Self-care can mean a lot of different things–getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and taking time out of your day to meditate. Contrary to popular belief, which portrays self-care as nothing more than bubble baths and face masks, self-care should be a daily process, one that focuses on a myriad of different areas. Are you lost? Here are a few ideas you can use to better your mental, physical, and emotional health.
It’s easy to get frazzled, overwhelmed with all your responsibilities. Taking some time every day, even if only a few minutes, to work on your mental health is essential for your functioning. Here are a couple of easy things you can add to your daily routine to help your mind stay healthy.
Mix Up the Mundane
Always take the back roads to work? Try driving a new route. Mixing up your routine, in any area of your life, can help you make new neural pathways in your brain and keep it beautiful and healthy.
Are you always attached to your phone or computer? Do you keep a clean inbox? Try going device-free for an hour or two every day to help give yourself some time to unwind. Unplugging from all of the hustle and bustle of the Internet can be useful for your brain!
Keeping your body fit is just as important as maintaining a healthy mind. Physical health can look like keeping your muscles tension-free, skin clear and acne-free and keeping your diet full of healthy foods. Ready to get started? Here are a few self-care practices aimed at your physical health.
Are you feeling overwhelmed or tense? Take three deep belly breaths, where your belly rises and falls, and then pause for a moment. The combination of the deep breathing and the momentary break can be therapeutic.
Have “sleep debt,” or don’t get enough sleep regularly? Try taking a 20-minute nap. Any more than that and you might feel groggy after what experts call “sleep inertia,” but a small catnap can help you perk back up after a long day.
It Starts with One
Make one small, healthy change to your diet every week. For example, make it a point to drink just one more glass of water every day, or throw in an extra serving of protein every day for a week. Your diet could improve, and your neural networks might improve with it.
Keeping a healthy body is nothing without a healthy soul. Whether you’re religious, non-religious, or somewhere in between, there are spiritual and emotional practices you can tap into to feel better about yourself. Things like actively searching out beauty, reading a favorite book, and keeping a gratitude journal are just a few ways you can increase your spiritual health.
Use Your Strengths
A bad day, bad week, or bad performance report got your down and self-doubting? Identify your signature skills or the things that you feel confident about doing! Find one opportunity today to use or develop that skill to make it stronger.
If you’re ever feeling down or overwhelmed, taking a minute or two to help someone else can help you recharge. If you have time, volunteering is a great way to do this, but even something as simple as holding the door for someone or helping someone with groceries can be just as productive. Helping someone can aid in your refocusing and can increase the likelihood that you might ask for help in the future.
Enjoyed any of these unconventional self-care tips? Want to learn more about self-care? Comment below!