6 Steps to Practicing Self-Care
With countless things competing for your attention these days, whether it’s work, school, household responsibilities or managing relationships, it can be challenging to prioritize your own needs. Keeping yourself healthy – physically, mentally and emotionally – is crucial to maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself and others. Draw inspiration from our suggestions to incorporate more self-care into your life and nourish a healthier, happier you.
1. Me Time
There’s often stigma connected to doing things solo; however, setting aside time for yourself helps you build self-love, provides a sense of freedom, and allows you to become more creative without all the distractions. Whether it’s completing a DIY project or taking time to journal and reflect, pencil yourself in for more “me time.”
2. Be Mindful
Practicing mindfulness is focusing awareness on the present moment rather than thoughts of the past or worries for the future. Practicing mindfulness regularly is a great way to check in with yourself and your emotions. Reduce stress levels and boost cognitive abilities with brief mindfulness activities like noticing the rhythm of your breath and practicing purposeful observations that keep you in the present moment.
3. Learn Something New
Learning something new changes your brain chemistry and helps you grow as a person by developing your knowledge base, fueling creativity and building confidence. Whether speaking a new language or acquiring new hobbies like yoga, gardening or playing a new instrument, challenge yourself to something outside your comfort zone.
4. Slow Down
Sometimes life moves at such a fast pace that we don’t take time to truly enjoy it. Take time to notice and enjoy life’s simple pleasures like taking a long, relaxing shower, enjoying a freshly brewed cup of coffee, or eating with your eyes closed, taking in all of the different sensations. Slow down to find pleasure in anything and everything.
5. Increase Time Outdoors
Spending more time outdoors is an easy way to improve health, as it reduces risks of chronic diseases, increases sleep duration and alleviates stress. Get outside more often by going on daily walks, planning at least one outdoor activity every weekend and eating al fresco when the weather permits.
6. Spend Quality Time with Loved Ones
Though self-care focuses on the “self,” surrounding yourself with those you love can combat stress, improve mood and is generally good for your well-being. Quality time spent with loved ones creates a sense of belonging, builds self-esteem, nurtures positive behaviors and creates priceless memories that will last a lifetime. Whether it’s playing games, sharing stories or simply being together, practice self-care by being with those who inspire you to be your best self.