Do you partake in self care? Do you know what “self care” means?
WHAT IS SELF CARE?
Self care is about doing good things for yourself. It’s about being good to your mind, being good to your body, being good to your spirit and remembering that this is acceptable. Giving love to yourself (AKA: self care) is just as important as sharing love with someone else. It’s essential to a healthy mind, body and spirit. It’s about finding things that nurture you and doing them. You may not realize this, but not only do YOU benefit from self care, but everyone around you does too. If you take care of yourself as best as you can, your ability to care for others increases.
We tend to overlook self care. With all our responsibilities and things going on in our lives we get caught up in the hustle and bustle. Before we know it we’re exhausted or sick or not feeling much like doing anything but sit around watching tv and eating junky fast food. It can be an endless cycle if we don’t nip it in the bud and start taking care of ourselves in every way we can.
SELF CARE IDEAS FOR YOUR MIND, BODY and SPIRIT
- Wake up with a joyful mind. When you wake up, instead of jumping out of bed and getting started on your daily routine – lay there for a minute and think about what you want your day to be like. Examples could be: Calm, joyful, peaceful, open, aware, and/or kind. This sets your intention for the day on a positive note.
- Do something that makes you happy. It’s okay. I give you permission. Do something that you love – just because. Even if it’s all about you and only you, do it for yourself. Self care is love and happiness.
- Take time to sit & meditate. Even if it’s for 5 minutes. Sit, pay attention to your breath going in and out of your nose. Be present in the moment. Don’t worry about anything going on in your life. If you find yourself drifting away into thoughts, kindly bring yourself back to your breath. Don’t judge or be hard on yourself. This is about self care and self love, remember!
- Unplug. Step away from the computer, your phone, your tv, your radio – whatever it is, step away! We are constantly bombarded by social media alerts, text messages, phone calls, email alerts, etc. Take a 1/2 hour or hour to yourself away from these things.
- Be in the moment, every moment. You might need to start small here. Take a task you do daily (washing dishes, brushing your teeth, etc). When you do this task, pay attention to every moment of that task. Be mindful of all movements you make. Before you know it you’ll learn to be mindful of most moments of life you go through.
- Pay attention. All around us are sounds, sights, tastes, feels and smells that we aren’t even aware of. Take a moment to think about each of these senses. What do you hear (birds, horns honking, wind blowing, etc), what do you see (light, darkness, clouds moving, rain falling, people talking, etc), what do you taste, what do you feel (the wind in your hair, a tickle on your nose, etc), and what do you smell (fresh cut grass, stinky feet, etc)?
- Shake up your daily routine. Whether it’s your path to work/school or the time of day you take a lunch break. Changing habits is good for your mind. Shaking things up opens your mind and spirit.
- Learn to laugh at yourself. If you feel like nothing is going right with your day, instead of getting down about it, laugh about it. It’s okay, nothing lasts forever. You have a choice to let it go, or let it simmer and get on your nerves. What do you choose? Every moment can be turned around if you just set your mind to it.
- Smile and/or laugh. Everybody loves a happy face. Smiles and laughter are both contagious! Spread joy.
- Move. Take time to move your body: walk, run, dance, wiggle, swim, flow, stretch, shake, etc.
- Hug someone. Even if it’s someone you just met. Offer up a hug, everyone loves a hug.
- Just breathe. If you feel your mind is going wild or your feeling tense about something. Close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths. Slowly breathe in (about 5 seconds). Pause there for a second and then exhale for about 6 or 7 seconds. Do this 3 times.
- Only feed yourself the good stuff. Every week try to take something out of your diet that doesn’t serve you. Something you know is bad for you. OR, add something good to your diet that you know is good for you.
- Get some sunshine daily. Be sure to go outside and stand in the sun, take a walk, whatever it takes to get 10-15 minutes of sun a day. Use sunscreen and if there is no sun, take some vitamin D.
- Take a nap. Even if it’s for 10 minutes, a nap will do you good.
- Volunteer. There are many organizations out there that need volunteer help. Animal shelters, senior centers, homeles shelters, food banks, etc. are just a handful of places that need volunteers! Check out AllForGood.org to see volunteer opportunities in your area. Even though this is about “self care”, doing for others really is helpful to your self and your spirit.
- Be helpful. Hold the door for someone, carry a bag for someone, assist a friend who needs help moving… whatever it is, be helpful without any expectation for a reward.
- What do you love? Write out the things you truly love about yourself. Could be your eye for beauty in every situation, the fact you can do a headstand, your ability to remember everyones name, or that you love to do the dishes. Even the little things are special.
- Step out of your comfort zone. Be brave, be bold. You’re more courageous than you realize.
- Sincerely ask someone how their day is. Being friendly to a sales rep or server and showing you care about them and wish them happiness is so fulfilling to yourself and them.
- Get rid of the negative. If you find negativity in your social life (in person or online) – get rid of it. Only surround yourself with positive people and you’ll be a happier being.
- Learn something new. Take a class, read about something in a book or online. Just learn.
REMEMBER THAT SELF CARE IS AN ONGOING THING.
Don’t think this is a one-time deal. You can’t just do some of the above mentioned Self Care items and that’s it! NOPE! Self care is something you need to implement into your daily routine. Take time out for yourself regularly for best results. Give yourself love each day, each hour, each minute, or each moment. Whatever it takes, make time for yourself. You won’t regret it. What are your favorite self care activities? Post in the comments below.