The holidays are upon us and Christmas has now fully evolved into a season starting the day after Halloween through to Christmas Day. It can cause a lot of overwhelm for some. With the pandemic still raging you may feel the need to do more for your family and loved ones during this time. Sometimes at the risk of neglecting your own well being. If you are feeling the urge to slow down, listen to that inner voice. So, in the middle of this chaotic time I want to share with you 14 simple and effective ways to practice self care. Stop and literally smell the roses that are always in bloom.

Self care doesn’t need to have a day designated to it, but practicing little acts of self-care daily can add up. And, yes, there will be cause for total self-care days. Personally I designate a day every month for total pampering, massages, facials and the works. Not everyone can afford a $400 spa day weekly or monthly or even have the time to spare a whole day. But, everyone, regardless of budget, should and can practice self care. So, how do you self care?

Self care - Admiring the sunset

Try one or all of these simple and effective ways to practice self care:

1. Get Some Sleep

No matter where you are, your status in life, or where you live, you need sleep. Sleep is essential to your well-being, and the lack of it can wreak havoc on your mindset, body, and spirit. The same way you may have a morning routine (if not, create one) is the same way to create a nightly routine to ensure you get a good night’s rest. Create a sleep diary by writing down your sleep habits, this will help you spot changes that may cause sleep disturbances.

Quality sleep helps minimize stress. Having a bedroom that induces sleep is helpful. For example, investing in room-darkening curtains to shield you from early sunrises, comfortable sheets, and pillows, and clearing out distractions (e.g., cell phones, TVs, and laptops). Another great tip is to limit caffeine and sugar since each one tends to keep you awake.

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure — Oprah Winfrey.

2. Learning to Say No is a form of Self Care

Saying no to people can be difficult. It’s not easy telling people no, especially when you feel obligated to help. But, when you’re already stressed and have too many things on your plate to start with, saying no is the best thing you can do for yourself. It may take some practice before you feel confident enough to say no with ease to protect your self-care time. Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.

3. Get Outside

Nothing compares to being outside and breathing in the fresh air. If the beach is not your thing, there are so many options to enjoy nature and the beautiful Cayman climate. Camana Bay is more than just a water fountain for kids! Why not test your legs and climb the observation tower? I promise, the views at the top will be worth it. Moreover, getting outside has been shown to reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and fatigue. And the best part about getting outside is that it doesn’t cost a thing.

4. Go to the Beach

There’s nothing like strolling along the beach barefooted and having sand underfoot. You are invited to take a nice long beach walk and enjoy the moment. You could go for a swim if possible. The water is always warm and inviting. You can choose to have a relaxing or energetic walk. Either way you will be contributing to your stress relief. Also, you will expend more energy walking on sand than you do walking on concrete, so it’s good for exercise, as well as vitamin D (on those sunny days).

5. Get Organized

Life can get disorganized, especially when you’re juggling family life, work, and everything in between. One way to help with self care is to get things under control to know exactly what is needed to better care for yourself. Utilizing a planner can help tremendously. They help you see what needs to be done from day to day, so you’re not running around getting nothing accomplished.

Organizing your physical space can go a long way in reducing chaos and combat stress. Consequently, you could create a space to keep car keys, shoes, briefcases, etc. to have ready for the next day.

6. Prepare Meals At Home

Fast-food restaurants are quick and convenient, especially when time is a factor. However, always eating on the go can have unwanted health effects such as insufficient nutrients and higher caloric intake. Cooking a meal at home once a week is a great start for self care. With an abundance of fresh foods at the farmers market and the local fish market, you are sure to find some healthy choices. Cooking and eating at home can also give a feeling of togetherness within the home.

7. Create A Self Care Schedule

Let’s face it, we all have the same 24 hours in a day to get things done, but we don’t use this time the same. That’s where planning comes into focus. Like everything else in life, if you want to achieve a goal, you must plan for it. Self-care is no different. Schedule time to be alone to think about your next move and plan for times to spend with friends to stay engaged and stress-free. 

8. Track Your Accomplishments

While there are extraordinary benefits to a schedule, you should likewise acknowledge the things you’ve accomplished. By the day’s end, list the practical things you’ve done that day. Did you develop a deeper connection? Wash clothes? Finish a job task? Regardless of how little, you merit a gesture of congratulations.

9. Express Gratitude

In the same way, as it’s helpful to monitor what you have done, it’s equally great to be mindful of what you have. Keep a diary bedside, and write down the things that you feel fortunate to have. Everything from the ability to wash clothes in-house to having a life-long buddy is important.

10. Create a cozy space

Does your sleep area look how you need it to? On the off chance that it doesn’t, perhaps you could add a few candles or some fun throw cushions. By building a space that feels warm and welcoming, you set up an intriguing retreat for when difficult occasions crop up.

11. Read A Book

Whether you are reading on the couch and enjoying the sunrise or the moonlight, reading a book that makes you feel happy is a wonderful feeling. It feels marvelous to anticipate a decent story, and the demonstration of perusing empowers a feeling of harmony. Did you know the Cayman Islands Library offers membership for $5 per year? You can borrow physical books or try out their online catalog of over 33,000 titles!

12. Exercise

What’s said by individuals about exercise and endorphins is valid. Exercising boosts your feelings of satisfaction. Discover the type of movement that works best for you. Appreciate a Saturday morning run, try out an online yoga class, or ride your bicycle around the neighborhood. Or better yet, you can try your hand at my sport of choice, Tennis 🙂

13. Disconnect

It’s hard to find time to reflect or enjoy the moment if you’re constantly wired and checking your social media and email every five minutes. Take time to breathe and enjoy the moment to help keep yourself balanced.

14. Go Snorkeling

There’s a reason people come to the Cayman Islands and go snorkeling. It’s fun, relaxing, and exciting, especially if it’s your first time doing it. There are so many opportunities to unwind and get lost in the wonder of the beautiful underwater world in the Cayman Islands.

Closing Thoughts

As noted throughout the article, self care doesn’t need to cost you a fortune. It’s the little things that can add up and help you maintain a healthier mindset, body, and spirit. You can also read about self-care strategies, join self-care programs, or work with a coach or therapist who can help support your progress.

Regardless of which approach you pick, the objective is to sort out which self-care methodologies turn out best for you, figure out how to utilize these procedures, and execute them in your ordinary everyday practice so you can support your happiness at all times.

I’d love to know; How do you practice self care?