Practicing Self-Care – You should be doing this!
Self-care is incredibly important and it is something that many people seem to forget. You’ve probably heard the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup” before, and that really sums up why self-care is important. Self-care happens when we stop and take a moment to do something for ourselves.
The problem lies in how often we do this. Some of us take a relaxing bath (one self-care example) once a year and call it good, filling the rest of the year with hurried showers, and running late.
So how do we practice self-care?
Below are some options that you can implement into your daily routine that will allow you to begin on your journey of self-care.
Exercising is good for the mind and the body. It gets the blood flowing and produces feel-good endorphins. Exercising is a great way to work through problems. Some of my best problem solving has happened while doing some cardio, or on a hike. The great thing about exercise is that there are an endless amount of options for how you choose to do it. You don’t have to be confined to a regular gym routine, you can choose to get into a sport, maybe you join a dance class, or buy a spin class pass. The choice is yours!
Get rid of Negative Nancy.
We sometimes find ourselves in the situation where we are connected to people that have a negative view on life, or who just love drama. This does nothing for you. If anything it will inhibit you freeing your mind to think positive thoughts about yourself and others. So this is where you remove yourself from the negative Nancy’s around you. You can do this by weeding out your Facebook, by reducing face-to-face contact with certain people, and by choosing not to hang out with those who seem to be negative.
Pick up a book.
We spend so much time online constantly being bombarded with images and stories of people who are living what we consider to be a “better” life than we are, and this can get depressing. For a short while it can seem motivating, but overtime you may start comparing your life to theirs, and it can take on a negative energy. Removing yourself from the internet for a little while to read a good book will give your brain a break, and will let you relax into a story, where no one has opinions about you and your life.
For book ideas, check out my most recent list of books that have changed my perception on life.
Step out into Nature.
Nature seems to have the ability to show us how small our problems really are. As mentioned above, hiking is a great way to do some mental problem solving. It is also just a great way to see some new sights, and get the heart pumping. It always feels like such an accomplishment whenever you make it to a viewpoint while on a hike. Going out into nature doesn’t have to be a hike though. You can choose to go camping, do a kayak trip, or maybe even just go for a walk down a trail. Getting outdoors will provide you with space, mentally and physically, which will allow you to re-set your mind.
Buy a plant.
If you can’t regularly get out into nature, bring a little piece of nature into your home! And don’t just immediately decide that you can’t keep something alive. There are plenty of hardy plants out there that require minimal or no effort. Having something green in your home that you can look after will make you feel better when you see it thriving (or just continuing to live… whatever your case may be). Pinterest is a good place to start looking for indoor plant ideas that will fit your lifestyle.
Get a massage.
Often we are holding tension in areas of our back and neck that we don’t realize until we get a massage. Being able to go into a room, closing your eyes, and letting someone else work the stress out of your tense back muscles can be incredibly soothing. It not only helps the muscles, but also gives you some alone time in your mind. Going regularly to massage is also beneficial because the therapists can sometimes tell you things about yourself that you may not have known, like if you have a muscle imbalance.
It’s also been mentioned that massages can sometimes help people who get migraines, as migraines can be connected to tense muscles around the head, neck and jawline. So this in itself might be enough motivation for you to go! There are also a variety of massages you can get, including deep tissue, thai, hot stone, or therapeutic. So you should be able to find something that fits your needs accordingly. Whatever your reason for going into massage, you will come out feeling better than when you went in.
Listen to a podcast.
Podcasts can become just as addicting as TV. I know because there are a couple I have become addicted to myself, including Someone Knows Something from CBC Radio, and Season 1 of Serial from This American Life. Both these podcasts deal with real murder cases, one being a cold case, and the other being a “solved” case, but with many questions. However there are podcasts out there on every topic you can think of such as Health, Science, and Business etc. Listening to a podcast of your choosing is a way of practicing self-case because you are taking part in something that interests you. All you have to do is download a podcast app, and start adding channels and episodes that you are interested in learning about.
Self-care at its core, is about doing things that benefit YOU during your day. Each of us are different, so tasks that benefit each one of us may differ from one another.
Assessing your own life, and what you want it to look like can give you some ideas as to how you can get into a regular routine of self-care. For some of us that can mean starting a garden, for others it may mean picking up a yoga class.
There are endless options, unique to each person. The point is that you do it regularly so that you don’t end up feeling like you are in a constant state of being drained.
I personally like all the options listed above and try to do them whenever I can. But if you don’t like these options, there are still other activities that can fit your needs and interests. Self-care is important and we should all be doing it regularly whenever we can.
How do you practice self-care?
If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit – Banksy