Self care is a common theme we regularly see promoted in the media – but what does it mean, how can we do it, and why does it help?
Put simply, self care is any activity that helps you maintain your mental, physical or emotional health.
It’s all about taking a moment to focus on your own needs and make sure you’re being looked after in an age where our lifestyles seem to be increasingly hectic and demanding.
Mental health charity Mind promotes self care as a vital way to deal with anxiety, but you don’t need to be struggling to see why it works – we can all enjoy the benefits of taking some time to look after ourselves.
An act of self care can be something as simple as meditating or keeping a diary; there’s no right or wrong way to care for yourself, and the good news is, you’re already an expert on what works best for you.
If you’re looking for ways to promote better wellbeing in your life, here’s some examples of small acts of self care that can make a big difference.
- Build a new habit – Sometimes relieving stress is as easy as waking up a few minutes earlier to make mornings less hectic. Choose an area in your life that you think would benefit from forming some new habits; it can be as simple as choosing what to wear before bed or setting aside time each day for a new activity.
- Keep a journal – Keeping a journal or diary is an easy and inexpensive way to record our thoughts and feelings and help get in touch with our inner emotions. Try setting a timer for 10 minutes each day to jot down some thoughts – you might be surprised by what comes out on the page.
- Take a bath – A long soak in a warm tub is a great way to enjoy a moment of calm and quiet to yourself and leave behind the stresses of the day. Try taking a book with you or listening to music if you struggle to quiet down the mind’s daily worries.
- Unplug – Try stepping away from technology after a certain time in the evenings, perhaps an hour or two before bed. Staying off the internet and leaving our tablets and smartphones to charge offers a chance to step away from the demands of modern life.
- Meditate – Mindfulness and meditation is an excellent opportunity to get in touch with ourselves and practice living in the present moment. If you’re new to the practice, apps like Calm and Headspace can help get you started with short, guided meditations.
- Try breathing exercises – If you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, take a moment to step away from what you’re doing and participate in a few simple breathing exercises. Studies show breathing deeply can help the body and mind feel calmer – it can be as simple as inhaling for three beats, then exhaling for the same amount of time.
Do you have any self care tips that make a difference in your life? Let us know in the comments below!