Self-care is important. Maybe you are bored out of wits reading this the 100th time while you are surfing through the internet, but it’s true. Thanks to social media for turning this into a trend and making it sound like a cliché, it is not, really.
At the beginning of the lockdown, so much of mental health content flooded the internet, it was really hard to decipher which one was correct. I saw many people feeling anxious about not being able to know how to take care of themselves. I saw that they defined and then re-define what self-care meant to them, and most of it came from what others were doing for their self-care like going for a spa or engaging in art activities.
I guess many of us might have even lost track of what self-care means amidst all that we keep reading every now and then. So, here is a brief read up to acquaint you to what caring for yourself may look like and how you can do that.
Self-care is a healthy way of coping with stressors of one’s life and promoting well-being. It is a self-initiated way of taking care of one’s emotional and physical being; therefore, it is an individual’s choice to choose their self- care practices. It can be free of cost such as napping or it might involve some expenditure such as travelling.
So, it’s really your choice that matters and what makes you feel cared for!
We have compiled ten self-care activities which you might help you start your journey of self-care here.
- Go for a walk
- Surprise yourself with a gift
- Maintain a mood journal
- Sensory self-care
- Sleep over it!
- Spend time in nature
- Try therapy
Lets explorer these self-care activities one by one.
1. Go for a walk
Taking a stroll is one thing you should integrate into your self-care routine. As they are not an intense type of physical activity, walks are calming, but they reset the mind and body. It is relatively a simple exercise and can reduce everyday stress significantly. Physiologically, it reduces blood pressure and aids with anxiety as well. You may take your children for a walk or your friend or partner, as it may help to spend time connecting with them.
Listening to music is one of the most effective ways of boosting your mood, feeling relaxed and reliving stress. You may lie down on your bed or sofa or sit out in your balcony and listen to your favorite playlist. This activity will help you release pent-up energy and emotional distress. It can be a wonderful way for the body and mind to release happy hormones and start feeling good.
Spotify now has playlist for different moods, occasions and seasons, you can find something that feels good for your in that moment and you may even explore new music.
3. Surprise yourself with a gift
There may be a shirt or a dress that you had your eyes on for a while, but you’ve been unsure about spending your money. Give yourself anything like similar to that clothing piece or something budget-friendly like a lip balm or perfume. Life isn’t just about making money, once in a while we can spend it for ourselves too.
Being kind to yourself is one of the best self-care tips that you can live by. You can also try and give a gift to a loved one. You may have thought about an old friend and have yet to reach out, maybe a nice letter or a card in the mail can help you get connected with them.
Gift-giving will make you feel good, whether it is for yourself or others.
Exercise is one of the most common method of self-care. Your personal development can be boosted by daily physical exercise. It’s something you should integrate into your everyday self-care routine, whether you go to the gym or do physical exercise at home. Each day, it’s a good idea to participate in various types of exercise. You can one day use a treadmill and another day, in a class or in the comfort of your home, you can practice yoga. Each day, doing a different type of exercise will help you feel good about yourself.
There is a vast pool of research that proves that exercise reduces stress and lowers the blood pressure of an individual. Physical activity has several different health advantages, and you will reap the benefits when you participate in long-term exercise.
5. Maintain a mood journal
Write a page or two of what you’re thinking when you wake up in the morning. So, that before you begin your day, you can get your ideas out and release any anxiety you may have. We’re so concerned with getting through the morning routine sometimes that we fail to enjoy moments of quietness.
Set your alarm to wake up sooner than you need to. Take the time to write down your emotions and thoughts. After letting those words out in a journal, you’d be shocked by how refreshed you felt. Self-care is not only about physical activity; it is also about both mental and emotional activity.
Connecting and reconnecting with friends and family is one of the ways you can take care of your mental health. Socialization is an empirically proven way of boosting self-confidence and happiness. As close relations impact our well-being significantly, healthy engagement with them can definitely help you to take care of yourself.
One of the best ways to connect with your loved ones is by investing time and energy in those relationships. There is no a stipulated amount of time one needs to spend with others, it is subjective. One can identify their social needs and create a schedule that allows them to give enough time for their social life.
7. Sensory self-care
The times when we need to destress, shifting focus on our senses is one of the easiest to do and effective ways to take care of ourselves. We can focus on our senses by engaging some activities such as: taking a warm water bath (touch), getting a head or body massage, burning a scented candle (smell), listening to running water (sound), looking at sunsets or the night sky (sight) and savoring your favorite meal (taste).
An innovative for sensory self-care, something that you can use even when you are at work or somewhere outside is a fidget toy. It is scientifically proven that; fidget toys relieve symptoms of anxiety. They are known to help adults deal with the effects of anxiety and ADHD. It can help to have something to keep, play with or pinch if you’re feeling nervous. You might choose a stress ball instead of a fidget, but it’s the same idea. Sensory stimulation is a form of self-care, and using objects to help yourself cope with feelings is all right.
8. Sleep over it!
Getting swept up in our hectic lives is easy. You’re mentally and emotionally drained before you know it. One way to tackle these problems is to take out time to relax and take a nap. Studies have shown that “power naps” lasting 15-20 minutes positively affects cognition and a person’s ability to think. Naps help the brain increase concentration and that is why you feel rejuvenated and refreshed when you wake up from a short rest. Naps are an outstanding and easy to practice form of self-care.
9. Spend time in nature
If you are a nature lover or plant lover, you may want to take out some time from your schedule to be near your plants. You may even plan a short trip to the hills or beach. Research has ample evidence to prove that spending time in nature improves not only emotionally health but also physical. It increases pleasant feelings, reduces fear/anger/stress and also reduces blood pressure, muscle rigidity and other stress hormones.
10. Try therapy
An excellent way to take care of yourself is to see a therapist. There’s no right time for therapy to start. You may be dealing with a specific problem or maybe you want to figure out your concern, either way you can go for therapy. BetterLYF’s therapists understand the numerous reasons that individuals seek counselling. A therapist will provide you with tools to support yourself if you find it difficult to participate in self-care.
You may be nervous about disclosing your personal information to an online counselling company, that is not what BetterLFY does. Your data are safe and confidential. With a trusted online therapist, you will get the help you need and find ways to care for you in everyday life.
Give it a shot!
“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.”– Katie Reed
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