10 Ways to Practice Self Care
WHAT IS SELF-CARE?
Self-care is defined as ‘the practice of taking action to preserve one’s own health’. It is a term which is very commonly thrown about especially by certain industries, but there is more to self-care than just looking after your body, it is also about looking after your mental state.
So, what actually is self-care? Self-care is practicing things which make you feel more like yourself. This is different for every single person.
HOW DO YOU PRACTICE SELF-CARE? 10 WAYS YOU CAN BRING SELF-CARE INTO YOUR LIFE
The answer to this is to spend time figuring out what you enjoy and finding the balance which fits with your lifestyle.
There are two main types of self-care which you should find a balance between: physical self-care and mental self-care. Looking after your body and health is equally important as looking out for your mental state and encouraging positive thinking patterns. Here are some suggestions for ways in which you can experiment with implementing both types into your daily routine.
HOW CAN I INTRODUCE PHYSICAL SELF-CARE?
This may seem like something which is fairly cliché to mention when talking about self-care. People tend to focus on the physical effects of exercise such as weight-loss and muscle gain, ignoring the fact exercise is known to boost your mood and help to reduce stress. There is a wide variety of activities which you can do to exercise your body ( so finding an activity that you enjoy makes it easier for you to introduce exercise into your daily routine.
Nutrition and food
Nutrition often comes hand-in-hand with exercise - what you eat affects your energy levels and your immune system. Your diet is another thing which is very subjective, but balance is the key thing. Try to make sure you get your 5-a-day and the vitamins you need, but also be kind to yourself and avoid restricting yourself as this can end up being more damaging for your mental health - eat your favourite foods! Work out what supplements are right for you - check out our blog on this to help.
We are all very busy people, and this often results in us sacrificing sleep to work late or spend hours scrolling on our phones. Sleep is one of the number one things that can influence your mood, health, wellbeing and productivity - without sleep we aren’t able to work at our full potential. Aim for at least 8 hours of sleep per night, even when we have work to do or people to talk to.
HOW CAN I INTRODUCE MENTAL SELF-CARE?
Practicing mindfulness and meditation is something that many people exclude from their daily routines and can be more or less beneficial depending on the type of person you are. However, giving yourself time to release your thoughts and/or get your thoughts in order can contribute to considerably lower stress levels. There are a number of apps which are useful when you are first experimenting with mindfulness as they can help to make it much simpler to understand, these apps include Headspace and Calm.
Keeping your environment tidy
Lots of us are guilty of not tidying up after ourselves as much as we should, resulting in our environment becoming cluttered and disorganised. You should aim to keep your space as tidy as possible, both for your convenience, but also for your mental health as a tidy environment will help you to declutter your thoughts and allow yourself to think more clearly without distractions. The quote ‘Tidy room, Tidy mind’ is very true!
Journaling and organising your day
Our minds are very busy and often disorganised places, this is where writing down your thoughts into a journal or writing down your to-do list for the day can be useful. Writing down and organising your thoughts can help you to declutter your mind and promote thinking in a logical and systematic way rather than thinking about 100 things at once, leading to high stress levels. So, get a notebook that you have lying around, and make a habit of writing your thoughts in it every day and you will see your thinking patterns change!
Social Media detox and putting your phone down
Over time, our social media usage has been increasing. Social media has many pros (helping us to keep in contact with friends etc.) but it can also lead to unrealistic expectations about our lifestyles which can be damaging to our mental health and self-esteem. A way to tackle this is to have social media detoxes, where you don’t use social media apps for a period of time. If that isn't possible, you can also limit the amount of time you spend on social media apps (most phones allow you to set restrictions these days!).
Spending time with friends and family
Spending time with friends and family can help to lift your mood and encourages you to talk thing through. Work can often get in the way but remember how you normally feel better after having a laugh with your pals. If you are super busy, one great way to do this is to combine exercise with spending time with people, like playing football or doing yoga with friends.
Binging your favourite Netflix show or reading a book
This is something that many will not class as self-care, but in order to make yourself the happiest you can be, you can’t create a strict daily routine without down time. Giving yourself time to do things you love such as binging Stranger Things or curling up on the sofa with your favourite book will improve your mood and give you a more positive and realistic outlook on your new self-care routine.
Doing something creative
Lastly, trying something new or doing something creative is a great way to keep your mind active and focus your energy on learning new things. This can also be an opportunity for you to find new hobbies and/or meet new people. Practicing creativity will help you in many aspects of life and will allow self-growth whilst obtaining a new skill. Some ideas for creative activities you can try are drawing, sewing and painting, if artistic activities aren’t your cup of tea, you can try things such as baking.
NOW IS THE TIME TO IMPROVE YOUR SELF-CARE ROUTINE!
Self-care is something which everyone should practice. Creating routines which fit your lifestyle will help self-care to become a habit, and mean you are more likely to stick to it. It is important to start off slowly, as suddenly having large changes in your lifestyle will result in old habits returning and can cause overwhelm. Setting realistic goals for yourself can motivate you to become the happiest and healthiest version of yourself.