Flashback to New Year’s Day when you promised yourself that this is the year you’re going to take care of you. Yet somehow, your inbox and calendar are still on overdrive. Deep breaths. You don’t need to book a pricey spa weekend for some serenity now. Instead, consult the below list for simple ways to prioritize yourself.
Unplug from Your Phone for an Hour Each Day
Work emails and InstaStories can wait (yes, they really can). Instead, read a book, draw a bath or test out that sheet mask you’ve been meaning to try. Want to take things a step further? Put a moratorium on posting and scrolling for an entire weekend (or at least 36 hours). Your newsfeed will still be there Monday morning, we promise.
Take a Power Nap
Remember how it used to be a daily requirement for us as kids? Well, we might not have a full hour to lie down in the middle of the day, but a quick 15-minutes of shut-eye on the train ride home from work can do wonders.
Ask for Help
You pride yourself on being self-sufficient (and super efficient at that), but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to keep up. Whether at the office or in the kitchen, don’t be afraid to ask for help to avoid getting too bogged down. (P.S. This will free up more time for you to actually take that power nap.)
Clean Your Room
Declutter, declutter, declutter. Editing is essential for a peaceful space, so toss any decor/knickknacks that don’t truly bring you joy (thanks for that mantra, Kondo). Then organize any remaining chaos. Everyone has some random junk floating around (looking at you, Zara receipts), but corralling it in trays and baskets reduces visual stress. In that vein, be sure to ditch any belongings with a negative emotional association (like those ugly wine glasses gifted by your ex’s mother).
Create an Ambiance
Add the warm glow of candles to every room (yup, even the bathroom). Go with simple white options for the least visual clutter and subtle, soothing scents like lavender, rose and vanilla. Ditto for fresh flowers. Even a bud vase of wallet-friendly grocery store blooms makes a huge impact both visually and aromatically.
Cooking can have a calming effect as well because it’s easy to lose yourself in the process—especially if there are no time constraints on the meal. Plus, there’s a tasty reward at the end.
Pet a Dog (or Cat)
If you don’t have one, visit a friend who does. Don’t feel like making plans? Go on a leisurely stroll around your block and you’ll likely run into a neighbor or passerby taking their dog for a walk. Comment on how cute they are and politely ask if you can pet them.
…Or coloring. You don’t have to be particularly artistic or good at it, either. It’s more about creative expression and turning off the other (constantly whirring), analytical side of your brain than the finished project itself.
Set the DVR
Cue up reruns of your favorite TV shows, like Seinfeld or Friends. (A study conducted by the University of Buffalo found that the familiarity and predictability soothes your soul.)
Immerse Yourself in Nature
Chirping birds, crashing waves, crisp air and warm sunshine: Any of these things can stimulate your senses and have a restorative effect on your mind and mood. You don’t even have to go very far. A local park (or any place with ample greenery) will do the trick.
Take Another Route to Work
Mixing up your daily routine—even with something as small as taking the scenic way to work—shakes things up and gives your brain a sense of novelty (which can sometimes be all you need to gain new perspective on whatever it is that’s stumping you).
Dance (Even If People Are Watching)
Have a Moment to Yourself in the Morning
Set a ritual so you have something to look forward to the moment you wake up—like making yourself a cup of coffee or sitting in bed for a few extra minutes before hurtling yourself out the door. This can help set the tone for the rest of the day.
…And Take Another to Yourself at Night
Go ahead and enjoy a long shower or, again, sit in bed for a few extra minutes and just focus on breathing. Take three deep breaths in and three out, then repeat as needed. This will signal your brain to slow down, which will help you sleep better. Oh, and don’t forget a set of soft, cool Soma pajamas.
PureWow is a lifestyle site dedicated to making life more interesting, beautiful, and manageable. Everything readers want to know about fashion, beauty, home, entertainment, wellness, food, travel, and more can all be found on PureWow. Think of them as your stylish friend who is never afraid to share their best secrets.