Self-care is extremely important so that we can function daily as the best version of ourselves. We all live extremely busy lives working, studying, looking after children, partners, elderly parents, doing housework and chores, etc. Therefore it’s vital that we remember to practice self-care and not put ourselves at the bottom of our long list of those we care for.
What is Self-Care?
Before we start I thought we should look at what self-care is exactly. I used to think it meant hour-long bubble baths and all-day spa visits. Whenever someone mentioned self-care I would instantly find myself thinking “Who on earth has any time for that?”. But no I was totally wrong, self-care isn’t that at all.
The definition of self-care is
“the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress” Oxford Dictionary
Simply put, it just means we need to do beneficial things for our minds and bodies which will help us be healthier and happier. I’m definitely all for that. So let’s have a look at some simple self-care tips that we can all practice-
Go For A Walk
Walking is a time when you can be completely by yourself. It doesn’t have to be a long walk, it can be 10 minutes or it can be 30 minutes. This is a perfect time to clear your head and also get a bit of exercise.
Spend some time writing down your thoughts and feelings. It can be extremely liberating to write these emotions down on paper. It’s also great for our mental health to practice gratitude so you could take the opportunity to include in your journal a list of things you are thankful for each day.
I love using pretty coloured gel pens and stickers to decorate my journal. I find this super motivating and a fun little creative outlet that doesn’t take much time at all.
Listen To Your Favourite Music
Play some music that you find uplifting. Maybe a song with powerful motivating words. I like Whitney Houston’s “One Moment In Time”. This is such a booster of a song and one that inspires faith and courage. I love belting out the lyrics (sorry neighbours).
You could also listen to music from your high school years and have your own dance party. Release those endorphins and you will find yourself feeling instantly happier.
Enjoy Your Favourite Drink
Sip on your favourite relaxing tea, cosy hot chocolate, or refreshing juice. Whatever it is just make sure you sit down and take your time to enjoy it. No chugging!
Have A Nap
Listen to your body when it’s telling you it’s tired. Don’t keep pushing on, put any guilt aside and lie down for a nap. You will wake up feeling refreshed and it will do wonders for your health. Naps can boost memory, lift your mood and make you feel less stressed and irritable.
Catch Up With A Friend
Make time to engage with friends as often as you can. You can sit in a park and chat, go to a coffee shop, or enjoy some retail therapy. It can be an all-day activity or just a catch-up for an hour or so.
Having friends you can share life with is so important for your well-being and health. Good friends bring you comfort and joy, they can help relieve stress and have huge benefits for your mental health and general happiness.
You can take a few minutes to practice breathing exercises anywhere. Take some deep breaths inhaling slowly and deeply through your nose then exhaling through the mouth. Relaxing your shoulders and jaw. This is one of the best ways to lower your stress levels.
It’s amazing how important it is to be aware of how you are breathing. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly easy to forget the importance of breathing and slip into bad habits like holding your breath when you are stressed or anxious. I know that this is what I tend to do. Recently I invested in a smartwatch and discovered that it has a super helpful feature. It actually leads me through short simple breathing exercises throughout the day.
Have you ever found yourself just slapping together something to eat on the run that may not contain many health benefits? Consider taking the time to make sure you eat nutritious food that will fuel your body. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and don’t forget to drink water.
Don’t Try To Be Perfect
This is a hard one especially now with social media. We have to be a bit more realistic and realise that what we see on Instagram etc is just a snapshot. It’s a tiny minuscule fraction of someone’s life that may or may not be staged.
We shouldn’t compare ourselves to anyone neither in real life nor from what we see on social media. We are all doing the best we can and we have to give ourselves grace and remember that some days are going to be better than others. Perfect people don’t exist.
Do Your Nails
You can splurge on a manicure and pedicure or do your nails yourself. Find a time when you can enjoy doing this without any interruptions. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending time on your nails and then have to attend to something that ruins all your careful work.
Choose a fun coloured nail polish that will put a smile on your face. Alternatively, if you don’t feel like wearing nail polish you can just trim and buff your nails. It’s always satisfying to see nice healthy nails when you look at your hands.
Go Somewhere Quiet and Peaceful
Visit a place that you find relaxing like the beach or a park. You could also visit an art gallery, museum or library. Find somewhere that makes you happy and make a date to go there with yourself, your partner, or a friend.
This will make you feel instantly invigorated! Just reach up and stretch out all the knots and tension in your body. You might even feel taller!
Let’s Make Self-Care A Priority
Self-care is crucial for living a happy and healthy life. So remember to be kind to yourself and make your mental and physical health a priority. Even small acts of self-care can add enormous positive benefits to your daily life.