Put simply, self-care is the act of caring for oneself. It is important to check in with ourselves every so often and see how we are doing mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually and do a little bit of recharging when one of those areas starts to not function well.
Social media tends to send the message that self-care is just relaxing, but it's often more than that. It's about being there for yourself and taking care of your needs. Here are some ways to do that.
Write down ten things you are grateful for.
A lot of times, we tend to focus on the negative aspects of what's going on around us, and personally, focusing on the negative only causes me to spiral even more. Taking a moment to sit and think about a few things that you are grateful for can help make the bad things seem not so bad.
Slow down and be present.
Going into autopilot mode is something that even the best of us are sometimes guilty of. I'm definitely one of them. I'm there, but I'm not present. Slowing down and being really mindful about what's going on around you is a good way to bring more focus to what you are doing.
Have a lunch date with a friend.
I tend to find this one really helpful.
It doesn't even have to be lunch, but spending time with a friend can help you to feel better about things and remember that you are loved and cared for.
Write a list of things you love about yourself.
As you might be able to tell, I really like lists.
Anyways, this is a good one because it forces you to focus on some of the positive things about yourself.
Unplug from social media.
Social media makes it really easy to get caught up in an illusion of false reality and compare yourself to unrealistic standards of beauty and lifestyle. Unplugging, even if it's only for a few hours, can help you to get rid of feelings like jealousy, loneliness, and envy. It can also help you fight the fear of missing out on things that the people in your internet circle are doing.
Go for a walk.
This is probably the one I practice most regularly.
There are more than just physical benefits to taking walks. It can help to reduce some of the fatigue, stress, and anxiety so many of us feel on a daily basis. It even has been proven to help increase cognitive function and memory.
I also find it a great way to get out of and clear my head. A good walking playlist helps, too.
Eat a healthy meal.
Like walking, eating healthy also has more than just physical benefits. It helps to give you a mood boost. It helps to increase your overall brain function. It also helps to give you an increase in energy.
Personally, it also makes me feel like I'm taking care of myself, which helps me feel better.
Take a nap.
Often times, the stress of everyday life can just drain you and make it hard to get things done. Taking just a small power nap can help to give you that boost in energy that you need to accomplish whatever it is you want to do.
Drink plenty of water.
This is so important. Not only do we need to stay hydrated, but drinking lots of water also helps to increase our energy and boost our moods.
I struggle with this one a lot, but it's so important.
This can help us to regulate our emotions, focus our attention, and take notice of our feelings and thoughts without judgement. It can help us be more present in our lives and become more fully engaged.