In this day and age, self-care has become a predominant phenomenon. With a shift in the way we see mental health and wellness as a society, the importance of self-care has grown and become a recurrent theme.
For those of you who haven’t heard too much about self-care and what it means, the Oxford Dictionary delivers the no-nonsense definition of ‘the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.’
Self-care itself however is often defined by the individual in terms of what practices and activities do you participate in to maintain or improve your own mental health and well-being. This looks different for each individual, as everyone’s mental health needs vary.
Personally, I engage in several self-care activities each day. Although theoretically self-care is something meant to be incorporated daily, I support the idea of people being busy and cranking out work all day long. In that instance, we often neglect ourselves and self-care ends up coming in last.
Below I’ve compiled a list of 10 super simple ideas to start incorporating or to increase the amount of self-care you’re providing yourself. The list will go from least time consuming to most time consuming to help you determine how much commitment that requires you to make!
Stretch your body
This can be done before you even get out of bed or at any point throughout the day. Dedicate 5 minutes to stretching your body (head-to-toe) and enjoy the feeling of stretching each muscle.
This can be done again before you even get out of bed or at any point throughout the day. Take 5 minutes to practice meditation or deep breathing exercises to increase mental awareness, bring yourself to the present moment and improve focus. I recommend guided meditation to start, there are several apps and free YouTube videos you can use to guide you through a meditation session (I personally still use guided meditation as I find my focus still wavers during meditation).
List the things your grateful for
Make a list of 3 things (because anyone can think of at least 3 things your grateful for). Jot it down or make a mental note of the things you are grateful for. Do this everyday.
Create an affirmation for yourself
Depending on where you’re at in your life or what your goals are, this could look different for everyone. An affirmation is something you can say to yourself to validate yourself and your feelings. It may go something like ‘I am worthy of love’ or ‘This is not a reflection of me as an entire person’. Say these affirmations throughout the day and whenever you feel as though you are approaching a challenging situation.
Clean out your email inbox
Depending on how many emails you have hoarded in there, this may be a more time consuming task. Really sit down and clear out the clutter. Unsubscribe to emails that do not serve you a purpose. Make a note to clean out email inboxes regularly so they don’t pile up.
Take a hot bath/shower
A hot bath or shower can be an instant mood enhancer. Use Epsom salts, bath bombs or bubble bath. Use luxurious smelling soaps and shampoos. Pamper yourself. Exfoliate. Stand under the hot stream of water and let go of all the tension in your shoulders. Sink back into a hot bubble bath. Feel the release and allow yourself to relax.
Go for a 30 minute walk
Clear your head, walk the dogs, just get outside. The fresh air will do wonders for you and exercise is never a bad thing. Get to know your neighbourhood and the nearby trails.
Go to the gym
Surprisingly enough, if you already incorporate this into your daily or weekly routine you’re participating in self care. This doesn’t have to be limited to the gym however. Workout at home, go for a run, go for a hike. Get your heart rate going and your blood pumping.
Turn off your phone for a few hours
If you can’t commit to turning off your phone for a few hours try putting it on do not disturb. Give yourself the time to distance yourself from constant notifications and social media.
Clean an area of your house
Spend half an hour picking one spot that really needs a good clean and just doing it. You’ll feel relieved once the clutter is gone. For me, the best spot to clean is the place I’m going to be sleeping so I can go to bed with the peace of mind that my room is clean. Pick an area that would improve your functioning the best and take the time to de clutter and organize.
Things to remember
The trend of self-care Sunday is a great way of getting on board with the whole philosophy of self-care! Remember that self-care is not a luxury but should be done every day to improve your well-being! Self-care is personalized and individually driven, and is well worth implementing.
How do you guys incorporate self care? What are some of the barriers to you implementing self care? Let me know in the comments!