I value self-care. Like, a lot!
I didn’t truly realize how important self-care was until I had my first severe depressive episode a few years back.
I had no interest in doing the things I once loved to do. My hygiene was nonexistent. I slept for most of my days. I would either eat too much or not eat at all. There came a point where I even isolated myself from friends and family. I would cry for no reason too.
When I started my first job, the only things I would do with my days was wake up, go to work, come straight back home, and go back to bed. It was bad guys.
It felt like it lasted forever and I felt like there was no end in sight. Everything looked dull to me. Like literally, colors weren’t as bright as they once were.
I believe the turning point for me was when I had a deep conversation with a classmate of mine in my counseling program. She saw the sadness in my eyes and how I carried myself. This conversation truly opened my eyes to how visibly depressed I was.
Plus, I was so confused as to why I was so sad all the time. I mean, I independently live on my own, pay my own bills, have my own job, and go to school.
Yes, it looks like a lot to juggle but there wasn’t anything in my life that would make me depressed. That’s not how depression necessarily works (I’ve since realized that). I may have had everything going for me but all of these things that I had to juggle were one of the reasons why I was deteriorating so badly.
After getting the necessary help that I needed, it turns out that I simply have a chemical imbalance! Like, what?!
Since then, I have learned that putting myself as a priority is a MUST!
Self-care is something that I incorporate into my daily routine, even if it’s just for 10 minutes.
It’s important for us to set aside time for ourselves to recharge and take care of our mental well-being. If we don’t, then we’ll just burn out. I had to learn that the hard way.
There are endless ways to practice self-care. If you don’t know how or where to start, here are a few things you can try to unwind the mind, body, and soul.
The Importance of Self-care
1. Paint your feelings
This happens to be my personal favorite. It’s so therapeutic for me whenever I feel stressed or want to let out my creative ideas. And for those who say, “But I suck at painting.”
*insert major eye roll*
I refuse to believe that. Painting is a form of creative expression and should be used when words can’t get the point across.
The good thing about painting is that you don’t have to learn how to paint like Van Gogh to know how to paint. Plus there is no right or wrong way to do it. It’s all about letting your creative juices flow and enjoying the process along the way.
This is one of the few things that I have been consistent with AND has actually helped me mentally.
I’m so glad it did because now I feel like I have an outlet to organize all of my thoughts. Plus it’s nice to look back and read about all of the progress that I’ve made.
If you’re not a person who likes to write on paper and prefers computers, go for it.
I do want to note though, that if you do go the computer route, make sure to have a backup of your journaling. And maybe even a backup of that backup.
Use Google Drive! That way, you can sync up your work on all your devices. So if you start on your computer, you can always pick it back up on your phone or tablet in case you need to go somewhere.
One minor mishap and everything could be wiped away in an instant! We don’t want that. Primarily why I prefer physically writing my thoughts instead of typing them but I know that not everyone is like me.
3. Turn off your phone
This one is tough.
Our lives basically revolve around our phones. It’s basically like an extra limb attached to our bodies.
You’re probably reading this on your phone right now!
There’s nothing wrong with social media but it can become highly addicting and we’d end up wasting so much time on it, it can drain us mentally.
It can really negatively impact your mind by what we choose to see online.
It’s important to be conscious of what you decide to consume on a daily basis.
Learn to step away from your phone for a couple of hours and watch how much happier and stress-free you’ll be.
4. Take a walk
Walks are beneficial to the mind and body. It helps release the tension we hold in our bodies, declutter the mind, and reduce stress while also getting that bit of exercise in.
So hitting two birds with one stone.
I personally love taking walks at the park or around my neighborhood. It really helps clear my mind whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or sad.
I get to pop in my AirPods, listen to my favorite music, and let my mind wander to a peaceful place.
My mind gets distracted with the path I’m taking, the nature I’m surrounded in, and even the people that are around me as well.
After my walks, I always feel refreshed and in a good mood.
5. Do a face mask
This is another one of my personal favorites.
I’ve come to learn the importance of having a good skincare routine down and it has become a ritual for me day and night.
I don’t know how I managed to survive college without moisturizing. Yes, it wasn’t until college that I started to take skincare seriously. Don’t judge me.
Now, face masks are a great way to give your skin the much-needed benefits it craves.
Use face masks or sheet masks that best suit your skin’s needs, sit back, and relax for 20 minutes. Try this once a week, your skin will thank you.
I definitely recommend using the TONYMOLY face masks. They have a variety of different masks for any skin concern.
Also, check out my blog posts on face masks.
RELATED: FAVORITE FACE MASKS FOR OILY SKIN
6. Reach out to family and friends
Sometimes, self-care is not only about caring about ourselves but also involving those that we love as well. Being human means we crave social interaction.
It doesn’t matter how introverted you may be (I’m pointing at me right now).
I believe it’s very important to maintain and/or strengthen our social connections with other people. So make that phone call, facetime your friend, or text that person you’ve been meaning to reach out to.
You never know how much it would mean to someone knowing that you had them in your thoughts.
A cluttered space = a cluttered mind.
Try getting rid of things you no longer use or rearrange furniture for a new look. Having a cluttered living space and being overwhelming to a person.
Personally, if my place is a mess, I tend to not do much because I don’t know what to start with first. Do I start by washing the dishes, do the laundry, sweep the floor, organize my drawers, make food?
The list goes on and on but you get the idea.
The physical mess is a manifestation of a cluttered mind and there may be many reasons for it.
Don’t beat yourself up about having a cluttered living space. By tackling one task at a time, you’ll be able to simultaneously declutter the thoughts from your mind.
RELATED: HOW TO CHANGE A NEGATIVE MINDSET INTO A POSITIVE ONE
8. Start up a new hobby
Starting new hobbies is a great way to practice good self-care. Some hobbies that I recommend:
- Start a blog (go self-hosted with Siteground!)
- Learn how to play an instrument
- Join a workout group (yoga, running, boxing, etc.)
9. Find a quiet place
I like being to myself a lot of times and being in a place where I can be with my thoughts and enjoy the moment, is very relaxing.
As an introverted person, I love my alone time. Yes, I do like hanging out with my friends once in a while but sometimes it gets overwhelming being around people all the time.
Something that I love to do first thing when I wake up in the morning, I go outside and sit on a rocking chair and be one with nature. My cats will come out and greet me and sit with me through the silence.
I would then think about the things that I’m grateful for and tell myself some positive affirmations as well.
It’s such a great way for me to start off my day. I highly recommend you guys to do that at least once.
Being alone allows me to unwind and recharge.
Take an hour or so to yourself or sit outside and take in the fresh air while you read a book or listen to your favorite music.
HOW TO PRACTICE GRATITUDE
20 POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS TO BUILD SERIOUS CONFIDENCE
10. Treat yourself
Every once in a while, it’s ok to splurge on something you had your eye on for a while.
If it’s a little getaway trip, save up some money and go out with a group of friends. Have a good time.
Always make the time to get away from life’s daily demands because it can really be draining having to go every day having to live up to the demands of others.
Again, there are endless ways to practice self-care, so find something that you enjoy doing that helps you relax and rejuvenate.
But remember to always take some time every week to have to yourself.
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What other self-care ideas do you guys recommend? Let me know. 🙂
Until next time,