This month, you have even more of a reason to give yourself the self-care day you deserve, thanks to Leap Day. February 29th is added to the calendar every four years, to keep us in sync with the seasons. While this may not seem like much of a reason to celebrate, this Leap Day can mean 24 luxurious hours to show yourself some self-love. So go ahead, throw on your comfiest clothes, and take these five steps to give your mind, body, and soul the self-care day you’ve been craving.
Nourish Your Body and Soul With Your Favorite Meal
Today is the day to take the time to make and savor your favorite meal. This may mean whole, healthy foods in line with your ideal way of nutritious eating. Or for this self-care day, you may need a soul-nourishing slice of gooey pizza. The foods we eat not only fuel our physical bodies, they impact our mood and emotions. Pick whichever one best serves your well being and mood today, and whichever will best nourish and uplift your body and soul. But whichever you decide on, pick it guilt free. Don’t choose a salad as a punishment, and don’t pick macaroni and cheese, and then beat yourself up over it afterwards. Pour a lot of love into making your dish, and slowly savor every bite.
Spend Time Outside
Whether you live in a concrete jungle or the backwoods of a leafy forest, take at least 30 minutes, and spend time outside as part of your self-care day. Spending time outside can supply you with a whole host of health benefits, like soothing anxiety, boosting your memory, and helping you sleep better. Harvard researchers even say going outside will make you happier overall. Talk about a simple way to give yourself some self-love. Don’t let the weather stop you, bundle up or grab an umbrella if you need, throw on your sneakers, and get out the door.
Set up a Self-Spa Hour (Or More)
Give your body the juicy treatment it deserves with a self-spa hour. Researchers have proven what we already know: spa treatments are proven to improve moods, and ease anxiety. And you don’t need to visit an expensive spa to enjoy a soothing and luxurious self-care body treatment. Whip up a hair mask with some natural ingredients laying around your kitchen (things like coconut oil, avocado, honey, and egg can be turned into a split-end saving masterpiece). Then, make a smoothing body scrub (our favorites involve coffee grounds and sugar) and buff yourself out from head to toe. Finish off with a steamy shower, and warm coconut oil massage to ease tense muscles.
Unplug and Disconnect
Most of us know what it means to be totally hooked to our phones and computers. Excessive social media use has been linked to negatively impacting our “real life” social lives, and causing feelings of sadness and jealousy, among other things. For your self-care day, take at least one hour, and turn off the tech, to give yourself a break. If you’re feeling social, set up a cell-phone-free lunch with your closest pals. Or if you want to spend this time with yourself, dive into your favorite book, grab a pen and write in your journal, or dig out that old box of art supplies, and get lost in creating some artwork.
Drop in and Check in With Yourself
Self-care is all about taking time to nourish your well being. For this day of self care, pick a meditative practice to tune into yourself. This doesn’t mean you have to sit in silence. A meditative practice for you could be your favorite workout, a yoga flow, online guided meditation, or some simple deep breathing. Meditative practices are shown to reduce stress & anxiety, enhance self-awareness, sharpen your attention span, and even help you treat other people with more kindness. In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it can be hard to tune out the noise, and listen to what’s going on inside. Pick your favorite inward practice, and spend time checking in with how you’re doing.
There’s plenty that can be done with 24 more hours in your life. You may be thinking of those extra errands you need to run, or how you can get in some extra work for your boss. But take this Leap Day as a gift from the calendar gods. A refreshing day of self-care may be just what the doctor ordered, to help you be your best self out in the world.