During the stressful times we’re living in, taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do. Being loving to yourself and accepting of the feelings that you are experiencing right now will help you endure and stay sane. My mom has always taught me about the importance of self-care growing up and so I’m going to share with you all some self-care basic practices I always turn to when I feel I need it.
What is Self-Care?
Self-Care is exactly how it sounds. It is all about taking the time and prioritizing your needs. Self-Care to me is kind of a broad category, it implies everything from basic needs to doing things that will feed your mind and soul. It’s all about making your mind and body happy.
Most people probably do regular self-care practices without calling it this, like reading before bed every night because you want to, or going out for a walk during lunch time. This is self-care. Reading before bed is something I do because it relaxes me and helps me fall asleep. Walking during lunch time is a good practice to take care of your body by getting it moving a bit after sitting at a desk all morning.
If you’re feeling burnt-out and stressed, listen to your body. It knows what it wants. You may feel you need to start paying attention to your diet because you feel tired all the time or start going to bed early so you can get some much needed extra sleep.
For the sake of organization, I feel that self-care practices can be put into three different categories: Body, Mind, and Soul. These categories I came up with are very broad and intertwine at times, so you may see some overlap.
Self-Care Practices for the Body
Self-Care for your body is mostly related to your basic human needs, so food, water, sleep, exercise, etc. The more self-care you do for your body, the better you will feel and the healthier you’ll be. So take care of your body, it’s the only one you’re going to have in this lifetime.
Here are some practices you could do, but just think of something that you like to do that involves movement (maybe the opposite if your body is telling you to relax) or nourishment of your body:
- Playing Sports
- Get a Massage
- Sleeping More
- Take a Hot Shower
- Eat Something Green
- Do a Cleanse for a Week
- Drink a Green Juice
- Have Some Fruit or Veggies for a Snack
To me, self-care for my body is all about healing it and being healthy. Yoga and stretching are an important part of my week because it makes me feel good. Self-care is also about doing what you love, so don’t force yourself to play football if you don’t like football. Play frisbee or go for a nice walk instead. You may feel you just need a ton of sleep after a hectic week, so you know your weekend should be all about unwinding and taking things slow. Do what feels good!
Self-Care Practices for the Mind
When I feel stressed or tense I usually do a quiet activity that puts my mind at ease. Think of practices in this category as unwinding after a long day at work. What you do to help your mind really depends on what you like to do.
It can be anything from watching a few episodes of your favorite show while crocheting or unplugging from social media for a while. Self-Care for your mind could also be taking a class about something you’ve always wanted to learn or reading a good book.
Here’s a few activities that I like to do when I feel I need a break from reality:
- Put on a Face Mask
- Listen to an Audiobook
- Take a Class
- Unplug from Electronics
This is all really just about doing things for yourself and putting you first. If you feel like you haven’t done anything you enjoyed for a long time, why not sign up for that Pottery Class or go on that Ski Trip? Put yourself first for once. You deserve it, always.
Usually when I feel like I’m in some sort of funk, I take a hot shower and put some nice smelling cream on. That usually gets me out of whatever mood I’m in because it helps clear my mind and makes me feel good.
This category can also include taking care of your Mental Health. So you could consider seeing a therapist a self-care practice. You are taking care of your mind by talking it out.
Self-Care Practices for the Soul
This category is kind of a catch-all for doing what you LOVE. Any sort of activity you enjoy or long awaited vacation you haven’t booked yet. Anything that nourishes your soul and fills you with contentment. You know after a hectic day or week when you get home and say I just really want to… [fill in the blank].
For me soul-nourishing activities include:
- A Day Spent Lounging at the Beach
- Wandering a Bookstore or Library
- Eating My Favorite Foods
- Baking Something Yummy
- Going Shopping!
- New Clothes
- New Baking Equipment
- Spending Time Outside
- Hiking in Beautiful Forests
- Going on Vacation
- Spending Time with My Husband, Family and Friends
- Going out to a Nice Restaurant
Making Time for Yourself
Regularly make room in your schedule whether that be an hour a couple times a week after work, a whole day off, or even a weekend just for yourself. You don’t even have to plan what you’ll be doing yet, just block out that time in your schedule. If you don’t, it might not ever happen.
I hope you use some of the activities I suggested to start your own self-care routine. Remember you, yes you, are the most important thing!