We hear a lot about “self care” these days. Bloggers and influencers are posting photos of their faces slathered in a green face mask or touting the benefits of a social media detox all in the name of caring for yourself.
While there is complete validity in taking a few moments of mindfulness and self care at work and home, we encourage you to look beyond surface level tactics and take a real approach to self care.
Make Mental Health a Priority
The benefits of therapy are numerous and powerful. Whether you simply need someone to talk to who is a completely impartial, objective party, or you are struggling with depression, anxiety or past experiences, a mental health professional can help. Therapy can promote self-esteem, healthy relationships and a positive outlook on life, and can get you the help you need and deserve if you’re facing some real, very challenging thoughts or issues.
Everyone has emotional challenges. It’s okay to ask someone to help you with them.
Keep Up With Your Hygiene
If you struggle with depression, or even are just feeling down, the last thing you probably want to do is take a shower and do your hair. But, the truth is you will feel better if you do these things. Not only will the process of brushing your teeth in the morning and at night, showering every day, applying lotion, and treating your body with kindness will give you a sort of routine that your mind and body may be craving in those moments.
Listen to Your Body
What are some signals that your body is sending to you? Do you notice aches when you wake up in the morning? Are you constantly thirsty? Do you frequently feel exhausted after lunch? All of these feelings are indicators for something that may need to change with your lifestyle or routine. If you’re not sure what steps to take next, write down some of the issues you are experiencing and talk to your doctor about them. The solution could be something as simple as drinking more water or taking vitamins.
Take Care of Your Relationships
Your friends and family can be an incredible support system—whether the days are good or bad. In fact, research shows that people who have strong relationships tend to have a healthier blood pressure when responding to stress, have an improved endocrine system and even have an enhanced immune system. Having a tight knit group of people who you can be honest and open with is a way to practice a healthy and helpful form of social wellness.
Go to the Doctor When You Are Sick
Don’t try to tough it out. If you’re not feeling well, visit your doctor so you can start feeling better faster. When you make a conscious decision to get better, you’re practicing the ultimate self care. By ignoring the issue, you’ll stay sicker longer and may even take longer to recover.
Whether you snap a photo of your avocado toast before you eat it or not, it’s important to make sure you’re getting daily doses of vitamins, fiber and protein in your diet. When meal planning or picking out food at your favorite restaurant, keep these four key groups in mind: Fiber, Fat, Protein and Greens. By approaching your diet with this mentality, you’re fueling your mind and body with the nutrients you need to stay energetic and balanced.
Create Some Space
Set aside time to do a mini declutter of a room in your house, your car or your office. Clean out junk drawers, throw away old receipts, wipe down surfaces, whatever it takes to make you feel a bit more at ease when you walk into the space. You may be amazed to find that removing such a small annoyance like a cluttered counter from your vision can work wonders for your overall mood.
Unplug for a Little While
Take two hours before bedtime and put your phone down. There are countless studies linking social media use and depression and anxiety. If you’re trying to improve your self care, give yourself an opportunity to remove yourself from the constant feeling of missing out and just enjoy the present moment. Pop yourself some popcorn (butter free!) and cozy up on the couch with a book or your favorite TV show. If the weather is nice, go for a little walk. Just take some time to stretch before bed. Whatever you do, give yourself some space and clarity.