From cold showers to keto diets, I’m sure you’ve heard tons of extreme self-care advice. You probably rolled your eyes and concluded that you’d rather stick to personal hygiene and wine & popcorn nights watching your favorite series.
I’m not holding it against you. Self-care should never feel like punishment. Instead, I believe self-care is about finding that sweet spot within yourself that feels like home. That place where you feel like you belong and can rest a little.
By now, you probably know that self-care is extremely important. As bloggers and small business owners, we must make time in our busy schedules to attend to our own needs. It’s our job and our duty to take care of our own body, mind, and soul.
You cannot nourish your business if you don’t nourish yourself first. Or maybe you can… but for how long?
Before we go further, I want to reassure you that you won’t have to turn your life upside down overnight. That’s not self-care. That’s chaos.
But I do want you to make one small change in your life starting today. You’ll thank be grateful you did!
1 | Go to bed well before midnight
Not too long ago, ‘normal’ for me was going to bed well past midnight. Sometimes more like 3 AM. I had no good reason to stay up this late – Netflix binge-watching was a very lame excuse. But since I was the one in charge of my own schedule and could wake up at noon if I wanted, I just did what felt good at the moment.
I must say this is a horrible practice that affects your productivity, mood, and hormone levels. Even if you get 7-8 hours of sleep, if you do it at outrageous hours, it’s not the same as going to bed early.
Now if your work schedule doesn’t allow you to be in bed by 10 PM, I totally understand and you can skip this one.
But otherwise, be a good girl and go to bed well before midnight as part of your self-care routine.
As soon as I stopped being a night owl (full disclosure, it took some getting used to) not only I found myself more at peace, but I also felt empowered and capable to write my first eBook, How to Make Money as an Amazon Affiliate, in only 3 weeks.
2 | Get in touch with your feelings
I wish someone taught little girls to be aware of their feelings, embrace them and communicate them with ease.
I wish someone taught little girls that it’s okay to feel a whole range of emotions, well past the basic ones – anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise. We are WAY more complex than this.
And I wish someone taught little girls to be curious about their emotions, explore them freely, ask questions and understand why they feel the way they feel.
I was never taught to feel my emotions. Most of us weren’t. It’s like we come into this world with all these amazing features just to be shouted down and ridiculed for having them.
But I don’t know of a better self-care tip than to allow yourself to feel without judgment.
I’m getting better at dealing with and talking about my feelings but I still have plenty of catching up to do.
Every time I have a moment of revelation and I go like ‘Aha! That’s why I snapped at my husband for eating cookies at 10 AM. Because I’m mad at myself for eating them last night and now the scale shows that I gained almost half a pound. It has nothing to do with him. I’m just frustrated with my own behavior.‘ I’m glad I’ve been making an effort to understand what’s going on inside my own head and heart.
What we understand we love and accept better. Giving yourself permission to feel and understand your feelings is an act of self-love.
3 | Drink your veggies
Okay, you can actually eat your veggies if you wish, but I LOVE a homemade smoothie.
Smoothies have become part of my daily self-care ritual. Every morning I blend whatever I happen to have in the kitchen – fresh fruits and veggies, seeds and nuts, sometimes a teaspoon of coconut oil, maybe some spices too. I’m not picky.
Smoothies can regulate your digestion, hormone levels, and even your blood sugar. They boost your immune system (I haven’t had a cold in 3+ years, knock on wood!) and yes, they give you plenty of energy.
Since I started drinking smoothies I don’t really need to rely on coffee to get things done. If I have a latte or decide to splurge with a cup of Earl Grey it’s because I love the taste and not because I have to.
4 | Honor your body
In the 1980s, the World Health Organization first described self-care as the activity of enhancing or restoring health as well as preventing disease.
So you see, self-care encompasses a wide range of activities, way beyond a bubble bath and taking your vitamins.
Caring for your body, the foundation on which your life is built, is of utmost importance.
A strong body can also make you feel mentally and emotionally strong.
If you’ve ever had as much as a cold, you know how debilitating it can be. A body that is constantly exhausted and aching with illness cannot sustain high productivity levels. A neglected body that’s stiff from too many hours spent in front of the computer is not a happy body.
I set a goal of 10k steps on my Fitbit and make a point of reaching it daily. During the colder winter months, I take a walk right after lunch. During the hot summer months, I prefer to walk in the evening.
If you don’t have time to walk for one and a half hours every day, half an hour of yoga or a vigorous workout could have the same benefits.
If going to the gym is not an option, you can download Jillian Michaels’s fitness app (you get 7-day free trial) and you’ll not only get personalized, interactive workouts but meal plans adapted to your own diet as well.
The idea is to acknowledge your body, work with it instead of against it and learn to love it for the marvelous masterpiece it really is.
5 | Keep a daily journal
Journaling is a powerful keystone habit. Charles Duhigg describes keystone habits in his book, The Power of Habit, as, “small changes or habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives.”
What this basically means is that you don’t have to stress about developing a dozen habits at once. Forming a new habit can spark a chain reaction in your life.
