Although we all vary and our immune systems respond to external stimuli, one thing remains true: our bodies are fragile to a certain extent, and I say this because we all have the ability to fall sick when we don’t take proper care of ourselves. This goes far beyond the physical aspect because self-care is all-encompassing. It covers the mind, body, and soul and so it is completely a holistic process that requires a lot of thought as well as internal reflection.
Before you can properly take good care of yourself, you must completely understand the essence of who you are, what you are about and what makes you feel connected to the world around you. Answering some of these questions will help you grasp an idea of what activities you can do that will give you the maximum amount of joy as well as make you feel fulfilled. For example, I love to sing and write but I am terrified of heights; because I know this about myself, a self-care measure would be to go to a karaoke session or take writing classes online since this would make me feel the most fulfilled. Another person might not feel the same way because their interests might vary from mine; they might like to go bungee jumping or skydiving for example, and that may give them more joy. My point in all of this is that you need to find your sweet spot and stick to it. Self-care is a preventive measure because you are taking care of yourself so that something bad will not happen to you in the future, and that is pretty smart if you ask me. Here are a few ideas that you can incorporate into your self-care routine based on your interests.
Retail therapy and the culture of buying everything on sale (I am guilty of this too) has its side effects. Living a simple life is a great way to remain mentally strong; the less stuff you have hanging around the better so take a weekend out and declutter your space. Give away those ripped jeans you bought on sale and definitely donate the Halloween costumes from five years ago. You will thank me later, promise.
Watch Your Favorite Movie
Even if it means watching it for the 100th time, do it. It will boost the serotonin levels in your brain and give you feelings of relaxation and reminiscence. I still get teary-eyed from the movie While You Were Sleeping.
Take a Long Bath
I am a huge advocate for taking cold showers, but there are times when you need to simply relax and take a long, warm bath. Doing this after a long day at work will help to calm you down and will also induce sleep, depending on how late it is that you showered. Time your hot bath well though so that you finish bathing about an hour and a half before you want to head to bed. That way, by the time you,e ready to sleep, your body will be cool, dry and relaxed.
Light and Burn Your Favorite Candle(s).
This is Not everyone is a candle person, but if you are, it might be nice to bring it out and light it in a few places around your space. (just don’t burn the building down.)
Turn off Your Phone for a few hours
This one helps me a lot when I simply need to get away from all of the noise and chaos of everyday life. When the stress gets too much, it is always a good idea to just unplug and go outside. You will come back feeling energized and relaxed.
This one keeps popping up in every article that I write about mental health because it definitely holds true. Everyone needs alone and quiet time. It doesn’t matter what your personality traits are and in order for you to be in tune with yourself and the world around you, there are times that you need to step back, focus and immerse yourself in deep, quiet thoughts; they are definitely very effective for the brain as well as your overall mental health.
When you get back from a long at work and you need to simply kick back and relax, throw in your favorite pair of pajamas into the laundry to get it nice and warm before you settle into the couch or bed for the evening. This would work excellently for seasons that are slightly cooler in temperature for example; Spring, Fall, and Winter.
Do Something You Love
Earlier in this article, I mentioned that self-care is highly subjective because it involves activity and people take care of themselves based on what they love as individuals, so think carefully about what you love, and try to incorporate it into your life as a self-care measure, and this is different for everybody, but it has to be something that genuinely makes you happy, and makes you feel good from the inside out.
Get a Pedicure and Manicure
Getting a pedicure and manicure has always been a favorite pastime of mine. A pedicure and manicure one of the best ways to unwind and relax your body and it also makes you feel super clean afterward.
Try New, Healthy Recipe
You are what you eat. If your food your body, mind and soul with good food, your body will definitely reap the rewards. Check out some healthy recipes here for ideas that could give you some inspiration.
Plan a fun Weekend
Life is not fully complete without friends and family. Having people in your life that you can share quality time with is one of the keys to a happier life. This weekend, take some time out to plan a fun weekend for you, your friends, or your loved one. It will strengthen your bond and boost your overall happiness as well.
Listen to Your Favorite Music
Funk, Jazz, Hip Hop, Blues; whatever your favorite type of music it is that you enjoy, make a conscious effort to listen to it often; whether it’s on your work, on the train, on the treadmill, in your car, sing along and if possible, dance your heart it. I definitely turn up the volume a few notches up when a Beyoncé song comes in because I know the happiness I experience it’s good for my soul.
Read a (Good) Book
Did you know that reading books (especially fiction books) has the power to reshape and sharpen your mind as well as increase your intelligence quotient (IQ)? Scientists have discovered that becoming deeply engrossed in a book gives people the ability to put themselves in another person’s shoes and actively engage their imagination in a way that is similar to the visualization of a muscle memory in sports. Reading a good book can help you take your mind off a lot of things, as well as give you added knowledge on a vast array of topics. Make it a habit to read every day.
Throw Yourself Into an Intense Workout Session
Remember that at the beginning of this article, I talked about the different components of self-care and how it encompasses the mind, body, and soul. An intense work out a few times a week will give you a chance to break out a sweat as well as well send your blood rushing to all the right parts and vital organs of your body.
Incorporate these activities into your life and watch your mood and general outlook on life improve!