It can be really hard to find time for self-care. There does not seem to be enough hours in the day to meet the demands of work and home life much less time for yourself. Even so, you can still work in small adjustments that can have substantive payback. An accessible way to incorporate self-care is by substituting something you’re doing now with a healthier alternative. And, I challenge you to do just that!
Here are twelve ideas to get you started if you’re interested in doing yourself justice and taking care of you too. Pick just one thing, or come up with your own substitute, and focus on it for the next 30 days.
- Substitute water and herbal or green tea in place of juice and soda (and no, sweet tea does not count). That’s right. Nix the sugar calories. And perhaps you want to substitute coffee with water too.
- Bake some kale chips or roast chickpeas instead of munching on potato chips. Add some Himalayan salt and your favorite seasonings like cumin or rosemary. You can find other healthy snack ideas here.
- Substitute a home cooked meal for processed meals or meals out. Save money. Save calories. Reduce your sodium level.
- Say ‘no’ instead of ‘yes’. This can be both scary and incredibly liberating. Read more here aboutsetting boundaries. And here too.
- Substitute a walk or some simple stretches for that gossiping session with colleagues.
- Substitute or add a positive thought when an unconstructive critical or worrying thought arises.
- Substitute TV time with creative time. Engage in a hobby. Take an art class.
- Call a friend or loved one instead of spending time on social media. Pick up the phone. Set up a time to meet for lunch or dinner, a movie, to exercise together. Connect with friends on Facetime or Zoom.
- Instead of using the TV to help you fall asleep take a warm bath or listen to some soothing music.
- Flirt with minimalism. Give something away every time you want to buy something new that you don’t need.
- Do a mini-meditation or breathing exercise each time you have a compulsive urge to look at your phone.
- Substitute the long to do list with a to do list that only includes those items that have to get done.
So, what do you do now? Pick a substitute that is right for you. And how about getting started today? Sign up below to download a 30 Day Self Care Challenge Tracking Tool to help you set up and track your progress. Be patient with yourself. If you fall off the horse, just hop back on. Every day is a new opportunity to move in the direction of your goals.
Let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org) which one you picked. And, I would love to know how it goes!