20 WAYS TO LOOK AFTER YOURSELF AND SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
If you’re struggling to find time for yourself or busy life is overwhelming you, here are 20 ways to look after yourself. Simple little self-care tips and suggestions to simplify your life, make things easier and cultivate a healthy body and mind.
SELF-CARE TIPS FOR A BUSY LIFE
The world is a challenging place sometimes. We don’t just have our own lives to deal with, but we’re increasingly forced to manage external factors way beyond our individual control. You only have to listen to the news for a few minutes to appreciate how complex our lives are becoming and, often unfortunately, with complexity comes pressure, stress and busy-ness.
Looking after ourselves is becoming more important but I know finding time for that isn’t always easy.
Our days and our brains are filled with commitments and responsibilities and we end up way down the pecking order. Work, family, bills to pay and everything else is vying for our attention and often come first.
So, if this sounds familiar and you’re looking for little ways to look after yourself, this post is for you!
I’ve listed a few self-care ideas and tips to help you look after your body and mind whilst still being there for everyone else. Simple little suggestions to make life easier and keep you on track when life is pulling you off!
Here are 20 ways to look after yourself and simplify your life.
20 WAYS TO LOOK AFTER YOURSELF AND SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
Here are 20 gentle ways to look after yourself and be kind to your body and mind.
1. Be ok with saying no
If you don’t want to do something then it’s ok to say no. It doesn’t mean no forever, it just means not right now. Saying no doesn’t need an explanation and the word ‘no’ can be a complete sentence in itself.
However, it’s difficult saying no if we’re not used to being so honest or upfront. If we’re people-pleasers we might not want to let others down. We might get FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and think that if we say no this time around, we might not asked or invited again.
Saying no gets easier with practice and it might be helpful to remember that every time you say no to one thing, you’re actually saying yes to something else. It’s just a question of what you’ll be saying yes to.
For more tips on how to say no and learning to be comfortable in saying it, check out this post on how to be intentional with your time.
2. Stop chasing
Whether it’s running a marathon, seeking a promotion or another pair of shoes, stop chasing. Reflect on and practice gratitude for what you have right now. Determine if you’re chasing the right things or whether you’re chasing because you feel you ought to or you’ve simply just got caught up in the act of chasing. Follow your head and heart, not the herd.
If you’re not sure whether you’re chasing and, further still, chasing the right things, why not refresh your goals, take some time to assess your priorities or even just grab a notebook and brain-storm. Do you feel like you’re chasing, doing and achieving all the time? Can you take time to just be, to sit in silence and listen to your body and mind and what they’re asking for?
3. Let things go
Negative mindsets usually hinder rather than support us. Identify what’s holding you back and find ways to let these 5 things go.
Clutter takes many forms and when we’re simplifying life and taking care of ourselves it’s helpful to look at the clutter in our life. There are different types of clutter but sometimes it’s the hidden, mental clutter that weighs most heavy on hearts. It’s easy to spot physical clutter because we trip over and walk around it until we’ve had enough and we reach for the rubbish bag.
Dealing with mental clutter is different. We hold onto our thoughts, emotions, habits and beliefs far longer than the clutter in our homes and carry these with us day in, day out. Protect your mental health and try this free Mental Declutter Checklist for a quick assessment of how you’re feeling.
Free yourself from what holds you back and let go of anything that doesn’t support you – in your mind, in your heart, your time and your home.
4. Shift your mindset
How we think about things determines how we feel about them and how we feel about something plays a large part in how we act upon it. Work on your mindset before you work on anything else. Read more about some essential mindsets to help you get the most out of life.
5. Do something that makes you laugh
Life can be very serious. When you have the opportunity to laugh, either alone or with others, just enjoy it for that moment.
I used to measure my success in life by how many holidays I could afford and how many clothes were in my closet. Now I use different units of measurement. For example, I like to think I am successful in life when my kids and I are happy, content, calm, having fun and enjoy each other’s company on a fun day out.
I still work hard and try hard but laughter is a great antidote to the stresses and strains of modern life and a busy day. You might like these 20 ways to be happier or explore the relationship between simplicity and happiness and whether minimalism makes you happier.
6. Don’t sweat the small stuff
Yes, the small stuff adds up to big stuff, but before you dwell on the little problems in life, think whether it’s really worth it or could you be thinking about other things that serve you better?
Don’t feel you have to do everything yourself. If you’re not the only one in the home then you’re not the only one making the mess. Ask for help around the home.
You could also ask for help with walking the dog, feeding the pets. Take turns to cook dinner. Order your groceries online to be delivered to your door instead of tackling the shopping yourself in person. Ask a friend to share the school run responsibility with you. Set up your bills to be paid automatically by direct debit.
