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Fill Up Your Gas Tank: 50 Simple Self-Care Ideas

Fill Up Your Gas Tank: 50 Simple Self-Care Ideas

 I hear it every day, “Jaclyn, I don’t have time for self-care.” With our lives being as busy as they are, I can completely understand this. We are trying to simultaneously juggle kids, a household, our jobs, our friends, school, family members, our social lives, relationships & marriages, our health.. and the list can go on and on. Sounds exhausting, right? Right. And you’re living that way every…single…day. Fill Up Your Gas Tank: 50 Simple Self-Care Ideas - MFS Blog - McCaskill Family Services - empty_gas

What would happen if you never stopped to put gas in your car? You would eventually come to a screeching halt. What would happen if you put a quarter tank of gas in? You would go a few miles, but not very far. What happens over time if you neglect to get regular oil changes and tune-ups? Your car starts to function differently, more problems arise, and you end up spending more money in the long run. I’m guessing you understand the metaphor here. You are the car, and self-care is the gas. Without it, we are unable to function at our best, and we won’t make it very far when it comes to reaching our goals and fulfilling our responsibilities.

We give so much to everyone else in our lives, when do we start to return the favor to ourselves? When we begin to do that, we actually find that we can give more of ourselves to others, because we have more to give. The fuller the tank, the farther we can drive. Those who struggle to make time for self-care often see the effects of this in their physical, social and emotional health (aka: chronic fatigue, irritability, anxiety, arguments, inefficiencies, etc.) 

Fill Up Your Gas Tank: 50 Simple Self-Care Ideas - MFS Blog - McCaskill Family Services - simply_love


So in an attempt to begin integrating self-care into your daily (yes, I said it) daily routine, here is a list of 50 simple ideas! Some of them you can even do while you’re standing outside filling up your (literal) gas tank. 50 Simple Self Care Ideas:

  1. Catch up with friends that support you
  2. Find 5 nice things to say about yourself
  3. Experiment with a new recipe
  4. Exercise (20 minutes is all you need to boost your mood)
  5. Buy yourself some flowers or house plants to take care of
  6. Find a quiet spot to meditate
  7. Say “no” today to allow yourself more rest
  8. Drink your recommended amount of water today (approx. 12 cups for women, 15 for men)
  9. Make a gratitude list
  10. Practice deep breathing
  11.  Create and listen to a playlist of your favorite tunes
  12.  Forgive yourself for something you’ve been struggling with, practice self-compassion
  13. Ask for help today
  14. Take a bath or a long shower
  15. Write a letter to someone you loveFill Up Your Gas Tank: 50 Simple Self-Care Ideas - MFS Blog - McCaskill Family Services - self_care_isnt_selfish
  16. Join a support group; get connected with others who struggle with similar difficulties
  17. Eat a healthy meal full of colors
  18. Watch your favorite show or movie
  19. Practice mindfulness for 10 minutes; do one thing at a time
  20. Try an adult coloring book
  21. Read a book
  22. Look back on old photos, remember a good memory
  23. Take a 24 hour social media break
  24. Play a brain game on your phone
  25. Get 8 hours of sleep
  26. Practice a new or old skill
  27. Light an aromatic candle
  28. Spend some time with your pets
  29. Make your own “coffee break”
  30. Identify a habit that no longer serves you and take one step today to help you drop it                                                           Fill Up Your Gas Tank: 50 Simple Self-Care Ideas - MFS Blog - McCaskill Family Services - Rest-and-self-care-640x1024
  31. Spend time in nature
  32. Take steps to tame negative thoughts when they arise today
  33. Make a vision board (even if it’s on Pinterest!)
  34. Have a mini pampering session (e.g., at home face mask)
  35. Do something creative
  36. Declutter a space
  37. Try journaling
  38. Clean up your phone
  39. Limit your consumptions of bad news
  40. Set a boundary with someone who is hurting you
  41. Explore a new interest
  42.  Listen to a podcast episode
  43. Practice imagery of a relaxing place
  44. Engage in a small act of kindness
  45. Indulge in a desert
  46.  Diffuse essential oils
  47. Take a 20 minute nap
  48. Express your feelings today
  49. Say “yes” to something outside your comfort zone
  50. Go to therapy!

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