What is self-care? You may hear about it in the media and you might be familiar with the phrase “treat yourself”, but this article talking about something else completely. By definition, self-care is any activity we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. It’s not an indulgence, and self-care doesn’t work in the short term. The next few points will introduce one small thing to incorporate into your routine to help with your self-care.
Day 1: Unplug. Turn off your TV, phone, computer, tablet, or any social media for that matter. Spend some time out of the virtual world, even for just 5 minutes. Studies show you’ll be able to communicate better and sleep better without seeing electronics before bed, both activities that will help shape overall well-being.
Day 2: Declutter. Decluttering can apply to all aspects of your well-being. Physically, you can clean up your workspaces, do some chores around the house, and we all know someone who just keeps a bunch of trash in their bag. You can also declutter your mind of negative thoughts or overthinking that can affect us at any point in our lives through meditation and mindfulness practice.
Day 3: Nourish yourself. Today, make an effort to take care of your physical being. Keep in mind staying hydrated throughout the day; maybe go to bed a bit earlier. Try going out for some exercise through a simple walk, or even just stretching at your desk once an hour to help nourish your body.
Day 4: Create. Create something with your own hands. You could make music, make drawings, writings, try out a new recipe; even making a sandcastle at the beach today would count. If you were feeling crafty, here’s a list of easy do-it-yourself projects to do at home. And afterward, step back and take pride in what you’ve made. Doesn’t matter if you think it’s good or not, you still made it and that makes it precious!
Day 5: Listen. Listening to those you trust and taking into account their feelings is important. However it’s also important to listen to yourself and your limits when you’re feeling overwhelmed or tired. Also listen to positive voices that encourage you to keep going!
Day 6: Express. Hopefully since you’ve been listening to yourself and others, you can now express a response. Express yourself and your emotions to friends, family, peer supports, teachers and therapists. Keeping your thoughts to yourself for a long period of time doesn’t help your problems and negative emotions disappear.
Day 7: Explore. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new today. It can be trying a new food, or even reaching out to a new friend. Creating variety every so often can break boring routines!
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Getting the right diagnosis helped Laurie learn how to manage her mental health challenges. Now, she’s devoting her life to helping others do the same.
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