Self care is paying attention to ourselves, being aware of our needs,taking actions to fulfil them for our overall physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Self care is not a thing to celebrate on a particular day or only on weekends. It’s a habit that you inculcate within yourself and practice everyday so that you can be in a healthy relationship with yourself and transmit those happy vibes to others.
I’m not going to give you a long list of self-care ideas that you will just skim through and never really execute. In this post, I’ll share 15 self-care ideas that will not be time-consuming or expensive but will bring you results for the long term.
How do you practice self-care?
There are very basic and important for all self care practices like eating mindfully and healthy, getting adequate sleep,remaining hydrated and so on. Other than these,how you take care of yourself may vary with that of how someone else does. Choose the ideas that resonate with you and practice each day.
Tune in and listen to your emotions
Check-in and connect with yourself on a deeper level regularly to listen to your body and mind carefully. Ask yourself what you need right now and pay attention to them to resolve them in a healthy manner. Tuning in just for a few moments is a wonderful way for us to address our needs and align our actions to them. You could ask yourself questions like:
- Do I need to take some rest?
- Am I feeling overwhelmed and need to let out everything that’s going on in my mind?
Mindfulness simply means being intentional about what you do and being aware of what you feel. Check out 11 Ways you can practice mindfulness.
A journal is a written record of your entire life. Your purposes for journaling could be to gain clarity about a particular thing in your life, plan and organize your day, put out your emotions into paper, and so on. Read 13 easy journaling tips for beginners and get started with journaling.
Practice positive self talk
Self-talk is the monologue that constantly runs inside your head throughout your waking hours. You are the only being who is always there with you no matter what. So, try to make your inner voice as optimistic as possible. The lines you say to yourself should calm you, make you feel good about yourself, cheer you up, and encourage you.
Practicing positive self-talk increases your physical and mental well-being. Turning negative self-talk into positive ones is an essential art to learn. Here are examples of that and an insightful discussion.
Communicate and let it out
You are not a robot or machine, you go through a lot and feel a lot of things. Your pain or other feelings are valid, you don’t need others’ opinions to validate them.
Saying “I’m fine” has become the easiest and quickest response you can give to someone asking, “How are you?” But it doesn’t have to be every time or to everyone. Don’t think that you’re bothering your loved ones by sharing your emotions. They deserve to know your whereabouts and what you are going through. If they care for you enough, they will listen, and maybe together you could find a new perspective for your emotions, figure out a solution to your problems.
If you feel that the person in front of you won’t understand, that’s ok. Maybe you also won’t understand someone else’s language of expression.
The only listener whom you’ll always have by your side is YOU. Let you be heard, whatever be the medium of expression of your emotions.
If you fear judgement or feel uncomfortable sharing it with a person, you might also express those feelings in a journal. You might communicate with yourself through a journal.
If you feel scared that someone would read that, then simply let it out in your phone’s notes app and if you wish, you can delete it later.
Be kind to yourself
Treat yourself with gentleness, care, and kindness and you are more likely to take that approach and attitude into the outside world and the people around you, in terms of how you interact with them. Say comforting words to yourself, like, “Hey! I’m listening to you, you’re not alone. I’m always here for you”
Put your hand on your chest, that gentle touch brings you into the moment , makeing you feel a sense of security and self-compassion.
Don’t use self-deprecating talk to demean yourself. If someone is complimenting you, accept that wholeheartedly without saying or thinking you don’t deserve it.
Now, let’s say you have realized a mistake that you made. That’s something a lot of people don’t. Now that you are already ahead of so many people just by acknowledging your mistake, don’t get stuck there. Don’t carry the guilt forward for too long. Start taking action proactively towards rectifying it.
You might be your worst critic but you should always be your greatest appreciator as well. If you can judge yourself, scold yourself for your mistakes, you can also pat your back and feel proud of the good human being that you are.
There will be a lot of people in your life, having certain expectations from you and you may not fulfill all of them. Life will throw many challenges at you and the decision you take might turn out to be wrong. Sometimes, your efforts might not bring results. In these cases, don’t undervalue or blame yourself. Rather be even more kind to yourself.
Acknowledge your efforts and appreciate yourself
Many times people will overlook your efforts, don’t let yourself be one of them. You are always free to give yourself compliments. Give yourself enough credit whenever and wherever you deserve. Let me know in the comments what you appreciated yourself for.
Read a book
I know it’s a very common suggestion, but for a reason right? Give the books on your shelf a chance to enlighten you, take you to a different world, give you new insights, fill you with a happy feeling.
You can start with books of any genre, of your choice. You may want to take notes (key takeaways or simply any line that you loved)while reading that you might look back to later.
Check out Saheli Chatterjee’s YouTube Channel for the best book recommendations for all genres.
Don’t compromise with your sleep
I have noticed a lot of posts saying that you need to compromise sleep if you really want to achieve your goals. But there’s also a saying “health is wealth”. Your body does need rest and you should provide it. It will refresh your body and mind.
At times when my mother rests for some time to take a break, she starts recalling all the tasks that are left. I tell her that recalling pending tasks is not taking rest.
Not even scrolling social media mindlessly, Rest means rest. Just REST.
Reflect on your values
Reflect on what is the most important thing to you because many times, we do spend a lot of time doing things that don’t really matter to us, be it due to compulsion or lack of self-reflection. Be it your personal or professional life, ask yourself and try to act accordingly:
- What is the most important thing to you and why?
- Are your actions aligned to your values?
Protect your precious energy
Choose whom to invest in or dedicate your energy to and don’t waste it on people who tend to drain it away or who don’t matter. Your time, energy is precious. You know your worth and the value of your hard work, efforts, and dedication. Don’t let others ruin your mental peace.
Not everybody will understand the reason behind your actions or the decisions you make. Communicate it and dedicate your energy only to the ones who are genuinely concerned or worried about you, or want to get an insight from you, don’t bother about the rest.
Nurture your relationships
Make time for your loved ones, connect with them, express your love for them often, ask how they’re doing, make them heard.
Spend quality time with those who genuinely love you, are concerned about you, feel excited in your happiness, and feel proud of your achievement. They deserve your time. You don’t have to immediately respond to their calls or messages if you can’t but make sure you get back to them.
Do fun activities with them, try something new by involving them, or just simply sit with them in silence if that’s comfortable. Just let them know and feel by your actions that you are there for them.
Prioritize yourself and your needs guilt-freely. Also, you’ll be able to take better care of your loved ones only if you are fit and happy.
Set boundaries for yourself and respect them. Say no to things that are against your values. Say NO to things you don’t want to do (terms and conditions apply!)say no to requests you aren’t comfortable with.
The contents we watch have some effects on our minds. Unfollow accounts that don’t serve you anymore or make you compare yourself with them and make you feel less. Follow people that either inspire you or make you feel happy to create a healthy Social Media environment.
Take a time off from screen time
Most of my notifications remain off, but still, I’ve not been able to get away with checking my phone frequently, FOMO is real! So it’s better to completely switch it off every day for some FOMO-free time. Give your phone and yourself a break. You both deserve it!
Begin your self-care with a reflection of your needs. If you neglect taking care of yourself, it may result in increases in anxiety, anger, decreases in sleep, self-esteem, empathy, and self-compassion. So pay attention to your needs to promote your overall well-being. Let yourself feel heard, loved, and cared for.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to self-care. You can definitely take inspiration from others’ self-care routines and explore if it works for you as well.
What’s your favorite way to practice self-care? What would you like to add to this list of self-care ideas? Please share it with us in the comments below to spread your ideas!