You could start drinking 2 liters of water every day and as a result, your digestion improves, you feel more energized, and you even start eating better.
Or you could start keeping a daily journal, which in turn adds more structure to your day and brings clarity of purpose. And slowly, without realizing it, you start taking consistent action and effortlessly move in the direction of your dreams.
In why keeping a daily journal could make you a more successful blogger I talk extensively about the benefits of journaling.
However, you probably think right now… I barely have five minutes to sit down and eat breakfast, let alone half an hour to journal! And the good news is that you don’t need 30 minutes at all.
I created The Sunny Journal for busy women just like you. All you need are a couple of minutes in the morning and another couple of minutes in the evening to write down your intentions and count your blessings.
If you feel like filling three pages with your thoughts, you are allowed to do that. But I personally find it so much more manageable to fill in the daily prompts in my Sunny Journal.
If you want to see more pics and find out more about how to use it, you can read this detailed post I wrote about the Sunny Journal.
6 | Banish negative self-talk
The Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi is all about finding beauty in transience and imperfection.
The Japanese are wise to do so. This philosophy requires a willingness to accept things as they are, slow down, and shift from always perfecting to actually appreciating what exists in the here and now.
As bloggers and small business owners, it’s our job to constantly catch up with all the changes in the industry, from Pinterest algorithm updates to Penguins, Pandas, and Gutenbergs. But it’s worth pausing every once in a while to simply admire and celebrate all that we are, have and have accomplished.
We are a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time. And so is our work as entrepreneurs.
Now, this might sound all good in theory. But in practice, I know so many women who beat themselves up over the smallest imperfection. Talented writers who lack confidence in their writing and self-sabotage themselves and their work by agonizing over a paragraph for hours because it’s not perfect.
If someone would talk to us the way we talk to ourselves, we wouldn’t be their friends for long. So why are we so mean to ourselves?
Girl, it’s time to reframe that negative self-talk. Instead of getting yourself down, try to lift yourself up and give yourself some constructive feedback if necessary. Perfection is an artificial construct anyway.
You deserve to love yourself a whole lot better. Learn to reward yourself at the end of a particularly stressful day. Gift yourself a little something nice. Show yourself some gratitude. Get some chic office supplies to brighten your day. Treat yourself with respect.
7 | Take two minutes to just breath every day
When I was little, my mom used to say ‘I’m SO busy, I don’t even have time to breathe.‘ She didn’t know how to pause for a few minutes to just take a deep breath on purpose and relax.
Recently, a friend of mine basically said the same thing ‘When you’re a mom, you don’t have time for yourself‘.
I agree that as women, we are extremely busy. We take it upon ourselves to do everything for everyone. We even feel guilty or selfish if, God forbid, we take an hour for ourselves.
But the truth is, there’s nothing selfish about wanting to replenish you well. Nourishment is a necessity and a right and it comes in many forms.
There’s nothing more basic than taking a few deep breaths to calm your mind.
If you like to meditate, this is wonderful. But even if you don’t have time for half an hour of guided meditation, you do have time to stop for a couple of minutes and just mindfully breath.
Simply inhale for 8 seconds, hold for 8 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat 5 times. Say ‘thank you!’. That’s all.
It’s quick and the benefits are tremendous. So stop making excuses that you don’t even have time to breath. You do!
If you cannot find even 2 minutes in every 24 hours to dedicate to your breath, the very thing that keeps you alive, how can you find time for anything else?
How other bloggers incorporate self-care into their routine
Meditate on your goals and dreams
“Everyday I wake up and meditate on my goals and dreams and on gratitude. Then do a 5-minute face mask to feel all pampered up and take a nice hot bath. I’ll try not to think about anything work related until it’s actually time to work so it’s less stress on my mind. Instead, I focus on all the wonderful things going on in my life. Meditation seriously changed my whole perspective on blogging as a business.” – Robin Collins
Write a to-do list
“Everyday I wake up fresh and write up a to-do list consisting of 5-10 items that I would like to get done that day. I then eat breakfast, catch up on the news, and start my day. My day consists of writing blog posts, updating old blog posts, creating new content and new pins, and responding to comments. I have a nice lunch to allow myself a break from work. After lunch, I go back to working again on knocking off my to-do list. In the late evening, I will go for a walk and then prepare a healthy dinner. In the evening, I do not think about my blog. I let my scheduler do all of the work. I then meditate and visualize my goals before I go to bed.“ – Janet Baguette of My Twenty Cents
Say yes to your needs
“To me, self-care means indulging in everything my worn out body, soul and mind needs at that moment. The routine is simple – to say yes. To a friend’s invite for coffee, to an hour of television, to a random dance break, to a day without my phone or laptop, to that daily popsicle or whatever I fancy. This keeps me smiling, and loving my busy, boss life.” –
Hey there dream chaser! I’m a writer, designer and the creator of The Smart Blog Planner and Perfectly Productive Planner. I’m on a mission to inspire and empower you to create a highly profitable minimalist online business and show up for your dreams in a sustainable way.