Everyone has their own definition of self-care. For some, it could be reading a book, others going to the spa, others exercising, and so on. However, many people do not have the freedom to intentionally set aside extra time to address the many stressors of life.
If we must nurture our mind, body, and soul, everyone needs to do this for themselves by intentionally making time for it. The result is beneficial for your well-being and your daily relations with others. Here are self-care practices to consider:
Have you been to a crowded environment? How did it feel? At times, the personal space in our homes could be a problem because of all the clutter lying around. Clutter negatively affects your mind and emotions. So, spare some time to clean up and rearrange your home and get rid of the items you don’t need. Your environment feels different once a declutter is well done, even for visiting outsiders. If you have an office, do the same to it, and you’ll find yourself working better.
At times, we are so crowded with work that we barely have time for ourselves. Does doing this daily add value to your life? Work is essential, but there must be a separate life besides that. Mental health is as important as physical health. If you are not feeling well mentally, you should treat that as if you are not well physically. Take a day off and travel, sleep, watch a movie or do anything else that gives you a break from the norm. Afterward, you’ll notice that you’ll work much better.
Physical activity is the best gift you can give to your body. Exercise is a good stress reliever, improves your health and body, giving you natural endorphins that boost your mood. Spare some time and engage your body in running, yoga, swimming, walking, hiking, kickboxing, etc.
Your body is a direct reflection of what you give it. If you have been mainly eating junk foods, you probably feel tired and lethargic. It's time to change your diet and focus on giving your body more wholesome and nutritious foods. Start adjusting your diet slowly, and you’ll notice the changes over time. It is equally important to hydrate properly. If you live a more active lifestyle, you will want to drink more water. Try to get at least 1 liter of water every day in addition to fluids from other beverages and food.
It’s easy to focus on the negatives weighing us down, and forget the positives. Don’t allow negativity to rule over your life. In such moments when you feel down, take a moment to do some self-reflection, and list all the things you’re grateful for. Sometimes all you can think to be grateful for is a chocolate milkshake. This is okay. Gratitude does not have to be focused on “important” things, as long as it helps you feel better.
Find ways to participate actively and benefit the community around you as there are many gaps untapped things out there that need humanity if only you look. Later on, you can do some charity work, and then you may gain a better appreciation for the privileges in your life. You will notice your mood lifting after giving back, and you will have a different perspective about life.
There are many opportunities to treat yourself, including; going to the spa, buying yourself new clothes and shoes, getting a haircut, or visiting a medical spa for a cosmetic procedure to enhance your looks. The options are too many to exhaust and are unique from individual to individual. Treating yourself often reflects on your appearance and self-esteem. Therefore, you should never gamble with that.
Have you been thinking about methods to expand your work, career, or how to start a new hobby? The human mind needs constant renewal to see and experience a different perspective of life. Therefore, if you have been postponing doing something different for yourself, it's time that you allow yourself to branch out, discover, and explore the hidden potential within you. You may find something new to enjoy that you never thought of before.
These modern gadgets can take up most of our time if we’re not careful. Most of the trending material in these online platforms is negative to attract numbers. This information can easily translate into your life if you’re always reading it.
Take time off social media and feed your mind with more helpful information by reading a book or other inspiring material that positively feeds your mind. You can also use that time to dig into different interests that inspire your life entirely.
Anyone who connects with nature consistently can attest that the feeling of getting out of the house is genuine and refreshing. Plan a picnic, go birdwatching, walk, hike, visit a park, go fishing, or spend time at the beach. Use your spare time to indulge in anything that gives you a direct attachment to nature and observe the beauty around you as you enjoy some fresh air. By the time you go back home, you’ll have a clearer mind with a new thought process.
With the rise in depression and suicide cases, carrying baggage is terrible for your mental health. Some run away from their issues and sink into harmful addictions, which become even harder to let go of. Also, some of your actions may be subconscious, affecting your relationships with everyone around you.
Unfortunately, the mind is a powerful tool that easily reflects what’s in you, especially when things get thick. Therefore, if you have experienced any past traumas or are currently going through sensitive matters that seem to be affecting your mental health, look for a professional therapist to release all the frustrations you feel inside.
The first phase in healing is realizing that you need help. Reach out to your loved ones and express that you need them to help you get better, even if that is just through being supportive.
Depending on the sensitivity of the issue you are facing, your loved ones may be able to help you through the healing process. Some people also go to the extent of following up way later to confirm that you’re indeed positively progressing with your life.
Rest is essential for every human being. Even in your busy schedules, you should always have enough rest at the end of the day. The impact of not getting adequate sleep is alarming, and when fatigue hits, it will force you to sleep unintentionally.
If you’ve been struggling with your sleeping pattern, don’t shift to sleeping pills. Talk to your physician about it to identify the underlying problem. It could be from medication or your daily practices before you sleep. Be open, and let them guide you on building a solid sleep routine. Do this, and your mind and body will automatically reflect the difference.
Connecting with people who genuinely love you is also a form of self-care. For a moment, you can laugh off the stress, interact, encourage one another, play games, etc. Spare time for your friends, family, spouse, pets and build a positive vibe together. Those are rare moments when you can be yourself, and they are always refreshing.
Remember that you are important, and you should treat yourself as such. Moving forward, you need to set aside time to recharge and watch your life transform for the better.
About the Author
Jenn Walker is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.