You are the most important person in your life.
That's the most vital piece of personal growth advice you'll hear today.
Especially if you've felt burned out, demotivated, helpless, depressed, or just plain stuck lately.
In fact, if you're unhappy in any way with your life right now, a habit of self-care is the best thing you can do for yourself.
On the flip side, avoiding self-care can leave your body and mind feeling sick and deprived. And your soul too.
Please do not fall into the trap of losing yourself in your work, or in service to others. You simply can't help anything or anyone to your fullest potential, if your own cup is not full.
So pamper yourself. Give yourself the time and space to heal. Buy yourself that neon green outfit you secretly love. You totally deserve it.
With that in mind, here are some of my favorite self-care techniques I hope you'll try:
1. Meditate daily
The real benefits of meditation become clear when you turn this soothing practice into a habit. If you can't do it daily, try a few times a week. You only need a few minutes each time.
2. Get a haircut
Or get your nails done. Or get a facial. Or do anything 'superficial' that makes you feel sexy and confident. Not every self-care technique needs to be deep!
Go on a social media detox. Put away your smartphone and computer. Turn off your TV. Don't even listen to any music. You'll be surprised at what the Universe tells you when you've turned down all surrounding noise.
4. Shake it off
Dancing is a rejuvenating form of physical self-expression. It doesn't matter how good or bad you are, what matters is you let the rhythm just flow through you.
5. Cook something nourishing & delicious
Prepare something that hits that sweet spot between 'healthy' and 'comforting'. The kind of food that feels good as you eat it, and after too.
6. Be grateful
Write down three things you're grateful for at the start of every morning. Scientists say gratitude actually makes you 25% happier.
7. Read something unusual
Pick a subject or genre you've always been interested in, but never got round to exploring. Broadening your horizons can do wonders for your wellbeing.
If like 35% of Americans you haven't been getting enough (7 hours a night, according to most experts) - then this alone could be a game-changer.
9. Appreciate yourself in the mirror
Take note of what you like most about yourself. Recite some affirmations. Be kind to yourself, and see yourself for the amazing and worthy individual you are.
10. Order that dessert
Or indulge in your own little form of decadence. Because what you do most of the time is more important than what you do sometimes.
But make it a workout you enjoy. Even a brisk walk in the park can be good exercise.
12. Flex your creativity
Make something with your hands. Write a short story. Pick up a musical instrument. For many people, nothing is more satisfying than creating something out of nothing.
13. Take yourself on a date
Fall in love with your own company again, enjoy your inner dialogue, and relax - on this date, you don't need to impress anyone but yourself.
14. Cuddle your pet
Cats, dogs, reptiles, rodents: as long as you love that critter, it's scientifically proven you'll get an instant mood boost.
15. Contact someone you miss
Don't let life get in your way of reconnecting with someone who fills you with joy and gratitude. And for bonus points, call them instead of texting.
16. Go away!
Even if it's just for a weekend, getting your mind and body out of familiar territory for a while can be therapeutic. Book a hotel somewhere, or stay with someone.
17. Learn something new
There are countless tutorials on YouTube teaching almost every skill under the sun. You might even find your new passion.
Forgive yourself and others too. Making a conscious effort to do this has the power to lift even the heaviest weight from your heart.
Now, speaking of success, you just have to check out my free Success PDF right here. In addition to sharing my 7 morning success rituals, I’ll also take you on a mind exercise that reveals what could be keeping you stressed, exhausted, and burnt-out.
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.