Having just finished my training for Mental Health First Aid, one of the most important tools for recovery is self-care. But what is self-care?
Self-care is the practice of taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional health. It’s about making time for yourself to relax, recharge, and do things that you enjoy. Self-care is important for everyone, but it’s especially important if you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or burnt out.
We all do different things for self-care.
Personally, I enjoy spending time in nature, reading a book with a cup of tea, and spending quality time with my loved ones.
If you are struggling with what to do for your self-care, here is a list of 20 self-care ideas to help you get started.
Self-Care Ten Different Ways
.1. Write a love letter to yourself
Imagine writing to your best friend to tell them how amazing they are, how grateful you are for your friendship and how much you appreciate them.
Now imagine that your best friend is you, what would you write?
.2. Write in a journal
Maybe writing a love letter is not your thing.
Instead, try your hand at journaling
There is no one right way to journal. You can write about anything you want, in any way you want. You can journal daily, weekly, or even monthly. The most important thing is to find a journaling routine that works for you and stick with it.
I’m the type of person who, if they are taking notes, I’ll be doodling at the same time.
If journalling isn’t your thing, try your hand at colouring in. Or drawing, or even doodling.
Again there is no right or wrong way, just put a pen, pencil, crayon, or paintbrush on paper and create whatever you want.
.4. Take a walk in nature
Heard of the term “Silent Walking“? It’s what we used to do before technology became what it is today.
Go for a walk with no phone, no music, no podcast, no book, just you and your thoughts.
You’ll quickly become more aware of your surroundings, your mind will ease and you will feel more calm.
Spend some time on your favourite hobby.
Personally, I love crafts like, sewing, knitting, and crochet. These things bring me joy.
You might prefer spending time creating a vegetable garden or tinkering in the shed.
Maybe baking a cake, or cooking is more your style.
Any form of creative expression can be a great way to relax and express yourself.
.6. Listen to music you love
Music has the power to reduce stress and anxiety. It can help us to take our minds off our worries and help us to relax.
Need to improve your mood? Music has the capability to help us feel more positive and optimistic.
When we listen to music, we can reflect on our emotions and experiences. Music can also help us to express ourselves in a way that may not be possible for us to do with words alone.
- Create a playlist of songs that make you feel happy and relaxed.
- Listen to music when you’re feeling stressed or anxious.
- Listen to music when you’re exercising or doing other activities that you enjoy.
- Share music with others that you care about.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with different genres and types of music.
Find a good book, grab a drink of your choice (I like tea), find a cosy spot and read for pleasure.
.8. Watch a movie or TV show
Escaping into a good story can be a great way to relax and destress.
We all know how important sleep is.
Setting up a sleep routine will not only help your sleep quality but also help with stress and anxiety.
When you get enough sleep you will have increased energy and productivity.
To set up a sleep routine, decide on a bedtime and wake-up that works for you and stick to it as much as possible.
In the hour before bed, avoid caffeine, alcohol and electronic devices. Instead, use this time to take a bath or shower, to read or listen to calming music.
.10. Spend time with loved ones
When we have people in our lives who care about us and support us, we are less likely to feel alone and are more able to cope with challenges when they arise.
Surround yourself with people that you can laugh with, share stories, but most importantly feel connected with.
Need to vent? Need advice? Or just need a shoulder to cry on. Having the emotional support of family and friends is invaluable in helping us cope with difficult experiences.
Create a circle of friends that support you, lift you up, listen to you, and give you advice.
What self-care practices do you do?