Life responsibilities can be overwhelming, creating stress on our bodies and our minds. We may have loved ones we need to look after and care for, putting our own needs on the back burner. It’s vital to our health to remember to not forget about ourselves and regularly practice self-care. Self-care can often be subjective to the individual. However, self-care is about taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Finding what self-care means to you and practicing regularly, will ensure an overall positive mental state. Here are some simple yet effective self-care tips to prioritize yourself.
Some of the easiest self-care is simply taking time for you. This can mean different things to different people as some people are more extroverted, while others are more introverted. Make time for yourself and do whatever it is you need to do to recharge. If you need time alone, do it without any guilt. Turn your phone off, and take time to have a bath, read a book, take a nap, or simply just veg out alone. For those that need social connections to feel their best, make time to socialize with friends and loved ones on a regular basis.
It’s never healthy to keep your emotions bottled up. It’s important to find a way to release them that feels good for you. This can take the form in painting, dancing, journaling, music, or anything that you enjoy. Whatever your outlet to express yourself is, make sure to do it often and have fun.
Our physical health and our mental health are very much connected. It’s essential to look after your physical health to promote a positive well-being. Eating a healthy diet of whole foods will make you feel better physically and mentally. It’s also important to avoid processed foods and sugars which will make you feel sluggish and fatigued. Exercising regularly will help to reduce stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline while boosting feel good hormones, endorphins.
We are definitely our own worst critics. Don’t fall into the negative self-talk habit. Our reality is a manifestation of our thoughts. Practice having positive thoughts about yourself. Every morning recite a positive affirmation about yourself or your day to set the tone for the day. You’ll be surprised what a difference that can make.
Practicing mindfulness has been shown to improve overall happiness and an overall healthier well-being. The purpose of mindfulness is to focus on the present moment. There are many ways to be more mindful, but one of the most common is meditation. Meditation is a simple, yet incredibly effective practice that creates awareness around the present moment and allows you to redirect your thoughts and clear your mind. Some people may find meditation difficult in the beginning, but it is worth giving it a try. There are plenty of guided meditations to get you started. However, if you feel meditation isn’t for you, you can practice mindfulness in any given moment if you’re willing to put the effort. We are often on autopilot so simply being aware of the moment while you are doing something is being more mindful. This can be as simple as mindful walking. Next time you are on a walk, use all of your senses to take in your surroundings and be conscious of what you are doing.
You don’t need to deal with difficult times alone. Self-care also involves getting support when you need it. Reaching out to a trusted loved one can be incredibly helpful to help you express yourself and manage your emotions. A licensed therapist is a great outlet if you need someone to talk to. They can offer support and strategies to improve your mental health and overall well-being. Click here to speak to someone today.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with MyTherapist.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.