Two recent studies have revealed that young adults spend more than six hours a day feeling stressed out and seven in ten young people have experienced "work burnout." That’s why practicing self-care shouldn’t be seen as self-indulgence but rather as self-preservation.
With Passion Planner, it’s easy to schedule in daily self-love and self-care practices to lift your spirits and change your life for the better. From making your bed first thing in the morning (we promise it’s worth it!) to spending some time outdoors, here are some self-care ideas to get you started.
Make Your Bed
In a commencement speech that went viral, Navy Seal William H. McCraven advised wide-eyed university graduates, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” The statement may sound bold, but here's what he meant: By beginning your day with a simple goal like making your bed, you establish momentum to make time for other goals, tasks and practices. Even if all your achievements are small, by the end of the day you will see that they add up.
If the idea of sitting still for a few minutes and doing nothing sounds challenging, you’re not alone. Many people have trouble meditating from time to time, whether they’re novices or ashram-trained experts. Despite this difficulty, meditating is one of the most important self-care practices you can integrate into your life. Reported benefits include stress reduction, anxiety relief, enhanced self-awareness, improved sleep and even decreased blood pressure. Harvard researchers have even discovered that meditation can change the brain, increasing emotional stability and compassion towards others.
Write in Your Journal
According to a study published in Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, expressive writing affects people on multiple levels — cognitive, emotional, social and biological. It can help you examine your feelings, clear your mind, cultivate gratitude and even dream about the future. Passion Planner doubles as a planner and self-care journal, as its unique structure allows you to plan for the future, reflect on the past and— most importantly — act on the present. And the blank back pages of your Passion Planner can serve as a gratitude journal, scrapbook, happy list or anything you imagine.
Many of us eat in front of the TV at home, in front of our computer screen at work, or in restaurants while our eyes remain glued on our iPhone screen. When we eat this way, we miss out on the gratifying sensory experience of flavor, aroma and nourishment. We also tend to eat more and chew less, which can wreak havoc on our health. To eat mindfully, slow down, resist multi-tasking, focus on the textures and flavors of your food and consider putting down your fork between bites to really savor the experience (and the food).
Go for a Walk
If you typically spend your time indoors, get outside. Drive to the nearest hiking spot or park for some “ nature bathing,” or even take a walk through city streets. As you walk, try to stay present by focusing on the scenery, your breath and how your body feels as you walk. One study shows that this kind of “mindful walking” can relieve psychological stress and improve your overall quality of life.
In our hyper-connected world, it’s crucial to know when it’s time to take a break from the screen. Too much screen time before bed can interfere with our sleep and social media has been linked to loneliness and anxiety when used in excess. Aim to unplug at least 30 minutes to one hour before bed and be conscious of how much time you spend looking at your social media accounts in general (and how you feel when you’re logged in). Once you see how good you feel when you unplug, you might take it a step further and plan a digital detox.
Use Essential Oils
Applied topically or diffused, essential oils can have a variety of effects depending on the type. For instance, lavender can have a calming effect, peppermint can alleviate pain and eucalyptus can boost your immune system. This guide from Gaia is a good place to start learning if you’re inexperienced. Consider using essential oils in a nighttime bath as a soothing pre-bedtime ritual or give yourself a massage with your favorite scent. Slumber never smelled so sweet.
Erica Garza is an author and essayist from Los Angeles. She holds a master's degree in Writing from Columbia University. Her writing has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women's Health and VICE.