When I am not taking care of myself, I can tell.

First, I just don’t feel good. I typically will feel tired, lazy, and just blah. Also, my patience runs short. When my figurative cup is empty, I’m much quicker to just react to situations rather than patiently respond. Self care helps me keep that cup full.

Since I am doing a self care series, I wanted to take some time to share what my self care looks like. As I’ve mentioned, self care doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive. In fact, my self care typically doesn’t cost anything.

Here are my favorite self care activities:

Exercise

Mainly I practice Yoga and Pilates. I came to love these exercises thanks to The MerryMaker Sisters and their MerryBody Program. It is a four week program, and each week you get one pilates and one yoga video to do along with mindset activities in a workbook. I love this program and am actually an ambassador, so if you sign up with promo code MerryNicole, you can get four bonus classes!

The other exercise I do is walking. This is great when I am home alone with my daughter, because I can just throw her in the stroller and we both get some fresh air and time to relax.

A quiet shower

I shut and lock the bathroom door, so there are no interruptions! I’ll take extra time to condition my hair and I’ll do a little shower meditation.

Breathing

In yoga, I have learned about different types of breathing. When I am feeling extra stressed, I find it helpful to pause and do some belly breathing. You can learn more about breathing and yoga here with the yoga journal.

Call my mom

I call my mom every morning. This started when I went back to work after maternity leave and was so stressed. She called me one day to check in and help me keep calm, and it became part of our morning ritual. I find if there’s something stressing you or bothering you, that it can be better to share it with someone else rather than keeping it in. This is also true for the good and positive things happening, talking about the positive helps spread the positivity.

Eating nutritious meals

When I am home with my daughter, I find it very easy to be so focused on taking care of her that I forget to eat. If I am hungry, I am not happy. A big part of self care for me is making sure I eat nutritious meals before I become over-hungry.

These are my go-to self care activities.

I feel like they are pretty easy to do, and generally don’t cost any extra money. Some of the items on this list may seem common sense, but they are things that I need to be aware of. Self care looks different for everyone. What are some ways you practice self care? 

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Check out Self Care Series Part One: What is self care and why is it important?

You might also like: How Yoga Helps Me be a Better Parent