Self-Care: For Free

If you’re like me, you are magnetically drawn to those posts that promise “5 DIY Tips for Relaxation” or “The Best Ways to Practice Daily Self-Care.”

You’re a sucker for the headline, and imagine the article will offer fresh insights on how to chill. Or some astounding wisdom the Chinese have known about for  2,000 years.

But, again,  if you’re like me, you often find that reading these posts leaves you feeling the same way again and again: disappointed.

This is because, contrary to the enticing hook that appealed to you in the first place, these posts often turn into Advertorials pushing product.

Don’t get me wrong; I know that bloggers make money by partnering with advertisers, and that sponsored posts are how a lot of them earn their bread. No judgment here.

But something about it selling product under the guise of taking care of yourself feels counter-intuitive, kind of like a vegan telling you where to buy the best hamburger meat. It’s not that she’s selling you, it’s that she’s doing something that’s the exact opposite for which she stands.

Therefore, I bring to you my own list of self-care habits. Bonus: All of them are free.

1. Separate from your Devices

I know you love them. I do too.  But try this: For one night this week, dedicate an hour to an electronic-free zone. Mute your devices, put them on a time-out in another room, close the door, and go somewhere you can be in peace.

2. Read

Reach for that book you ordered weeks ago or the dog-eared article from The New Yorker that’s somewhere in your “read” pile. Not only will you enjoy looking at words on an actual page, you’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment from slowly diminishing that stack of paper.

3.  Lay flat on the floor

Realign your spine. Breathe. Relax your entire body by focusing on one part at a time and holding completely still. Then, roll up to your feet and slowly stand. Resume your stadning posture by stacking one vertebrae at a time.

4. Organize something

So this one may not be for everyone, but for those of us who derive a measure of an obscene amount of joy from rearranging our rooms or cleaning out our purses (Type A’s, holla),  this one’s for you. Maybe you’ve been wanting re-organize your bookshelf or color-code your nail polish caddy (and throw out the gooey ones you’re not using anymore). Take a few moments, pick a project, and organize away.

5. Draw. Paint. Make Something.

Think for a moment about your 5-year-old self and how excited he or she got when confronted with a box of crayons and construction paper. Recreate that scene at your kitchen table (or on the floor if your KT is tiny). Consider also watercolor paints or pastels. Re-ignite those pathways in your brain that fire up when doing something creative. ♥

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