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Sometimes we get so busy with all of the day to day tasks that the last person we take care of…is ourselves. When you fly and the flight attendants are going over the safety instructions, they tell you to put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others; it’s the perfect example. You can’t be helpful to others if you are so burnt out that you can’t take care of yourself. Take some time, schedule it on your calendar like any other appointment if you have to, each week to give yourself what you need to be your best self.
What is Self Care?
Self care is anything we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s often thought of as something we do for ourselves, self care can and should also be used to nurture our relationships with others.
Self Care Ideas
Self care is important because it helps us to stay healthy both physically and mentally. When we take care of ourselves, we are better able to take care of others and meet the demands of our everyday lives. There are many different self care ideas, but some of the most common are included below.
Eat a Healthy Diet
This means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Try your best to limit sugary, fatty, or processed foods. Eating a healthy diet helps your body perform and feel its best. Give your body the fuel it needs!
Get Enough Exercise
Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. It can also help to reduce stress and anxiety. If you don’t like to exercise, try going on walks and getting outside. You may actually find that you enjoy walking and getting fresh air! If you need something short and sweet, the Peloton app has a wide variety of different short workouts to stream even if you don’t have a bike.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is important for our physical and mental wellbeing. When we don’t get enough sleep, we are more likely to feel stressed and anxious. If you start getting enough sleep, you will start to see a positive change in yourself.
When we feel overwhelmed or stressed, it can be helpful to take a break from whatever we are doing. This could mean taking a few minutes to yourself during a busy day or taking a vacation from work or school. Sometimes you don’t even know how big of a break you need until you take one.
Spend Time with Loved Ones
Spending time with people who make us feel good can help to reduce stress and improve our mood. On the same token, it’s important to avoid people that stress you out and make things harder for you. Sometimes the best self care you can give yourself is surrounding yourself with positive people that bring joy to your life!
Do Something You Enjoy
Doing things that make us happy can help us to relax and feel more positive. This could include activities such as reading, listening to music, or taking a nature walk. Maybe it’s making a delicious latte and enjoying some quiet time. If you don’t have any activities that you enjoy, it’s okay to seek out new activities and experiences to see what you enjoy doing. There are free self care ideas out there!
Practice Relaxation Techniques
There are many different relaxation techniques that can help to reduce stress and promote feelings of calm. Some common techniques include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization. The Calm app has some guided meditations for different situations and is really helpful for beginners to use in practicing mindfulness.
Whether it’s relaxing in a bath or getting a pedicure, take some time to take care of you. If there’s something that you enjoy doing and you continuously put it off, now is the time to do it even if it’s just for an hour. A little bit of time to recharge and relax can do wonders for our mental health.
If there are people you are always comparing yourself to or others that are constantly negative, remove them from your life (or at least limit your interactions as much as possible). These things can really weigh on us and make us feel miserable. You don’t need that in your life. Make more space for people who lift you up, support you, and bring positivity to your life.
Seek Professional Help
If we are struggling to cope with stress or anxiety, it can be helpful to seek professional help. A therapist can provide support and guidance to help us manage our symptoms. Sometimes the best self care you can give yourself is seeing a therapist! This is one of my favorite self care ideas for mental health.
Now that you know what self care is and what you can do to receive it, you should put some of these ideas into action. The next time you’re feeling stressed or overworked, consider some of these self care ideas to recharge your batteries and feel rejuvenated. Self care can look different for everyone, so make sure to take the time to figure out what works best for you.