We get it — you have a job to go to, friends to text back, meals to cook, bills to pay. The list goes on. How can you possibly justify thinking of doing things for yourself?
Well, the truth is that in order to be the best version of yourself for you and those around you, that's exactly what you have to do.
Self-care is a lot of things, but let's get one thing straight: it isn't selfish. Nor does it have to be time-consuming.
Start today by trying one of these 25 small things to do for yourself – wherever you are, however long you've got.
Small Things To Do For Yourself…At Home
Leaky tab? Creaky door? Pick something that bugs you and fix it. You'll be filled with a sense of achievement and accomplishment.
Eat Pizza And Binge Watch
It's important to know when to take a day off and give yourself a break from all the pressure. Order a pizza, fire up Netflix – life is all about balance.
Start A Side Hustle
Side hustles don't just benefit your back pocket. They can also relieve stress, develop relationships and equip you with all new skills.
Catch Up On Sleep
Whether it's banning devices from the bedroom or taking a quick nap between tasks, don't underestimate the power of vitamin Z.
Try Some 'Manpering'
Putting on a face or eye mask forces you to take 10 minutes away from your inbox to lie down, relax and collect your thoughts.
Small Things To Do For Yourself …At Work
High Five Yourself
A high five is the ultimate crowd pleaser, but don't forget yourself. Celebrating your wins is one of the easiest ways to improve the way you think about yourself.
Take A Break
Your brain needs time to recharge, just like an athlete's body after a race. Set yourself mini-deadlines, and take a break to re-energise at the end of each.
Declutter Your Space
Research shows that clutter affects your mood and wellbeing. If your desk is buried under papers, consider a clear-out.
Use Time Blocking
It may sound more like a chore than a treat, but writing down how you plan to spend your day can help you feel more relaxed and in control.
Sitting at a desk all day is hard on the muscles. Set an alarm to do some simple stretches at least three times a day.
Small Things To Do For Yourself …Anywhere
Work Up A Sweat
There are more benefits to exercise than fitting into skinny jeans: improved health, sharpened memory, deeper sleep, better mood. It's endless.
Make Time For A Hobby
It could be creative, athletic, academic, or something completely random. What matters is that it is something you find meaningful and enjoyable.
Set Yourself A Goal
Goals aren't just another thing on the list. They provide direction and focus, and help you sustain the momentum needed to keep bettering yourself.
Drink More (And Less)
Read this one carefully: More water and less alcohol. It's a surefire way to maximise yourself on every level – mind, body, soul… bladder. Aim for 6-8 glasses a day.
Learn To Say No
Most people have a knee-jerk reaction to saying "yes" to things. Got an upcoming event filling you with dread? Now's the time for "no".
Small Things To Do For Yourself …And Your Mind
One of the fastest, most effective ways to 'reset' is to head outside. Spend time in nature or, if that isn't your bag, drive around blasting your favourite song — both work.
Have A Social Media Cleanse
Consuming too many #selfies can eat into your self-esteem. Spend 10 minutes unfollowing any accounts your brain doesn't 'like'.
Write It Down
If your mind is going around in stress circles, pull out a pen and brain dump all your thoughts into your journal to release some mental pressure.
Mindfulness can be done anywhere, anytime. Get familiar with the 4-7-8 breathing technique. It's a great way to get into a more relaxed state.
Let It Out
Whether you want to scream, laugh or cry, what's important is paying attention to what your body is telling you and going with it.
Small Things To Do For Yourself …Just Because
Get Dressed Up
What we wear directly affects our mood, attitude, and confidence. Big presentation? Treat yourself to a new tie. Feeling meh? Reach for something bright.
Be Kind To Others
Need a selfish reason to be selfless? According to Emory University, when you're kind to someone, your brain experiences a "helper's high".
Pump Up The Jam
Sometimes all it takes to change your mood is the right track. Create a playlist of your favourite tunes for an instant boost, or give ours a try.
Book A Trip
If you struggle to treat "me time" with the same priority as "work time", consider booking a trip. Leave the laptop behind, remove emails from your phone and unwind.
Call A Friend
Friendships can quite literally be life savers. Check-in with someone who makes you feel good. Chances are you'll both hang up smiling.
Keep In Mind
It’s well documented that incorporating just one small act of self-care on a regular basis can help your brain reboot, improve concentration and productivity and help you think and feel better. Now you’ve reached the end of this list, pick just one activity from the above and commit to it today or tomorrow.