Simple Self-Care For The Body, Mind, and Soul

If you've spent any time online over the last couple of years — or any time on littlefoolbook, ever, at all — you've probably heard about a little bitty concept called "self-care."

On the surface, self-care sounds pretty self-explanatory. It's about taking care of yourself, right? Well, yes but it's actually a little more complicated than that. The truth is that self-care is fundamental to this whole “self-love” thing, and is incredibly important for your health, well-being, and general happiness. Blah, blah blah, you know this stuff.

However, when life gets tough, our self-care practice is usually the first thing we ditch. What’s up with that? 

The truth is — even with the best of intentions — you can't help others, or operate at your highest capacity, or fulfill your potential, or be your best self, if you're not taking care of number one (that's you) first. SO. In the spirit of not piling on to the overwhelm by giving you a long, long list of self-care to-do’s, here are three simple self-care tips that are great for your mind, body, and soul. Tackle these first, and the rest will fall into place.


1. Take a Rest Day

I know. I know. Not everyone can just play hooky, and a self-care practice that demands you to do so just isn’t realistic for many. But that doesn’t mean you still can’t take a rest day.

Whether you're dealing with the regular ol’ overwhelm and chaos of everyday life, or something a little heavier like depression or anxiety, the idea of going out and doing anything can often be too much to even consider. In these moments, it’s important to give yourself permission to pause.

So, maybe you can’t take the whole day off (though, if you can, I strongly advise it) because whether you like it or not, life is happening all around you. But what you can do is take it easy.

Tackle the low-hanging fruit at work, and save the mental heavy lifting for when you’re feeling better.

Skip your workout for something that will soothe you.

Forget about cooking dinner for yourself (and/or the fam) and order in your favorite dish, or delegate the chore to someone who loves you.

Tuck in early and give yourself the rest you need and deserve.


2. Treat Yourself

You are worthy of what you want (even if you think you don’t deserve it — you do). So, treat yourself to something you want but don’t need (without guilt).

The shoes you’ve been eyeing for 3 weeks — they belong on your feet.

Tickets to that band you’ve been dying to see —

An indulgent, hot, exfoliating bath — tips from this exfoliator site + your favorite scrub in your tub, tonight.

Because if you want something, you deserve to have it. And you deserve to enjoy it without guilt. Because giving yourself what you want (in moderation, of course), reinforces your worth — and you are beyond worthy.

Spoiler Alert: Treating yourself doesn’t have to mean spending money you don’t have (or shouldn’t be spending). You can 100% splurge without spending a dime. Try giving yourself a mani and pedi at home, binge-watch your favorite show on Netflix in your PJs, or try one of these DIY face masks.


3. Eat to Feel Good

When you're self-care practice is suffering, it can be incredibly easy to fall into some pretty bad habits when it comes to your diet.

When I’m in a self-care slump, the first thing to go is always my diet, which usually propels me into a vicious cycle of body shame and stress eating. I eat bad foods, which subsequently make me feel bad about myself, so I rebound with more bad food that makes me feel better for the few moments that I’m indulging, and then much, much, worse afterward. I’ve gotten stuck in these spirals for weeks at a time and know, first-hand, just how hard it can be to get out, and back on track.

But here’s the thing: You 100% can, and all it takes is one good meal. Eat one healthy meal that makes you feel good about yourself and voila! The cycle is broken.  

As much as self-care is about making yourself feel good (and sometimes chocolate and ice cream and pizza do make you feel good), it's also about doing what's best for you and your body. Making meals and eating right might not always be easy but it can have a huge impact on both your mental and physical well-being.

For more tips on how to take care, check out these 24 Self-Care Rituals.

*This was a collaborative post.