Updated: Oct 7, 2020
Loving and caring for yourself sounds a simple task; however, we tend not to make this a priority for various reasons. The good news is: it is never too late to start.
Self-care and being kind to yourself can do wonders for your personal growth and your mental health, and yet we find it easier to love and care for others than ourselves.
There are many inexpensive self-care activities to start your journey today; following are some example. You can do one or a combination of them, there is no limit to what you can do as long as they serve the purpose of improving your mood and the way you feel about yourself.
Free self-care activities:
Exercise whether you do an energizing physical activity like swim, run, a bike ride, dance like crazy or do something more relaxing like yoga, it is up to you.
Nature Walk. I will never stop recommending a pleasant walk in a park, on the beach or around a lake. These are gifts given to us by nature, and the benefits to our mood are immense. If you live in a city, you can take a walk at your closest park.
Create playlists on your mobile for every occasion, you know yourself better than anyone else. Which music makes you feel empowered? Relaxed? Cuddled? Positive? Start creating a playlist to enhance each of those feelings; these could be the key to enter your safe space.
Track your thoughts, do a ten-minutes journal, or take notes during the day, and try to be precise when you name your feelings. We often tend to use only basic emotions, but there are many more, and you can use the feelings wheel you can find online to help. Name them to tame them.
Read a book, this activity strengthens the brain, increases empathy, prevent cognitive decline, alleviate depression. These are only a few of the benefits of reading.
Meditate, there are plenty of meditation activities you can find online and practice, they range from 3 minutes to 10 hours, choose one that can fit in your schedule and listen to it. Learn how to enjoy these relaxing moments.
Be creative if you have a thing for art, create something, write poetry, draw, colour, build a sandcastle, it doesn't need to be perfect or beautiful, it's about the moment and how creativity positively affects our mind.
Eat healthy food, pay attention to what you eat. Your food intake nourishes both body and mind. Prepare healthy meals on your own, so that your body can grow, repair, and function well.
Simplify your life, make a list of priorities. Let go of a few of the things you feel you should do but are not necessary. There are essential things that cannot be left behind, and your mental health is one of them.
Learn to say no, if you are feeling overwhelmed by your commitment, simply say no. Most of the things we are forcing on ourselves can be postponed.
Learn how to relax, you don't have to take care of everything. The world will survive if you slow down, find a place you like and just be there and relax. Try to get energy from silence.
Take regular breaks from your devices. Put your phone away for one evening and spend the time with someone without constantly feeling the urge to check for new messages.
Tidy up a room, this is not for everyone, but some people gain a positive outcome from decluttering and cleaning; they report decreased feelings of frustration, clearer thinking and a sense of accomplishment. It's worth a try.
Light a candle and enjoy the calming effect, aromatherapy candles are produced with a variety of essential oils, they can help you relax, feel calm, energized. Choose the one that you need, light it and enjoy the aroma and the calming sensation of the flickering flame.
Sleep, give your mind and your body some rest. Regular deprivation of sleep cannot be compensated afterwards; the same applies for too much sleep. Both effects your metabolism and the way you perceive yourself and your environment.
Pet your furry friend; it has the same effect of a hug and has a very positive impact on our mind.
Catch up with a friend or a family member. If you manage to do this weekly, it would be great. Talking to others allows you to vent, listening to others gives you a different perspective of your world.
Let judgement go, there is no such thing as perfection, accept negative and judgemental thoughts as part of your old self, you don't need these thoughts now, learn to forgive yourself and let others go.
Make sure to be always kind toward yourself, and engage in random acts of kindness toward others.
Volunteer, helping others most of the time gives you back more than what you are offering.
Options are endless, and don't forget to:
Be mindful, pay attention to the present moment, notice your body, there are many mindfulness exercises online. Just choose the one that you feel is good for you, if it doesn't work the first time don't give up.
Be grateful, often we forget the importance of what we have and focus on what we miss. Nothing is granted, what we have should be cherished.
Think positive, there is no situation where all is negative or a situation where all is positive. Pay attention to the way you think, as this can influence the way you perceive the world around you.
"Language creates reality. Words have power. Speak always to create joy" - Deepak Chopra
Once you found what makes you feel good, implement it in your life. With time and practice, you will notice little changes in your mood and the way you perceive external events.
Take good care of yourself, be patient and consistent, you won't regret it.
If you want to know more, feel free to contact me.