There are many buzzwords in the health and wellness world, and “self-care” is one of them. You can’t escape self-care tips, just like you can’t avoid hearing about dairy alternatives and the keto diet. While you may tire of seeing self-care tips and resources, self-care is one of the most important aspects to achieving better mental and emotional health.
What Is Self-Care?
To put it simply, self-care is about making an active decision to care for the self. This can involve any practice that promotes better physical, emotional, or mental health. Meditation, exercise, sleep, aromatherapy, or reorganizing your kitchen are all self-care practices, but a massage once a year doesn’t count as self-care. One needs to take an active approach, which doesn’t have to cost a thing. In fact, there are many free self-care practices that are easy and simple to do every single day. Keep reading to learn how to optimize your self-care.
Don’t Do It Alone
Everyone needs help every now and again. One of the easiest ways to put undue stress on the body is by constantly avoiding help from others. Many people view the act of asking for help as a sign of weakness, so they avoid it altogether. If you don’t ask for help, you can burn out and lose control. When you feel that you need help, ask for it! Don’t view it as a weak moment; rather, see this as an opportunity to care for yourself.
Streamline Your Morning And Nighttime Routine
Scrambling to get yourself together in 20 minutes before rushing out of the house is no the way to start the morning. When you have a morning routine, you can set the rest of your day up for success. Whether you exercise, recite affirmations, listen to an informative podcast, or avoid social media, a morning routine goes a long way to improving your health. Start your day with a tall glass of water and a few relaxing stretches. When it’s time to wind down for bed, take the time to plan a nightly routine. Consider turning off all screens at least an hour before bedtime. Prepare your lunch or outfit for the next day, or transfer something from the freezer to the fridge if it needs to defrost. Try to listen to guided meditation or read a book before shutting your eyes.
Get Some Fresh Air
Don’t just walk outside your front door and stand there for five minutes. Get out of your neighborhood and into nature if you can. If a hike in the woods is not a possibility, take 20 minutes out of your day to stroll around your neighborhood. According to several studies, spending a mere five minutes in the natural world has calming effects on the body. Plus, natural vitamin D from the sun is always beneficial.
Believe it or not, socializing is one of the core pillars of self-care. It’s easy to neglect people because of busy schedules, but spending time with good friends and nurturing those relationships is conducive to your well-being. Positive connections and interactions keep your heart full and your mental health strong. Make a promise to yourself that you’ll devote a certain number of hours per week to friends or relationships. Your mental health and relationships will benefit.
Acknowledge Your Emotions
One of the healthiest ways to cope with uncomfortable emotions is to acknowledge and face them. Neglecting anxiety, anger, sadness, or any other emotions that plague you can be toxic to your health. It’s important to express your feelings about these emotions on a regular basis. You can talk to a partner, friend, therapist, or yell your feelings off the top of a mountain. Check out scream therapy…it’s a real thing! Processing your emotions in healthy ways can help you live a healthier life.