Updated: Mar 8, 2021
In my latest blog I broke down the phrase ‘self-care.’ Now that we defined it, pulled apart, dissected it, chopped it, diced it, and made sense of it, we need to talk about HOW to do this. So let’s jump in!
Self-Care Improves Depression/Anxiety/Mental Health
1. One reason practicing self-care is so important is because the little things we do to care for ourselves add up to our overall health and well-being.
2. Another reason these are on most lists is we don’t practice them like we should, and they are free and easy. (We all love free stuff!) What is not easy is remembering and being conscious of doing those things. The good news is, we can do things that are not easy and sometimes difficult. Those are the things worth doing!
Simple & Quick Self-Care Practices:
1. Drink water. I know, I know, this is the second (or third) list I have with water but I can’t stress this enough. There’s a reason doctors tell us to drink it. Google all the benefits of drinking water. There will be a few things on their you didn’t even realize.
2. Breathe. For the most part, this is a involuntary movement our bodies do. What I mean is focusing on our breath or taking deep and full breaths. This is extremely UNDERestimated. Not only does it send more oxygen to our brain, it also helps us pause for a second.
3. Be in the present moment. By breathing and pausing this will remind us to say “Hey! Look what’s right in front of you and cherish it. This moment will be gone soon.”
4. Nature and/or sunlight. Feel the warm sun hit your face. Stand in the cool breeze. Smell the fresh air. Feel the wind blow through your hair. Watch the animals play and the birds fly.
5. Exercise. Doesn’t have to always be an hour gym/sweat session. Walk around the block on your lunch hour, take the stairs instead, park a little further from the front door. Just move and get the blood flowing!
Now that we got the main basic self-care (tasks) out the way, here are some more things to try.
More Self-Care Ideas:
1. Put pen to paper. Write down what you like about yourself. Make a list of what you’re grateful for. Jot down how you noticed you’ve improved in the past month/year. Scribble down other self-care activities you want to try that haven’t yet. If you don’t have paper available, go into your notes section in your phone and have at it. Some of us type fast than we can write. However, if you do this, switch it up every so often and do the old fashion paper and pen writing. (Cue the dinosaurs!). Don’t underestimate the power and art of writing.
2. Watch your favorite show that doesn’t involve much thinking. Just a feel-good easy watch. Nothing that will cause MORE anxiety.
3. Swing on a swing, glider or rocking chair. The rocking/swaying motion can be extremely calming.
4. Go for a drive. Blast your favorite feel-good music, sing along loudly. Don’t care if others can see you. If this is to hard for you to do, go on a less busier road, or towards the country area.
5. Allow yourself to just be. Give yourself permission to not be productive and constantly work on your 7 to-do lists. Ignore work, house, any responsibilities for 30 minutes.
6. Diffuse essential oils. There are special scents for different things you are trying to achieve (clarity & focus, sleep, relaxation, etc.).
7. Do something creative. Color, paint, make a collage or vision board. Tap into the creative side of your brain. This is something I struggle with, creative stuff. So I have to make it a point to do small things that work my creative brain. Now I didn’t say it was pretty, but who cares! It’s not like I plan on selling it at the art gala! (Although, some people buy some….exotic things! To each is own right?!)
8. Take a hot bath or shower. The steam helps our muscles relax and ease some tension.
9. Play with an animal (preferably nice ones!) Dogs are my favorite!
10. Buy some fresh flowers and put them in a vase and put somewhere in your house that you can see often or pass by several times a day. Yes, you are allowed to buy yourself flowers….I sure do!
Now let’s go out and try some of these things! Let me know which one’s you try or if you have other fun ideas! The more in our toolbox, the better right?!