Simplify: Self-Care

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As a joy expert, self-care is my jam. 

Let's get one thing clear, though... consumerism is NOT self-care. 

Yet, society at large is constantly marketing things with the not-so-subtle message that "if you care about yourself, you'll buy X".

"Retail therapy" is, at best, a distraction from the real therapeutic work of fully acknowledging your experiences, feeling through them, and learning healthy, meaningful ways to navigate the world. At worst, "retail therapy" is a classist lie, leading people to believe they have to spend lots of money to take care of themselves.

Self-care has become synonymous with "treat yourself".
Self-care has been commodified and sold as a luxury. 

I'm here to call bullshit.

The most meaningful, transformative types of self-care are not for sale. 

The most meaningful, transformative types of self-care are practices that help you connect to ease of body/mind/spirit, establish a sense of belonging in the natural world, affirm your place within a community, and connect to a sense of hope for the future. 

Below, I will list my personal top 20 favorite free, meaningful, self-care practices. 

Please remember that self-care is a practice--it's not a quick fix. Nor is it all or nothing. Do what you can, when you can, as compassionately as you can. 

Self-care is a commitment to your well-being and an affirmation of your inherent worthiness of joy, love, and belonging. 

Please let me know what your favorite suggestions are, and any other types of self-care that work well for you. 

In Joy, 
Maya Hampton


Emotional Self-Care

  1. Create a list of 1-5 MOST trusted people (this is your contact list for when you're getting down on yourself, or need connection. Put the list on a business card in your wallet. Let these people know they're on your list. USE THE LIST.)

  2.  Practice self-forgiveness (Where are you holding resentment, shame or frustration against yourself? Spend time writing yourself a letter of acknowledgment and forgiveness; conclude by stating you've done the best you can, and you're learning how to do better.)

  3.  Take a break from social media

  4.  Write down feelings without judgment or restraint 

  5.  Practice interpersonal boundary-setting


Somatic Self-Care

  1. Be sure to drink water & stay hydrated

  2. Breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4, exhale for 4; repeat as feels good

  3. Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping pressure points)

  4. Stretching body

  5. Cheek/jaw self-massage 


Cognitive Self-Care

  1. Meditation (whichever form you like) 

  2. Take a break from technology

  3. Gratitude journaling

  4. Read something edifying 

  5. Get organized


Spiritual Self-Care

  1. Sing or chant

  2. Pray

  3. Visualization

  4. Spend time in nature

  5. Nurture a plant or animal