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I've been listening to the Self Service podcast from Girlboss lately and I've been thinking a lot about what self care really means. With the popularization of it, the idea of self care has shifted towards a life of luxury and spending, equating that with self care. However, that's not quite it. In fact, self care can be easier than you think and does not cost anything.

Self care is something that is implemented into your day to day lifestyle, not just something you do on a whim. It's the little things that you do for yourself every day to improve your well-being. Here are 6 ways that I practice self care daily.

01 | Set aside time for my day for myself

This is something that I feel like I cannot function without. Although some days I have more time than others, setting aside some time of the day to relax and have some time to myself is vital for my well-being. I often feel drained, whether it's just after or tough day or even after a social event, so having some alone time to do whatever I please is my form of recharging. 

You're always recharging your cell phone to keep it functioning and full of energy, so why wouldn't you do the same for yourself?

02 | I get 8 hours of sleep every night

This is something that seems so simple but it's one of the things that most people neglect. However, it can be SO impactful on not only improving your well-being, but also your focus and your general health.

I have noticed that others as well as myself often make jokes for going to bed early, saying that it makes us "grandmas". When I think about it though, it doesn't make sense for us to do that. It's not a "grandma" thing, it's just a basic self care thing. You don't even need to get 8 hours of sleep every night to practice self care, you just need to invest in a little more sleep than you usually get to immediately feel the benefits.

03 | I engage in my hobbies

With all our responsibilities, it's so important to make time for things that make your soul sing. Because of that, you can practice self care daily by engaging in your hobbies when you have a chance. Hobbies can be a great creative outlet and also a great stress reliever. When you do things that genuinely make you happy, you're more happy with your life overall. For my hobbies, baking is always something that I love doing and I also try to make some time for working on the arts as well.

Related: Why You Need to Indulge in Your Hobbies More Often

04 | I dress in what I feel good in

What you wear can affect your mood and your mentality. Therefore I always choose to wear clothes that I feel confident in. Whenever I wear something that I don't feel good in, my mood is significantly worse. Wearing what I feel good in is a way to nourish my mental state and prepare myself to be more optimistic regarding whatever my day throws at me.

Related: Why Does Fashion Matter?

However, this differs from retail therapy. It doesn't mean that I purchase things all the time, but it means that I only purchase the clothing that I feel amazing in - it's a selective process.

05 | Eat when I need to eat and however much I need to eat

This one seems like a no-brainer, but sadly, it's not that unusual. I have lots of friends that say that they have forgotten to eat and I know many people that often eat much less than they should be eating. Food can dramatically change your mood.

I remember one specific time, before going out for dinner, I had a headache and my sister was in a bad mood. After dinner, my headache disappeared and her mood quickly improved. She said that she had skipped lunch, so when she had finally eaten something, she felt a lot better. If you do not eat when you need to eat or choose to eat less than you should, it affects your mood, focus, and mental abilities. I'm not saying that you should always be eating either, you should listen to your body's needs.

06 | I don't take on more than I can handle

I know what I am capable of achieving and I don't try to stress myself out by incorporating more into the mix if it's too much of a stress. With the emphasis in our culture on productivity, it can be tempting to take on more. However, I know that if I add more into my life, it might force me to neglect time for myself, which is something that I'm just not comfortable with.

These are just a few of the ways that I currently practice self care daily, but there's a lot more that I should add to my daily life. Self care is a process, one that I am still working on. Some of the self care practices that I'm looking to implement into my life include more engagement with others (beyond just my close friends) and regular exercise.

The way that you practice self care daily does not have to follow the way I do and does not have to follow what other people do. Find what works for you. You don't have to bring it all on at once, but instead you can add things to your life as you go. Just like how I have some implemented practices already and am looking to add more, go bit by bit until it becomes routine.

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