Taking care of yourself is so important. Especially during the winter months, where the dark mornings and evenings can take their toll on your mood and wellbeing. For those who are thinking ‘what is self-care?’ It’s essentially the practice of intentionally trying to improve your own health – this can include your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
Your daily self-care can be a five-minute cup of an energising hot drink in the morning or lighting your favourite candle, everyone is different and what works for others may not work as well for you. Whether you’re new to the self-care game or looking for some fresh ideas, we’ve compiled a simple list of some self-care activities and examples to help you on your journey.
Organise Your Worries
Write down or take time to talk your worries through with someone. At times we are much harder on ourselves than we need to be and so hearing your concerns out loud or reading them back to yourself can be a great form of self-care. It helps to focus on things that we can control such as your work or home life. A great exercise is writing out your concerns in a list highlight the items you can change and express how you plan to tackle them. It can be a way to take back some control over the negative or anxious thoughts we can all have.
Look After Your Physical Wellbeing
Looking after yourself physically doesn’t always mean going to the doctor, which is what we usually jump to when thinking of our physical wellbeing. Forms of physical self-care can mean a slow walk out in nature, or even taking a well-earned rest or nap when you need one. Getting enough sleep is arguably the most important form of self-care – if you are tired make sure to listen to your body!
Keep Your Brain Active
Keeping your brain active is also a form of looking after yourself. Why not clear out a cupboard or draw you have been meaning to sort for a while? We find that taking the time to gain a sense of accomplishment helps to give us a feel-good buzz. Another great option can be to learn a new food dish or even a language, focusing on the new skill will be beneficial to your mental wellbeing. Learning these skills can also be helpful in the long run too.
Do Something Nice for Another Person
It’s amazing how helping someone out can make you feel so much better about yourself. Whether you help out friends, a family member, or even a stranger – it has been scientifically proven that aiding others boosts your own happiness. This is definitely a win-win in our opinion. So next time you meet someone why not try giving them a kind word or a smile? You never know what is going on in someone else’s personal life and a kind word can make a world of difference.
Take A Moment to Be Present
Sometimes the pace of life can mean that we’re rarely ‘present’ and it’s easy to constantly think about the food shop, a deadline at work, or an errand that needs doing. It’s important to stop for a second and be present. The best way to do this is to use your senses; take moment to smell your morning coffee, feel some wintry air on your face, or listen to the soothing outdoor rainfall. This sounds a little poetic but trust us when we say that being in touch with your senses and surroundings, can really help you to invigorate and center yourself.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
This one may seem a little strange, but once you start thinking about it – there are lots of things we do that we don’t enjoy or make us unhappy. Using the word NO can be empowering and can promote your overall wellbeing… once you get over the hurdle of no longer saying yes! Taking control of your choices can feel amazing and can help you get a life balance that suits you. For example, that work overtime, it’s fine to say no. That group gift for a friend that is a bit too expensive, you can say no. It’s also important to note that you don’t need a reason – saying nope every now and again doesn’t make you a bad person.
Reach Out to Someone
Spending time in your own company can be therapeutic but it can also become a comfort blanket. It’s easy to isolate yourself, especially during busy times or during the winter. However, taking a few minutes to send a text or to pick up your phone for a call can make a massive difference to your mood. If you reach out to a family member or friend, it can often be surprising how happy they are to hear from you and to know that you’re thinking of them. Social interaction can be a great way to focus on your self-care and dedicating time to laugh over the phone with a loved one can have a knock-on effect on your mental wellbeing.
More Little Ideas to Help Your Happiness
How you choose to self-care, is entirely up to you – there is no wrong way to take time to look after yourself! Sometimes it’s the small things in life that can really help on a day-to-day basis, see below a few more small ideas that are widely recommended by experts:
- Dance to your favourite song. Having a boogie and getting some endorphins flowing can brighten up your day. We think that making yourself move, even for a song or two can make all the difference, especially if it’s a rainy grey day.
- Watch a feel-good movie. They do say that if you smile enough, it can impact your mental wellbeing, so why not watch a comedy and see if it’s true? Watching a feel-good film can also help you to switch off from the stresses of everyday life for a little while.
- Note the things that you are grateful for. Writing and visually being aware of the aspects of your life that you are thankful for can help put your stresses into perspective. The same way writing your worries can help, so can putting pen to paper about the positives. There may even be more than you think!
- Put on some comfy PJs. Dressing-up can make us feel confident but in comparison, putting on your fave comfort outfit can help you to feel safe and content. Grab your loungewear after a shower or bath and get snug.
- Get some fresh air. Occasionally in winter, we’re confined inside for too long without realising it. Sometimes a quick walk or even just a stroll around the garden can help you feel a bit more refreshed and improve your mindset.
- Snuggle up with a blanket and a cup of tea. Life can be hectic and it’s definitely worthwhile to every now and then press pause and get cosy. It’s a known fact that a cuppa always helps.
- Apply your favourite beauty product. Take a few minutes every day to moisturise or put on some hand cream or lip balm – whatever your beauty poison. Looking after your skin or hair can truly help you to feel good as your physical health and mental health are definitely intertwined.
- Make or order your favourite comfort food. We can’t help but smile when we are about to have our favourite pizza so make sure you take time to eat the things you enjoy every week.
- Ask for help when you need it. This is something that is often overlooked, it can be easy to take on everything like the superhero you are but asking for help is also a sign of strength. Delegating at home or at work can help you to have more time to yourself – which is a positive for both your mental and physical wellbeing.
- Keep hydrated. Try to have a pint of ice-cold water or squash before you do anything else in the morning. This will help you start your day feeling fresh and hydrated. We try to stick to the rule hydrate before you caffeinate.
- Try to eat a balanced diet. Easier said than done we know, if you are eating your fruits and veggies plus getting enough protein and carbs the knock-on effect to your health can be remarkable.
Hopefully, this article has helped you discover some examples and ideas about what self-care is and how you can find time to practice it daily. You may find it surprising how certain activities you do each day can be seen as a form of self-care!