Be creative about what you can delegate!
8. Build supportive relationships
Personal connections are important. Develop relationships that are based on mutual trust, respect, love and support. Ditch the toxic relationships that bring you down. Read more tips to connect with your partner as an example.
9. Keep it simple
Things that are too complicated are often unrealistic or unsustainable. Try my free self-care challenge for simple self-care tips that you can weave into your every day life, the simple way.
I’m a firm believer that less is best. Whether that’s less stuff in your home, less to do on your To Do list, less commitments in your diary, less stress in your life. When we have less of things, lots of things, the combined effect is to give ourselves breathing space to enjoy life, to reflect and make the most of what’s important.
Beyond this, more space through simplicity gives us flexibility, margin and wiggle room for when life is challenging and we struggle. Whether that’s through ill health, money worries, relationship difficulties, work trouble. Life inevitably throws up obstacles but a simpler life can give us time and space to deal with them more easily.
10. Create boundaries
Boundaries are your invisible forcefield. Don’t get caught up in making lots of tiny decisions every day. Have some clear boundaries about what you will and won’t accept in life. Perhaps read my post on how to create boundaries that work for you for some ideas.
11. Make an effort to look good
This isn’t about being vain or selfish. When you believe you look good then you tend to feel good too. Feeling good inspires positivity, resilience and strength. Your days will tend to feel much easier if you’re feeling these things!
One of the easiest ways to look good is by creating a simple personal daily uniform. This is a little capsule collection of clothes that fit your personal style and preference in terms of colour, style, cut, shape, texture and pattern.
A personal daily uniform makes it quicker and easier to get dressed each day with no stress or hassle. Read more about how to create a personal daily uniform for yourself.
12. Look after your body
Your body is important and you need it to work for you as long as possible. Eat healthily, take regular exercise and listen to what your body is telling you. If it’s tired, rest. If it fancies that odd bit of chocolate cake, feed it!
13. Find joy in the little things
Every now and then, big things happen to us, but for the most part, our days are the sum total of little things. Find joy and happiness in the little things and your day will feel a lot better. Here are some tips on how to enjoy the little things in life and how to stop living for the weekends if your weekdays feel tiring and stressful.
14. Find a few minutes to yourself
Whenever you can, find some time for you each day. Not time for housework or running errands. Time for coffee, journaling, reading a book, speaking positive affirmations over yourself, flumping down on the sofa, listening to music. Whatever your brain and body need at that time. It’s amazing what just 10 minutes each day can do to restore calm and peace!
15. Chores and your home
Establishing some household routines is not a glamourous self-care tip but it definitely makes a difference to your time and energy levels so that’s why I’ve included it here! Get your home running on auto-pilot so you can be getting on with other things!
There are many ways you can spend less time cleaning. You could have less stuff, have all your cleaning supplies in the room where you use them, by creating a rota for all your daily, weekly, monthly and annual household tasks, resetting your home at the end of the day and also, if you can, delegating some work to others in your household.
Try this article for more minimalist cleaning routines and how to spend less time cleaning.
Clear the clutter and create space, time and freedom. For plenty more on this subject, why not read my post on decluttering as self-care? And, decluttering isn’t a single project. Staying clutter-free with some good decluttering habits is also an indirect but helpful way to look after yourself.
17. Social media
Love it or loathe it, social media is here to stay. Be mindful of wasting your time or playing the unhealthy comparison game with those perfect social media feeds. Count up the hours you spend checking out other people’s lives and work on your own instead!
18. Give yourself less to do
Too many things in your mind, in your To Do list or in your schedule can overstretch and overwhelm. Create some wiggle room and space to ease the stress.
19. Be inspired
Take yourself out of your comfort zone, learn something new or try a different way of doing things. Read a book, listen to a podcast, chat with a friend. Inspiration to broaden your mind comes from many sources so free your life from clutter and fill it with wisdom and information instead!
20. Be thankful
So often we don’t realise how much we value something until we no longer have it. Look in the mirror and appreciate your body and all it does for you, say thank you to the person who holds the door open for you, be grateful for the sun coming up and the moon to light the dark night.
Gratitude is a powerful mindset that can turn a bad day into something wonderful. Create a regular gratitude practice and use it to paint a picture of what a great life could look like for you.
If you’d like to read more about self-care and find ways to look after yourself, here are some articles and resources which you might like:
- Does minimalism make you happier? Simplicity and happiness
- How to make time for yourself without feeling guilty or selfish
- How to set boundaries in life and why they matter
- How to create an intentional morning routine
- How to declutter your mind for clarity and peace
- The Ultimate Self-Care Toolkit – a powerful workbook and planner to help you create a realistic, consistent self-care routine that fits around you and your life.