Does your life ever feel like a treadmill? You’re running and running—trying to take care of your loved ones, pets, home, career, community (and maybe love on the planet a bit, too).
Plus, you have a never-ending list of self-improvements to apply: Lose weight. Get stronger. Workout. Meditate. Improve gut health. Whiten teeth. Smooth wrinkles. Drink water. Sharpen mind. Learn new skills. Be kinder. And on and on.
That treadmill can sure get tiring, can’t it, sweetheart?
Too often, self-care feels like just one more thing to keep you running. Another task on the to-do list. A response to the constant pressure to improve. But what if there were a better way?
Real self-care should feel nurturing, not nagging.
So if the idea of self-care feels like a burden, recognize that it’s probably because you’re putting pressure on yourself to do “all the things”. Instead, give yourself permission to simplify. Start by focusing on just a few healthy habits to help you love yourself the easy way. That’s what I want to explore with you today. Below, I’ll share 6 simple self-care practices to get you started.
Now let’s explore a few healthy habits you can try.
6 Simple Self-Care Practices to Love Yourself with Today
1. Start your day with introspection
Here’s how I greet each morning: I wake up, light a candle and meditate for 10 minutes. Then I make tea, write in my Results Journal and maybe read something uplifting. That’s it. When times are stressful, it’s easy to turn on the news or pop open social media and feel the energy seep right out of your body. Instead, make a vow to start your day by filling your well. If you have to get up 15 minutes earlier, do it. That time of sweet self-care will be well worth it.
2. Nourish your body first
What you eat is who you become. By choosing to nourish your body first thing, you’re setting the tone for the rest of the day. Water, green juice and avocado toast (or a hearty smoothie!) will give you a boost of sustainable, nutrient-packed energy. If you love coffee, guess what? You don’t have to give it up. Instead, just try adding in a smoothie or some green juice first. Give your body a healthy burst of nutrients, alkalinity and antioxidants, then sip the joe.
I call that my add-before-you-subtract principle, by the way. So much nutritional guidance hinges on deprivation—on what you give up. But I believe true health is about abundance. It’s about piling on the good, deeply-nourishing stuff. Once you add enough goodness to your plate (or your life!), the mediocre is naturally crowded out.
We talk more about that principle—and help you fill yourself up with joyful affirmations, delicious recipes and more—in my free 5 Day Self-Care Kickstart.
Don’t miss out! Join in for all the fun here:
3. Talk to your cravings
As your day unfolds, notice if you find yourself battling cravings. Maybe it’s cookies, chips, a mindless hour of Facebook scrolling, or a smoke. Those cravings aren’t always about the sugar, caffeine, or whatever it is you’re jonesin’ for. In fact, they rarely are. More often, they’re a plea from your higher self. Instead of mindlessly acquiescing to the urge, ask yourself what desire it really represents.
Do you need more sweetness in your life? A time out from stress? Some love? An apology? A chance to rest? What’s the craving attempting to fill for you? And what could you do to satisfy that itch (and your soul) instead? Remember, you’ll get better results if you add something to serve that deeper desire than if you try to subtract the craving itself.
4. Practice The Daily Ten
You feel better when you move your body. There’s no denying it. But it does feel challenging to fit in a daily workout, doesn’t it? So let’s start with something more attainable: Just move for 10 minutes. Even when you can’t do a full-blown gym workout, you do have 10 minutes to move. Let this be something easy and something that feels good to you. Take a stroll, stretch on your living room floor, or turn up the tunes and shake what your mama gave you! (More fun ideas for 10 minutes of movement will surface in the 5 Day Self-Care Kickstart. I can’t wait to share them with you!)
5. Cultivate what nourishes your soul
Your plate doesn’t contain all the answers when it comes to nourishing your sweet self. We all need soul-nourishment, too. We need to make space for the activities that bring us joy and fulfillment. Without them, we wither.
These go beyond our daily routines, too. You may enjoy your job, but it won’t always satisfy you. I’m sure you love your family, but they can’t always be around (or pleasant!) to encourage you. So what’s one thing you could do that would bring you some smiles this week?
Maybe you should take a few minutes to draw or paint or dance. Perhaps you could call a friend, take a bath, or love on your pet (or foster a new one!). It can be anything that renews your spirit. So what is it for you? What nourishes your soul? What makes you feel more connected, happy, or of service? Whatever it is, do more of it this week.
6. Have compassion for yourself
Unfortunately, suffering is a natural part of life. We can’t avoid it—especially now with the collective challenges we’re all facing. The trick is to acknowledge your struggle and then bear-hug it with compassion. Compassion is the medicine. Once you apply compassion you’ll be able to take the lessons and move through the discomfort. Residual ouchies may remain, but they won’t harden you. We all have scars. They give us character. I have old wounds on my knees from bike crashes and canoe flips. And then there are the cancer scars. All of which are a part of me now, neither pretty or ugly, just there—inviting me to practice some self-compassion.
If you do nothing else to love yourself today, start by offering yourself a bit of kind compassion.
Breathe. Smile. I love you. You love you.
Progress Not Perfection
I’m done with the pressure-packed, “do all the things” definition of self-care. Aren’t you, toots? It’s just not worth staying on that treadmill.
Our new mantra for self-care is progress, not perfection. Often, when we start from an extreme place and seek extreme results, we set ourselves up for extreme disappointment.
Instead, let’s reimagine a new, gentle kind of self-care. One where a few healthy habits make our lives feel more steady. One where we feel nurtured—body, mind and spirit.
