Self care is a hot topic these days, with celebrities, Instagram influencers and therapists encouraging us all to practice proper self care techniques to stay happy and healthy on the inside and outside. Particularly among millennials, a generation seemingly obsessed with the latest natural health practices, self care is not just a practice for the rich and famous, it’s a necessity for everyone to live their best life. If one thing is clear, it is that self care is in, and it is not going away anytime soon. But what, exactly, constitutes as proper “self care” and how can we practice it at home without shelling out hundreds of dollars? The truth is, self care looks different for everyone, and what speaks to one person may not be right for someone else. That being said, there are a number of self care techniques to try at home, and by experimenting with different avenues, we’re sure that you will find something that resonates with you. Before you jump in, let’s talk about how self care came to be, and why it’s so important to put yourself first sometimes.
The History of Self Care Through Today
Consciously paying attention and taking action toward advancing one’s own well-being, or today as we call it “self care”, is not a new concept. It has its origins in the medical field, as doctors often prescribed various self care techniques to elderly and mentally ill patient caretakers who required long-term health care plans for sustained recovery. The practice was particular sought after by those in mentally-daunting professions like trauma therapy and medical practitioners.
During the Women’s Rights Movement, we saw self care take on a more political stance, as women of color began adopting self care practices as a means of reclaiming their bodies from patriarchal white men looking to control them. As the dichotomy between rich and poor communities’ health became more apparent, many people backed health care as a means of closing the gap between this economical divide.
The topic of healthcare in politics was a hot topic in the 60s, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was quoted saying,“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhuman.”
At the heart of these movements was the goal, not just to identify the appropriate tools for survival, but to build a better quality of life. This goal continued on through the 80s and 90s, broadening its scope from a political movement to a more general wellness movement geared towards the wealthy. Yoga classes became a classic self care go-to and celebrities touting self care techniques popped up by the dozens.
Today, self care has moved more towards the mainstream, with useful self care techniques available to anyone willing to put in the work. With the rise of the internet, women, people of color, and other minority communities have found a space to share their techniques, experiments and successes with the world. Many people are flocking to a more holistic approach to healthcare to take control of their bodies and minds. With technology constantly at our fingertips and no “off” button for communications, self care is more important than ever in order to keep anxiety at bay and our minds in tune with our bodies.
Now that we’ve covered a general history of how self care came to be what we know it as today, let’s talk about our favorite ways to indulge in self care for total mind and body connection and well-being.
Our Top 5 Self Care Techniques
Schedule Alone Time
Thanks to social media and our powerful smartphones we carry around with us everywhere we go, it is nearly impossible to disconnect from the world and just be by yourself. Alone time is crucial though, and many people report feeling recharged, energized and creative after a stint of quality alone time. Make it a priority to be by yourself at least once per week for one hour. Alone time can be anything from going to get a manicure to taking a long walk to hanging out in your backyard with your pet. Whichever activity you choose, make sure that you remain mindful during this time, and pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and any turmoil that may arise. With work, school, family and other daily responsibilities, consciously paying attention to your thoughts is not something we allow ourselves to do everyday. It is so important to carve out time to take stock of your feelings, recharge your mind, and allow yourself to just be. Allowing yourself this time each week will likely be invaluable to your well-being, creativity and clarity.
Start Your Day with a Cold Pressed Juice
There is absolutely no better way to start your day than with a cold pressed juice filled with plenty of greens. We always start the day with a Pure Greens with lemon and ginger to rev the metabolism, flood the body with essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients, hydrate, and kick the day off on a healthy note. It’s impossible to function at your best when your body isn’t fueled properly, and this can be hard to do on a daily basis when mornings are short and you have plenty of other things on your plate before you get out the door. Cold pressed juice is our go-to morning nutrition because it’s portable, packed with all the fuel we need for proper body functions, and it also happens to be delicious. Don’t have time to run to your local juice bar every morning, or don’t live near one? No problem. Pure Green delivers cold pressed juice right to your door and you can easily order online.
Make a Daily Gratitude List
With money, careers and daily responsibilities piling up, it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters in life. One of our favorite ways to practice self care and bring ourselves back to the important things in life is by keeping a running log of things that we are grateful for each day. We recommend writing your list down, rather than just keeping a mental note, to feel more connected to your thoughts. Choose a time each day and commit to spending five to ten minutes taking stock of what you’re grateful for that day. Your list can include small things like clean socks, as well as bigger-picture things like your family, pets, friends, and your health. There is no need to try to hit a goal number for your list, but you may be surprised at how easy it is to find things to be grateful for if you allow yourself time to think about it. Writing down your thoughts will ensure that they remain with you. We like to carry our list around with us and refer back to it during difficult moments. Think of it like having your own personal therapist in your back pocket, helping to guide you toward what truly matters.
Find Some Comedic Relief
They say laughter is the best medicine, and we definitely agree. Get a group of your favorite friends together once per month and go see a comedy show, or just share some laughs over dinner. Laughing releases feel-good hormones that automatically boost your mood, no pills required. Plus, relationships are a hugely important part of life and well-being, and spending quality time with friends is a great way to bond and create new memories with the important people in our lives.
Sweat It Out
Sometimes physical fitness can feel like a chore, but if you schedule fitness into your life as a means of self care, it can change your entire outlook at your once-dreaded gym sessions. Listen to your body and give it what it needs rather than forcing yourself into another class you hate. Switch it up and try new things, like boxing, yoga, cycling or running. Bring a buddy with you to stay motivated and hold yourself accountable. We love starting the day with a solid sweat session because not only does it help clear the mind, but it also sets your day up on a healthy note, so you’ll feel accomplished first thing and super energized and ready to take on the day. Remember, your mental health mirrors your physical health, so if you’re not caring for your body properly, your mind will suffer too.
Self Care for Self Healing
As you can see, self care is no longer just for small pockets of people. It’s important for all of us to take time for ourselves so that we can better care for others. What are your favorite self care techniques? Have you tried any on our list, and if so, have they worked for you? We love hearing from our community, so please reach out to us with feedback or questions about how you can live a healthier, more mindful lifestyle that includes cold pressed juice.