Caring for yourself might sound straightforward, but sometimes, we need to remind ourselves to do it. The good news is it's always possible to start showing up for yourself.
Self-care and self-compassion can do wonders for inner growth, self-perception and mental health.
Following are some self-care ideas. You can now add these simple and inexpensive activities to your daily routine. You can pick one or mix them up; there are no rules. Just choose things that make you feel better about yourself and your life.
Self-care is how you take your power back.
Practice Free Self-Care Activities:
Exercise: Whether you do an energising physical activity like swimming, running, bike riding, dancing like crazy, or doing something more relaxing like yoga, it is up to you. Just begin to take care of your body and your mind.
Yoga practices. Yoga's breathing techniques not only soothe the mind but also enhance the connection between the mind and body, especially when you're feeling disconnected. Try free Pranayama Yoga classes on apps or YouTube.
Nature Walks. 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. Find your closest park and enjoy the benefits.
Create playlists on your phone for any situation; after all, you know yourself the best. What tunes make you feel strong? Or calm? Reflective? Happy? Music positively affects the mind. Make playlists for different moments. They might unlock the door to your safe space.
Track your thoughts. Engage in a brief daily journal or jot down notes throughout the day; be accurate when naming your emotions. Often, we rely on basic emotions to express how we feel, but there's a wide range to explore. Use the feelings wheel to pinpoint your emotions. Naming them is a step towards understanding and managing them effectively.
Read a book. Reading strengthens the brain, increases empathy, prevents cognitive decline, and alleviates depression. These are only a few benefits of reading; if you are not a reader, you may find audible books interesting.
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, or create scrapbooks. Whatever you pick doesn't need to be a perfect piece of art; it's only about how creativity positively affects our minds.
Eat healthy food. Pay attention to what you eat. Your food intake nourishes both body and mind. Prepare healthy meals for yourself. Cooking can be fun.
When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy,
care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.
Jean Shinoda Bolen
Improve Your Lifestyle
Simplify your life, make a list of priorities. Let go of the things that are not positive for your wellbeing. 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. Release the need to try to handle 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 time with someone without constantly feeling the urge to check for new messages.
Tidy up. This is not for everyone, but some people find decluttering and cleaning relaxing. You will experience decreased 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 to help you relax, feel calm, and energised. 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, perception of yourself, and your environment.
Language creates reality. Words have power. Speak always to create joy.
Pet your furry friend. Petting your pet affects us positively as a hug and connecting with our furry friend impacts our general wellbeing.
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, and listening to others gives you a different perspective of your and others' world.
Let judgment go. There is no such thing as the right way to do something. Let negative and judgemental thoughts be part of your old self; you don't need these thoughts anymore. Learn to forgive yourself and accept others the way they are.
Let toxic people go. If you feel uneasy after talking or being around someone, it is time to speak honestly with that person or simply let it go.
Be kind toward yourself. Engage in random acts of kindness toward yourself. Reward yourself for your accomplishments. Listen to your needs.
Volunteering. Helping others gives you back more than what you are offering. Many associations provide volunteer positions; choose something you love, and it will become another place to recharge your energy. Also, random acts of kindness toward others can improve your mood.
Add More...Options Are Endless, and Don't Forget to
Promote mindful living. Learn to be mindful and live in the present moment, notice the sensations in your body, and find your favourite mindfulness exercise online. Choose the one that you feel is easy for you. Learning to be present requires effort if you come from years of worry and ruminations. Don't give up.
Practice gratitude. It is vital to notice what we have and be thankful for it. What we have is granted to only a few; appreciate the little things you already have; it's more than you think. A gratitude journal can help you notice the positive things in your life.
Positive thinking. Notice that there is no situation where all is negative or positive. No sensation or feeling lasts forever. Some moments are challenging, while others are easier. Instead, notice and observe your thoughts. Refrain from judgments and trust your ability to face the challenge. Your thoughts influence how you perceive the world.
When we give ourselves compassion,
we are opening our hearts in a way that can transform our lives.
Once you find which tools make you feel good, implement them. With time and practice of your self-care routine, you will notice changes in your mood and how you react to external events. Remember, it is never too late to start taking better care of yourself; be patient and consistent; you won't regret it.
When unpleasant feelings rule your day for too long, it’s time to reach out to someone you trust. You don't have to face everything alone. If you don't have someone to talk to, contact a helpline, a support group, or a professional. Your GP or a counsellor can make a difference in your wellbeing.
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