Self Care is defined as a deliberate action or activity that is done in order to take care of our own physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health. By finding time to practice a little bit of self-care every day, we can improve our moods, find ways to decrease anxiety, and learn the tools you need to make decisions and act in a clear and decisive manner.
Why Do We Need Self-Care?
Life gives us moments of joy, moments of clarity, but also moments of fear, anxiety, worry, pressure, and anger. When negative emotions take control of our bodies, we can feel overwhelmed, helpless, or stuck. By finding moments of self-care in our everyday life, we can help ourselves work through those emotions in a productive and healthy way that can be a catalyst for change and a call to action.
Moments of Mindfulness
Self-care looks different for everybody. Remember, it is a deliberate action on your part. As a whole, to me, self-care is about finding moments of mindfulness. Find a moment in your day to just appreciate the act of what you are doing, without questioning why or worrying that it is a waste of time. Here are some examples of things you can try in your everyday life to help combat the worry, fear, and anxiety that comes during times of stress.
Meditation can be done by anyone, for any length of time. If meditation is something that seems intimidating, just know that you are in control. Try meditating for just 1 minute, then start to gradually increase the length of time.
Meditation starts with finding a comfortable position, gently closing your eyes, and bringing your concentration and awareness to your breathing. Focus on what your breath feels like and sounds like as you breathe in and out. Take full inhales through your nose, and long exhales out through your mouth until all the air is gone. Meditation can be just simply sitting with your thoughts and emotions. Notice them, acknowledge them, breathe with them.
But sometimes, sitting with your own thoughts is the intimidating part. If you find that to be the case, begin the same way, settling in and focusing on your breath. Then begin to bring your focus to your body. Start at your toes, on each foot, and work your way up, just focusing your energy on that one body part, saying the name in your head. Left foot. Right foot. Left leg. Right leg. Move on up the body, focusing on your hips, stomach, chest, shoulders, and on down your arms. Take your time and work through the entire body. Breathe in and out slowly as you do this.
For more suggestions on meditations, check out our blog – Meditating with the Seasons: Summer.
Spending time outdoors can have numerous benefits for your health. From fresh air to Vitamin D from the sun, nature provides wonderful opportunities for us to unwind and de-stress. Walking after a meal will help digestion and help you to feel less full. I find it very peaceful to take early morning or late evening walks around the neighborhood. Some people just are not into nature though, and that’s okay! Sit outside your house or apartment and just spend time looking around, getting lost in your own thoughts.
Aaahhh music. There is music to match any kind of mood you may be in, whether it be sad, angry, or blissful. But sometimes, you find yourself feeling lost, and unsure of how to feel exactly. It would be easy to slip into sadness or loneliness if given the right video to watch or song to listen to. I recommend compiling a playlist of your favorite songs that you love to sing along to. The ones that make you want to dance, smile, and bring images of friends and family to mind, of people laughing and having fun. When you feel lost, put on that playlist, turn it up, and sing along while you play a game or cook in the kitchen. Blasting some feel-good music while making delicious food is one of my all-time favorite activities!
Self-care looks different for every single person. It can be enjoying a bowl of ice cream or eating chocolate, watching your favorite movie, reading your favorite book, or calling someone you love. The most important thing is that you find what lifts your heart, and brings you new energy, something to carry you through the rest of your day or let you rest easy.
What is your favorite moment of mindfulness?