoos in river water—my day from start to finish has become routine with the earthly bounty that we so graciously get to have access to on this planet. Massive amounts of gratitude to the world of plant medicines and wild waters that hold us ever so magnificently! — Jayde, @jaydesilbernagel
10. Run it out
Getting outside or on a treadmill for a run instantly makes me feel better. On days where I'm not really feeling it, I allow myself to take it easy. Aiming for consistency with flexibility here and there has really taught me how to push through any mental hurdles I may be facing that day. The best change in my running routine, however, is not always worrying about time, pace or personal records. No pressure. Enjoyment is the goal! — Shruthi, @holidayatsee
11. Let water heal you
"Getting out by water, whether it's a hike to an alpine lake or walk next to the ocean — water soothes the soul." — Breanna, @thebreannaa
Remember, these are just a few starting points. Think of them as sparks for your own self-care inspiration. Also, and this is important: No beating yourself up if you don’t “do self-care perfectly.” We’re all perfectly imperfect and doing the best we can.