I am always preaching self-care. What does that mean? This word has nothing to do with being self-absorbed. It is about caring for yourself to achieve physical and psychological clarity.
Raphailia Michael of Psych central describes self-care as “Any activity that we do deliberately to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health,”. She explains that “Self-care isn't something we force ourselves to do or something we don’t enjoy doing.”
So, what can we do to engage and encourage self-care? I’ve listed some ideas below.
Go for a hike or walk
You never realize how liberating a walk or hike feels. Not only are you engaging in physical health, but mental health as well. Exercise releases endorphins or ‘feel-good hormones’ that promote a better mood.
Write in your journal
This is my favorite, even if it's just a check-in. Expressing emotion in a journal boosts your temperament and helps you learn about yourself. Writing can reflect on triggers and what we can do to better control them. Journaling stimulates your mind and releases tension.
Take a nap
Your body demands sleep. Sleeping is our body's way of recuperating from the beating it takes throughout the day. If your body is saying sleep, then sleep. You're not being lazy for doing so. Chances are your body needs to repair itself.
Don't be afraid to say no
Sometimes we are asked things that we prefer not to do. People with mental illness tend to be altruistic (me included). We like to take on other issues to keep from dealing with our “stuff”. It is okay to set boundaries Don’t be hesitant to respond no and put yourself first. You are entitled to your peace of mind.
Sitting outside is great for self-care. While the sun gives you the vitamins you need, it can help your immune system. This can promote a sense of happiness and lead to a stronger quality of life.
You’d be surprised at how eating better can cause you to feel better. The food you put in your body can impact your body's performance. Think about it, turkey makes you sleepy from the tryptophan. Water, nuts, and grains make you energetic because they contain fiber, vitamins, or healthy fats. Healthier food can impact the bacteria in your stomach, resulting in better outcomes.
Self-care is crucial in being lively. We have to take care of our mind, body to ensure we’re living productive lives. It’s easy to step away from self-care due to our busy lives pre-pandemic. We must remember ourselves first and work toward better, healthy lives.