The topic of self-care has been coming up often this month. You’ve heard this analogy before: when you’re on a plane and the oxygen masks drops, place your own mask on before you help someone else. You can’t help anyone if you’re unconscious. We nod our heads and agree that makes sense, yet many of us continue to put ourselves on the back burner every day of our lives.

Gratitude Tip: Self care is not something that is negotiable. It is a necessary for a healthy and happy life. Both for women and men. Beyond simple hygiene, self-care is when you do something that it truly for YOU and to nurture your spirit or your inner child. Let’s teach our children by leading by example and making self-care (and personal hygiene) a PRIORITY in 2016.

Scandinave at Blue Mountain

Scandinave at Blue Mountain

As you read this, I will be enjoying a day at Scandinave Spa with my girlfriends, celebrating my 40th birthday. There were many things I could have chosen to do for this special milestone, and to me, self-care with friends seemed like a perfect way to celebrate. It’s a 90 minute drive from where we live which makes it accessible for most. There is likely a spa experience within a few hours drive of where you live if this is something you’d like to enjoy.

Self-care goes beyond things like taking a shower, getting your hair cut, waxing and other personal care and even daily exercise. Those types of things are basic human needs (ok, maybe not the waxing – but for me it is!) and aren’t really what self-care is. Even if you’re a new mom and it’s struggle to get a shower in, you need real self-care – probably more than most of us do. Here are some ideas of what self-care might look like for you. Keep in mind that self-care for one may not be the same as for another.

The Ultimate List of Self-Care in 2016

1.Day at the spa (Scandinave is my favorite!)

2. In home massage, scheduled on a weekly or monthly basis

3. Out of home massage, scheduled as above

4. Hiking, alone (on a marked path) or with some friends

5. Playing in the snow with your kids

6. Ice skating

7. Spending an entire day reading a book

8. Meditation

9. A class to learn a new skill (painting, dancing, sculpting)

10. Pedicure or manicure, if this isn’t already part of your regular hygiene routine

11. Girls or guys night out

12. Girls night in – sleepover party!

13. Weekend away alone

14. Weekend away with your spouse

15. Weekend away with your BFF

16. Affirmations

17. Trying a new sport or activity such as rock climbing

18. Walking meditation, such as a labyrinth

19. Energy work, such as Reiki

20. Oracle card readings (Angel cards etc.)

21. Sleeping in by asking your partner to get up with the kids

22. Journaling and other forms of writing

23. Purchase fun stationary and pens for said writing

24. Colouring books for adults

25. Karaoke night

26. Hot tub time

27. Send Thank-You card to express gratitude for the special people in your life

28. Take a vacation. A real one. And turn off your phone and leave your laptop at home.

29. Do Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong as a sacred practice, rather than exercise.

30. Dance like no one is watching

31. Say no more often

32. Say yes to more fun!

33. Watch your favorite sappy movies by yourself, with a box of tissues

34. Take out your bucket list and start checking things off

35. Take a day off. At least once a week.

36. Turn off your phone for 24 hours

37. Celebrate the little things and the big things. Keep a bottle of bubbly in the fridge just in case.

38. Visit a museum or art gallery in the middle of the week

39. Go to the movies, alone

40. And by all means, have your cake AND eat it too!

40 items of self-care for the #40daysofgratitude challenge. Take a photo of your self-care activity, share why you’re grateful for it and tag it for the #40daysofgratitude challenge. Check out this post for how it works. This is Day 3 of 40.

What did I miss? What else do you like to do for self-care that is non-negotiable?

Day 3 of the #40daysofgratitude, a simply, daily challenge, where all you do is post a photo (or a phrase) on Instagram or Facebook and tell us what you’re grateful for today. All of the details can be found here. Are you in?

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