Updated: Mar 9
Loving and caring for yourself sounds like 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 self-compassion can do wonders to inner growth, self-perception and mental health, and yet we find it easier to prioritise love and care for others than ourselves.
You can integrate many inexpensive self-care activities into your routine straight away; the following are some examples. You can do one or a combination of them; there are no limits as long as they serve the purpose of improving your self-perception and the way you feel in your life.
Free self-care activities:
Exercise whether you do an energizing physical activity like swim, a run, a bike ride, dance like crazy, or do something more relaxing like yoga, it is up to you. Just begin to take care of your body and your mind.
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 playlists to enhance each of those feelings; these could become the key to enter your safe space.
Track your thoughts, do a ten-minutes daily journal, or take notes during the day; try to be precise when you name your feelings. We tend to use only basic emotions when describing how we feel, but there are many more. You can use the feelings wheel to find the right nuance of your feeling. Name them to tame them.
Read a book; this activity strengthens the brain, increases empathy, prevents cognitive decline, and alleviates depression. These are only a few of the benefits of reading; if you are not a reader, you may find interesting audible books.
Meditate; there are plenty of meditation activities you can find online. Choose one that can easily fit your schedule and practice regularly. If you struggle with your monkey mind, watch the video.
Be creative if you have a thing for art, create something, write poetry, draw, colour, build a sandcastle. Whatever you do, 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 the things that are not positive for your well-being. While your mental health is one of the essential things you need to take care of, many others can be left behind.
Learn to say no. Set your boundaries; if you feel overwhelmed by commitments or your sense of duty, learn to say no. Most of the things we are forcing on ourselves can be postponed or delegated to others.
Learn how to relax, stop imposing yourself to take care of everything. The world will survive if you slow down, find a comfortable place and just be there and relax. Try to get energy from relaxation music or just from the silence.
Take regular breaks from your devices. Put your phone away for one evening a week, and spend the time with someone without constantly feeling the urge to check for new messages.
Tidy up, this is not for everyone, but some people benefit from decluttering and cleaning; decreased feelings of frustration, clearer thinking and a sense of accomplishment. If you have never done it before, it's worth a try.
Light a candle. Aromatherapy candles are produced with various essential oils; they can help you relax, feel calm, and energized. Choose the energy 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. A longer sleep cannot compensate for regular deprivation of sleep. Unhealthy sleep patterns affect your metabolism and the way you perceive yourself and your environment.
Pet your furry friend; it has the same effect as a hug and positively impacts our mind.
Catch up with a friend or a family member. If you manage to, try to make this a regular habit. Your mind will benefit from it; talking to others allows you to vent, listening to others gives you a different perspective of your and others world.
Let judgement go; there is no such thing as perfection. Let negative and judgemental thoughts be part of your old self; you don't need these thoughts anymore. Learn to forgive yourself and others. Be in the present moment.
Let toxic people go, and if you feel uneasy after talking or being around someone you thought to be a friend, it is time to have an honest talk with that person or simply let it go.
Make sure to be kind toward yourself, but also engage in random acts of kindness toward others. Act of kindness make you feel good; a simple smile can brighten your or other people day.
Volunteer, helping others most of the time, gives you back more than what you are offering. Many associations offer volunteer positions, choose something you love, and it will just become another place where you recharge your energy.
Options are endless, and don't forget to:
Be mindful, pay attention to the present moment, learn notice sensations in your body, find your 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; cherish what you already have; it's more than you think. A gratitude journal can help you appreciate the positive things that are already present in your life.
Think positive; this doesn't mean that you have to be positive all the time. Just notice that there is no situation where all is negative or all is positive. Pay attention to your thoughts, as they can influence the way you perceive the world around you.
"Language creates reality. Words have power. Speak always to create joy."
Once you found which tools make you feel good, implement them in your life. With time and practice, you will notice little mood changes and how you perceive external events. It is never too late to begin to take care of yourself.
Take good care, be patient and consistent; you won't regret it.
Feel free to contact me.