4 Simple Ways to Practice Self-Care
Self-care is a huge buzzword right now, but there are so many misconceptions around what it actually means. Some associate it with skincare, luxury and spa treatments, but it goes so much deeper than that. Self-care doesn’t need to be lofty or even complicated. It’s in the simple actions we take every single day, and it comes down to one mentality – self-love.
If we truly love and accept ourselves, taking care of our bodies becomes easier. The problem with a lot of conversations around self-care is that they don’t start with the importance of self-love, creating a situation where people only practice every surface level of it.
Any act of self-care that’s done from a place of low self-esteem isn’t truly self-care. When you see self-care as the way you treat yourself if you love yourself, you realize that it’s about the little things. Here are some of the small ways to bring some self-care into your love.
Get Off the Internet
Thanks to all the advancements in technology, our mobile devices are now small computers that give us access to information and of course, social media. As good as it is to be connected, it can also become tremendously unhealthy to always be online.
Studies have shown the connection between mental health ailments like depression and anxiety and the time spent on social media. Unplugging is therefore, the ultimate act of self-care, and one of the healthiest things we can do.
The same goes for work. If you work from home, it often feels like the job bleeds into every part of your life. Building a boundary and even unplugging at certain times is an important way to keep burnout at bay.
Decorate Your Space
We spend a lot of time in our homes, probably more so now than ever before, and when we don’t feel “at home” in that space, we rob ourselves of comfort, peace and even mental wellness. Having a home that’s comfortable, neatly organized and authentic to your style makes you happier and gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment.
We buy clothes to make ourselves look good, so why wouldn’t we want to dress up our homes too? Taking care of your environment is a huge act of self-care, and a huge mental health benefit. Having a home that feels good to spend time in is part of that care. It’s not about buying the most expensive and fanciest pieces, it’s about creating a home that has your unique stamp of character on it, whether you buy things at Ikea or in thrift shops.
Think about ways your home can uplift your mood. Scented candles make the place smell good and feel more inviting. The colors you paint on your walls can make you feel cheerful and happy. A good window dressing like beautiful, modern blinds can frame your room and pair well with furniture, and a nice plush rug can give your home the warmth that helps you unwind after a stressful week.
Stop Saying Yes to Everything
Saying no is one of the most powerful ways to set healthy boundaries for ourselves and practice self-care. It feels like we’re always being encouraged to say yes to everything, even if it’s to our own detriment. As people, we can only take on so much, and when we give so much of ourselves, we end up with very little for ourselves, which can trigger issues like burnout, exhaustion, anxiety and depression.
One of the best ways for us to take care of our mental health is to get comfortable saying no to things that don’t serve us. It can feel like we’re being difficult and inconsiderate, but as we get comfortable with setting a boundary for ourselves, it will start to feel good standing up for ourselves.
Take Care of Your Physical Health
It’s hard to practice self-care without taking care of your body. That means eating nutritious foods that enhance our health, staying hydrated and getting some form of movement and exercise into your daily life. The bodies we have are the only ones we’re going to have in our lifetimes, they are our homes in a sense, and we need to make them as healthy as we can.
This doesn’t mean we can’t have a treat or two, but we have to put in place habits that promote wellness. The habits we have are the foundation of our health, so instead of seeing exercise and eating healthy as something we do from time to time, commit to a lifestyle of health. That way, the actions and activities we do bring us closer to being the best version of ourselves.