While the sheet masks, the bottle of wine and the hot baths are a great way to destress and relax, these are not the types of self-care practices I’m talking about. For me self-care are the practices that aid and help to maintain and improve my mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. I talk about the importance of self-care a lot, especially in my recent post On Anxiety. So I thought it would be a good idea to delve deeper into it.
With all of the goals we set for ourselves, the busy schedules and the everyday demands and responsibilities, we tend to forget to check in with ourselves. We’re so focused on the next task and our next move, that we can neglect our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. With all the self neglect we end up burning out, run down and unhappy. Leading to higher stress levels, resentment, low self-worth and esteem. How can you take care of others, if you don’t take care of yourself? How can you live the life you want to live if you aren’t your best self? It’s about prioritising you and taking care of you. You need to give to yourself first, to fully give to others. Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary.
Take Time for Yourself —do you feel burnt out from all the socialising or just need some you time to recharge? Then do it! Make time for your hobbies, to treat yourself and care for your own needs. Get comfortable with spending time by yourself and recharge. Take the time to be your best self, so you can be your best self and present in the time you spend with others.
5-10mins of Cleaning Before Bed —for me my space is a reflection of my mental state. When I’m feeling low everything is a mess, so I try to stay on top of space to make sure I have are clear space to aid my mental state. This way I have a space that I feel good spending time in, peaceful and creative in. A peaceful space is a peaceful mind.
Meditating —for me meditating doesn’t necessarily mean the traditional practices of mindful, guided, kundalini etc. It can be anything that makes you feel grounded, calm, brings you into the present and frees your mind from all the noise. It can just be a barefoot walk on the beach. The main idea is for you to be present and be aware of your body and surroundings. I personally practice kundalini and use wheel throwing as meditation. Whatever works for you, do that.
Drinking Water and Eating Clean —making sure that I drink enough water and eat predominately clean is what makes me and my body feel the best and makes me happy. I know that I’m giving my body the nutrients it needs, I feel less heavy and my mind is clearer.
Exercise —it’s beneficial both physically and mentally. It increases your endorphins making you feel good and strong, increasing your confidence. Resulting in your self-worth increasing. You don’t have to be doing F45 everyday just make sure you’re moving your body. Aim to get those 10k steps in and 30 minutes of exercise a day.
Journalling —if I have emotions, thoughts and feelings that I’m not ready or need to be expressed to others, I always journal it out. I mostly do stream of consciousness journalling. Where you just write what comes to your mind, you aren’t overthinking and over analysing what you’re writing about. This way I can discover the root of any current issues, of what I’m feeling in that moment and maybe the trigger. But mostly it’s just to have a release for the emotions and if anything comes up that I’m not sure how to work on, it’s all there in my journal to revisit another time.
Talking it Out —sometimes you just need to vent. I find that most of the time I just need to talk to the people I trust the most, not necessarily always looking for advice but to have others hold space for me and to listen. To know that whatever you’re going through, you’re not alone. You’re creating an open conversation, a judgement free zone and trust within your relationships, for all parties to express themselves. Whenever I’m holding something in for too long and suppressing my emotions, it usually ends with me having a breakdown crying alone or calling my best friend. So talk it out, holding everything in never ends well.
Boundaries —create freedom. Set boundaries in all your relationships and with yourself. Just because you feel obliged to do something but your gut, heart and body are saying no —don’t do it. If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no. Say no to your internal pressure to do more and enjoy less. If it’s a specific topic or action that you don’t want to talk about or to happen, you can either avoid the topic or change the topic (eg. a family member not believing in you quitting your job to pursue your dream career as an actor) or just have an honest conversation about it, tell them how you feel. Whether it’s that it makes you sad, scared or little; whatever it is communicate it.
What are your self-care practices?