Self-care has become a mainstream topic in the past few years. Along with other mental health and self help content there is a plethora of resources. But what actually constitutes self-care? How can you practice self-care? We are going to answer those questions.
Self-care is a behavior more than anything. They are habits you develop to support your physical, spiritual, and mental health. What you consider self care can be different than what other people do as self care. What someone considers relaxing or grounding does not always work for another person. We rounded up some helpful tips that can help you jumpstart your very own selfceare practice.
- Take a social media break. We can spend endless hours comparing ourselves to others on social media. Taking a natural break can help your mental health. Your phone has notifications you can set up to remind you to get off your apps. Now use your free time wisely. Anything you have been meaning to focus on you can now take a moment to work on. It’s best to fill this time with something you find relaxing. This can mean lounging on the couch watching a movie, going on a leisurely walk, or meditating. You want to find a positive way to fill this time and choose something which helps you relax.
- Create a bedtime routine for yourself. Giving yourself time before bed to practice simple calming rituals like reading a book, lighting candles, taking a warm bath, or listening to some relaxing music is a great way to start. You can feel out what relaxing activities work best for you. Put your phone away and get into the right mindset for sleep. The ambience of your bedroom is also important. Turn down your lights, put on your comfy pajamas, and get everything else ready for bed. This downtime will help your mind calm down and get ready for rest.
- Make sure to stay hydrated. This seems simple but its actually harder than you think. When you have a busy day its easy to forget to hydrate. Maybe you have your morning coffee and a glass of water but forget to drink another glass until lunch. This can leave you feeling sluggish and even give you a headache. If you find it hard to drink water making infused waters with herbs, cucumber, and citrus in them can make it more flavorful. You may want to invest in a soda stream if you prefer sparkling water too.
- Set up boundaries with work, friends, and family. This is one of the hardest but simplest ways you can practice self care. Say no when you want to. Take a break when you need to. Don’t answer the phone when you’re not in the mood. Setting up healthy boundaries with people can keep you from feeling burnt out or overworked. If work asks you to put in more hours but you’re struggling to keep up at home then say no. Practicing saying no (or yes to things you want to do) is a great way to feel more at ease.
- Reconnect with a close friend or catch up on much needed chats. Setting aside some time to talk to the people in your life who make you feel good is a great way to boost your mood. Reach out to that friend who always provides a listening ear or finally give your loving grandma a call. Even chatting over email, sending a letter, or exchanging a few texts can provide connection to the people in your life.
Social media can make it seem like self care is all about bubble baths and new shoes. If these things make you truly feel better then they are totally valid. Maybe you want to update your makeup collection or add a few staples to your wardrobe. These new items may make you feel more genuine and grounded. You may want to celebrate an accomplishment by buying a new necklace or bracelet but you can also indulge in a day of window shopping. Practicing your self-care routine doesn’t have to cost anything.
Self-care is all about developing healthy and most importantly sustainable habits. Your routines should not cause you more stress. Self care is how you can deal with stressful periods in your life. Be honest about what makes you feel happy and mentally healthy. Then incorporate those things into your daily routine.
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