Self-care is supposed to be about taking care of yourself and your mental health, but as it gets more trendy, it can achieve the opposite. The pursuit of Instagram-worthy self-care can make you more stressed out instead of relaxed. However, making self-care a part of your daily habits doesn’t have to be as unique as social media might make it can sometimes make it seem.
Instead of stressing out about what the best self-care practices are to take up, look at the rituals that you already practice as a way to look after your mind, body, and spirit. Remember that self-care is all about self. This means that your practices should be individual, so they meet your specific needs.
There are lots of overlooked self-care rituals that you’re probably already doing or can easily start.
Read A Book
If you already love to read, then this self-care practice is likely part of your daily or weekly routine already. There’s nothing more relaxing than diving into a good book and escaping into a new world. Reading is a good way to get away from your screens and the noise of daily life.
If you’re looking to make reading a bigger part of your everyday self-care practice, then try reading at least ten pages of a good book every day. Make reading a part of your routine, by either reading in bed every night to unwind, or reading a few pages with your coffee in the morning, so you start your day with something for yourself.
A bit of pampering is a classic way to look after yourself and unwind after a stressful day. Give yourself time to spoil yourself, however, that looks for you. Relax in a bubble bath. Put on a face mask. Give yourself a manicure or a pedicure.
You could pamper yourself at home, or head to a spa or salon for some spoiling. By taking good care of yourself, you can also promote good physical health. Remember though that pampering is not always enough. Sometime, you might need more help, such as advice from a dermatologist for acne, or Laser Toenail Fungus Treatment if your feet need some help.
Spend Time Outdoors
Being outside is a perfect way to ground yourself in nature. Getting outside on a regular basis doesn’t have to take much commitment either. It could be something short, like a walk to the local shop, or a bigger activity like going for hikes or bike rides. A mix of both is a good way to spend time in nature as often as you can. Breathing in the fresh air and listening to natural sounds like wind and birds can be very peaceful. Research shows that a connection between you and nature can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
You might already try to take a moment every day to feel grateful for what you have. Practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be a big commitment like journaling every day or other techniques can make it seem. Instead of trying to write in a gratitude journal, try to create gratitude time. One of the biggest struggles for self-care is trying to stay present and live in the moment. A simple trick to make time for gratitude is to set a daily alarm on your phone. Edit the text, so when the alarm sounds, it reminds you to think of what you are grateful for right now. When the alarm goes off, spend a moment sending out some gratitude for whatever is in front of you.
Revel In Your Hobbies
A lot of us have a range of different hobbies that we like to take part in. Whether your hobby is a physical activity like an adult netball league, or you get more joy from spending your downtime on a knitting project or painting, make sure you find time for your hobbies. Even if you only get half an hour a week for hobbies, make the time.
Focusing your mind on an activity that you love that is separate from your work and your family responsibilities is the best way to unwind and treat yourself to a mental reset. If you don’t have any hobbies right now, now is the time to take the plunge and try out something new that you’ve always thought that you might like to try. This could be learning to play the piano, writing short stories, or a class like yoga or boxing.
Listen To Positive Music
You might already like to listen to music in the car or while on your morning commute or when running errands throughout the day. However, if you’re focusing on self-care, the kind of music that you listen to matters. If you want to boost your happiness, you need to listen to positive music. Try listening to your favorite uplifting pop song or a song that makes you feel like dancing. Put the song on, sing along, dance around your kitchen, and instantly put yourself in a better mood and out of your own head for a few minutes. Music is a fantastic stress reliever.
You probably do eat lunch every day, but are actually taking the time to eat it? Do you just shovel the food into your mouth as quickly as you can so you can get back to work? If you can, take an hour every day for your lunch and your dinner. Try to avoid eating on the go or during a meeting. We all need regular rest in order to refuel. This will help you to work at your best mentally, emotionally, and physically.
If you don’t have an hour to spare for your lunch break, then take half an hour of uninterrupted time so you can recharge and refuel your body for the rest of the day. Be mindful of where you eat too. Try to avoid eating in front of your computer, and put your phone away while you’re eating your meal. By doing this, you can focus on really enjoying your food, and not overeating. You can enjoy some stillness from taking a break just for yourself.
If you’re thinking about the trendy Instagram style of self-care rituals, water is probably not the first thing that springs to mind. However, drinking water and making sure you are getting enough of it is an excellent way to ensure you’re practicing self-care. Not only does water work to hydrate you from the inside out, but it can also work to help reduce headaches, improve your immune system, and increase your energy levels. If you tend to miss out on getting enough water, think about tracking how many glasses of water you drink a day by using a water tracking app. You can also keep a reusable water bottle with you with time markings down the side to remind you to drink more. You can also tick off your water consumption on your daily planner.
Self-care doesn’t have to be fashionable or glamorous to be effective. Find the daily habits that you’re already doing every day that make you feel good, and develop these into part of your self-care routine in order to help you to relax. Self-care is an important practice for mental health. Whatever you find helps you is worth doing, whether that’s dedicating more time to reading, or changing the way you think about your lunch break. Combine these self-care basics with any self-care trends that appeal to you to find a balance that works for you.