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Put Down the Pizza: 7 Better (and Free) Ways to Practice Self Care

Let’s get real about “self care.” It’s hard to be a SHE. Whether you’re a single self-starter or one of 500 in your company, some days are worse than others. On a bad day, it’s easy to order a ton of Chinese, knock back a bottle of wine, and snuggle up with Netflix to take the pain away (whether that pain is from work, personal life, or recent government elections). Trust me, I’ve done this many times, and it feels glorious in the moment. But the next day you’ll be bloated, $20 poorer, and still have none of your problems solved.

Next time you’re tempted to binge down or shop up or whatever it is that makes you feel grounded in a moment of chaos, try one of the tips below instead. They’re free, built on process of growth and self-reflection, and will leave you feeling calmer and more fulfilled than any White Castle Crave Case ever could.

  • Talk to yourself–kindly: self-care is all about being nice to yourself, and what better way than to actually tell yourself, out loud, how awesome you truly are? Will you look a little crazy staring in the mirror and complimenting the heck out of your go-getter attitude and organizational skills? Yes, of course, but who cares? Kind self-talk is a great way to change your mindset and calm your nerves. Not sure where to start? Pretend that you’re talking to your best friend instead. What would you say to them in this situation? What would you want them to hear?
  • Create affirmations: like self-care on the go, an affirmation is a short phrase you repeat regularly–weekly, daily, hourly–to keep you in the right headspace. Pick one to three affirmations that make you feel good about yourself, and say them as often as needed. “I am kind.” “I am smart.” “I am a goddess of light and love and the world won’t get me down.”
  • Spend a night dreaming big: no one is around to hear you, so let it go: do you want to run a bakery? Move to brazil? Pay off your student loans in just 13 months? Adopt a bunch of puppies and name them after the cast of Ocean’s 13? Allow yourself to imagine a world with no “I can’t” or “I should” or “I must”, and figure out what you would really be doing with no limitations. Then, write down specific tasks and start with the first one.
  • Take a bath or a shower: 100% of the world’s greatest inventors had their top-selling ideas in the bathroom. Kidding, of course. But warm water can relax the muscles, clear the brain, and help you take a minute to breathe and recenter. Plus, a lot of people swear that they have their best ideas in the shower. For some extra comfort, make your own sweet bath bomb (dome molds required).
  • Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. You will not believe how much better you feel after a glass of water. Tea is even better, since you can feel it working it’s magic from the inside out as soon as it warms your belly. Make sure you’re well-fed, too; you can only focus on your headspace when your physical body is happy!
  • Write or read: either get your thoughts down on paper, or find an author that speaks to your experience, and lose yourself in those words. It’s breathtakingly validating to turn your thoughts into ink–it makes all those things you’re stressed about or angry about or sad able tangible, and what is tangible can thrown away or burnt up or given to the dog to chew on (or saved for future reflection, if that’s more your thing).
  • Talk it out or walk it out: whether it’s a twenty minute hike or an hour phone call with your best friend, nature and nurture are two of the best possible remedies.
Remember that self-care is different for everyone, so if none of the above are in your self-care toolbox, don’t panic. Figure out what works for you–what makes you feel comfortable? Good about yourself? Safe? Cared for? Make time for that, at least once a week, and start to put as much effort into caring for yourself as you do into caring for everyone else.

1 thought on “Put Down the Pizza: 7 Better (and Free) Ways to Practice Self Care

  1. Awesome post, Emily. These tips are super helpful. I’m feeling overwhelmed right now, but not necessarily in a bad way. I’m going to try these tips and see if i can unwind and refocus.

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