Self-care is often described as any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept in theory, it’s something we often overlook. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. It’s also key to a good relationship with oneself and others.
Here at 10 ways to get started with your self-care:
1. Drink a glass of water the first thing in the a.m.
Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up. We often wake up after a night’s sleep slightly dehydrated, which often means starting your day off feeling crappy.
2. Make a menu for the week
Eating healthy, fresh foods sounds easy enough until, well, life happens. This is where scheduling solid meals comes into play. By pre-planning your meals you can often eliminate the impulse, ‘pressed for time’ purchases (think: candy bars at the register).
3. Have a mini dance party
Our lives are so busy and scheduled these days that it’s important to remember to have some fun and connect with our loved ones. Make plans with friends, indulge in your favourite television show, or blast some music and dance out your day in the middle of your living room.
4. Move for at least 30 minutes a day.
Should you do a full, high-intensity workout each and every day? Probably not, but getting in at least 30 minutes of some kind of aerobic exercise—whether it’s a solid gym session or a lunchtime stroll—is just as good for your mental health as it is your physical. Even better: You don’t have to do it all at once—take three 10-minute strolls if you can’t do a full half hour.
5. Get some sleep.
During sleep, your brain rids itself of toxins, consolidates memory, and builds neural highways. Which, yes, means you can snooze your way through self-care.
6. Start your day with something pleasant.
So yeah, that doesn’t mean snoozing five times then racing out the door. It can be very grounding to have enjoyable rituals built into your day. Perhaps you start your day with a cup of tea or coffee or some gentle stretching.
7. Confront your negativity – on paper.
Write down the lies—the negative self-talk, self-doubt—and then combat that with what you know to be true, what you’re capable of. Putting that on paper helps to acknowledge the negative, while not letting it overtake the positives in your life.
8. Volunteer more.
Giving back is good for the soul, plus it boosts community morale. If everyone volunteered just one hour a month, imagine the difference it could make in the world! Whether you give back with a donation or volunteer your time and talents, it’ll feel like you’re making a difference.
9. Have a family dinner.
Having a set meal time where you either sit with your family, significant other, or just alone to eat and enjoy your meal can be a really nice way to connect with your loved ones or yourself.
10. Enjoy breakfast.
Sure, sometimes you have to eat on the run. But as often as possible, you should sit down to eat, aiming to consume something with protein and carbs to help keep you fuelled throughout the day (think: a piece of toast with bananas and peanut butter). You should also enjoy regular meals and snacks throughout the day to avoid feeling hangry.
And that is all for self care. From me Aina Braz, it’s a goodbye!