How often do we find ourselves taking care of others? Between watching out for our loved ones and bending over backwards to ensure those around us are okay, when do we find time to take care of ourselves? Whether a mother, father, student, we as humans naturally tend to push ourselves past our limits often leaving us feeling drained, overwhelmed(both physically and emotionally), and this stress ultimately makes us feel ill. When will we learn to be kind to our mind, body, and soul?
Self care has become an increased topic of discussion and for good reason. Taking care of oneself may be a foreign ideology to many so lets start with the basics. What is ‘self care’? According to PsychCentral,
“Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept in theory, it’s something we very often overlook. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. It’s also key to a good relationship with oneself and others.”
I know what you’re thinking. “But what does this even mean!? How does one do this when they have children, or a spouse, or a job/ homework!?” Well, it doesn’t need to be complicated at all. Lets start with the basics. Below is a few self care ideas for the mind, body, and soul.
- Do a mini-declutter. Recycle three things from your wardrobe that you don’t love or regularly wear.
- Punctuate your day with a mini-meditation with one minute of awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations; one minute of focused attention on breathing; and one minute of awareness of the body as a whole.
- Goof around for a bit. Schedule in five minutes of “play” (non-directed activity) several times throughout your day.
- Edit your social media feeds, and take out any negative people. You can just “mute” them; you don’t have to delete them.
- Be selfish. Do one thing today just because it makes you happy.
- Give your body ten minutes of mindful attention. Use the body scan technique to check in with each part of your body.
- Oxygenate by taking three deep breaths. Breathe into your abdomen, and let the air puff out your stomach and chest.
- Have a good laugh. Read a couple of comic strips that you enjoy.
- Get fifteen minutes of sun, especially if you’re in a cold climate. (Use sunscreen if appropriate.)
- Run (or walk, depending on your current physical health) for a few minutes. Or go up and down the stairs three times.
- Help someone. Carry a bag, open a door, or pick up an extra carton of milk for a neighbor.
- Have a self-date. Spend an hour alone doing something that nourishes you (reading, your hobby, visiting a museum or gallery, etc.)
- Ask for help—big or small, but reach out.
- Check in with your emotions. Sit quietly and just name without judgment what you’re feeling.
The list goes on, self care means whatever it means to you! Find what brings your mind joy, your body strength, and your soul peace.