As you step forward in self-care this week, remember: Simplicity. Ease. Grace.
Let the turtle be your guide. Slow and steady, my glorious friend. From a spiritual perspective, there is no race, anyway. There’s only growing.
Your turn: What’s one simple thing you’ll do to nurture yourself today?
Growth & grace,
P.S. Want more self-love?
You don’t have to do self-care solo! Let’s grow together, dear ones. Sign up now to join my 5 Day Self-Care Kickstart. If you need a simple, step-by-step path to renew your self-care, complete with daily reminders to pause and nurture yourself, then this experience is for you. It’s totally free, too! Sign up now!
i just want to thank you sooo much for your wonderful words.You are an inspiration to me since i am trying to heal myself from a rare autoimmune disease and i feel i need all the inspiration i can get.Thank you!
The way you express yourself is so beautiful that i feel you are sitting next to me and we are having a cup of tea together!
love and light from Greece,
Thanks so much Kris for some wonderful insights, perspectives, and soon to see recipes in Crazy Sexy
This only backs up the shift that began to happen inside of me last year. I am feeling the need for a gentle year living in the moment , ,rather than being a slave to lists and ambitions that do no serve me!
Thank you for this lovey affirmation 🙂
loved this post. Beautifully intertwined health tips with mindset tips and gave me the perfect reboot to being compassionate and gentle with my monkey mind. xo
I love what you said about the “shoulds” floating around in your head. I’ve had that same experience. A feeling of “it’s the new year, I “should” be making some big resolution, doing a cleanse, training for a run….”, yet I’ve not felt in-spired to do any of those things….yet. I love that you helped me give myself permission to let go of the shoulds and just do what FEELS right and good, and what I am inspired to do, because that’s what’s perfect for me. thank you for that. love and light to you 🙂
Thanks for all the great suggestions. My weight is at an all time high and sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever really turn it all around. Small, daily, consistent steps. Reading Wheat Belly and becoming aware of the workings of gluten intolerance and how it contributes to obesity is a real eye opener. Highly recommend. So happy about your involvement in pet adoptions. That must feel amazing. Sending gratitude and love vibrations your way❤
How refreshing to read my thoughts! 🙂 as I sit here typing in my sweats, slippers and robe thinking I need to go for a run!
Kris – the love, time, and devotion you put into writing this does not ever go unnoticed. Thank you for doing it. You have changed my life is subtle but profound ways. And by subtle, I guess I mean very dramatic. 🙂
When I open my email your smile on the screen gives out lot of healthy life along with important information to live. Kris keep up the good works to improve the world to a healthy way of living.
Great stuff, so insightful and practical, and nurturing, love it! X
So beautiful but my fav: “If you slip, congratulations! You’re HUMAN. ”
It’s so easy to think we need I get it right all the time. But for Pete’s sake we’re not meant to!
So needed this reminder, Kris. In fact it’s going on my fridge with my other ‘I love me’ affirmations.
Ps. Love your glowing pic of you + your deer friend (a pun too!)
OMG ! I am so inspired ! Felt like Kris was talking directly to me. Diet questions answered. No more dairy. No more meat. I am a new subscriber But I am here to stay. Thank you Kris, you are changing lives in such a positive way. Hugs to you !
This article is amazingly aligned with both mine and my friend’s goals. It is reassuring to know that it IS always possible to improve oneself, and it works even better if you put a little Love buzz behind it. You rock Kris!
Thank you so much for really being a shining example of how to have compassion for ourselves and others. I do find myself a lot if the time telling myself to try harder, do better, toughen up! When actually a big bear hug of compassion might actually be much more effective. Your radiance, vibrancy, strength and compassion are an inspiration to me. Thank you so much and many blessings to you this new year:)
Thank you Kris! You have made me change my life!
Tons of love to you from me.
/Ebba Johansson Sweden
Beautiful as always Kris! Specially this last part…Thank you!
This is just what I need it! Thank you Kriss! 🙂
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this! It’s exactly what me and my friend are constantly saying to one another. We must be gentle on our sweet selves! I decided to make this the year of “little victories” too, celebrating them throughout the year. On Jan 1st I stopped drinking coffee and eating gluten and I’m going strong! But it took me a long time to get to that point. I’m not saying i’m not gonna have coffee or gluten anymore, but it’s the little victory of choosing to try and have less in my life. I’m hoping for many more of these on a monthly basis 🙂
A different friend of mine and I used to try and stop saying SHOULD too. It’s a bad word, so much so that we coined the phrase “should-talkin”. “hey, you talkin should over there?” lol. It’s fun, but it started to make me realize how much pressure that word puts on us, and how we command others on a daily basis by using it. It’s nice to try and say things more gently like ” you might try….” or “i found luck with….” there’s many ways other than YOU SHOULD DO THIS!
lovely blog as usual Miss Kris, thank you for it! <3
I so enjoy reading your writing. I feel like we are soul friends. I would call you “mother earth” if I had to describe you. That is what I told my therapist last week, that I wanted to be an old hippie, mother earth person. Hopefully between you, her, and myself this year will get me where I want to be. At least I now know I am on the road. Peace out Baby.
Peace out hippie mama. 🙂
Thank you Kris!
I’ve been reflecting on this idea a lot lately: it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Every move towards taking care of yourself counts! Desire over duty, ease over effort. I also loved your shout out to the amazing Erin Stutland! Her class is life changing.
Thank you for your work + words.