Often the busyness of everyday tasks can overtake our feelings of joy and happiness in life. This over-stimulated heaviness makes it vitally important to be aware of when we need to look after ourselves. Self-care is not a selfish, rude way of living, but rather a path to our own health and well-being.
1. Take time for yourself – This doesn’t have to be an expensive getaway. Enjoy a cup of coffee on the deck, take a walk, have a hot bath, get a massage. Taking time for yourself allows your mind to slow down, triggers relaxation, and allows you to come back to reality with a freshened vigour.
2. Get in touch with your emotions – Practice of acknowledging what you are feeling in the moment can lead down some amazing paths of self-reflection. When did I first feel that way? How did I learn to cope with that situation? Bottling up or not recognizing your feelings can later come out in some unhealthy ways. Learn more about feelings here.
3. Start a new physical routine – Walk, run, life weights, swim, ride a bike, do some sit-ups…looking after our physical bodies can not only improve our daily functioning, but also helps us feel good about ourselves. Keep in mind that looking after our physical selves doesn’t stop at exercise. Eating healthy, and getting enough quality sleep is equally important.
4. Recognize what you love doing – Hobbies and interests provide an escape from stress. Whether you draw, garden, cook, collect bottle caps, play sports, volunteer at an animal shelter, or coach kids, finding time to feed your gifts can improve self-esteem and reduce tension.
5. Find a spiritual path – Whatever your belief system is, take time to honour it. Perhaps it’s about being one with nature, treating others with kindness, or simply being thankful for being right where you are in the moment. Prayer or meditation can bring a better sense of peace, reduce stress, and nurture our souls.
6. Walk on the sunny side – Staying positive can be difficult at times, but talking to yourself in a positive way can give you more confidence to face the day. Recognize your patterns of negative self-talk and begin taking steps to see the glass half full. Sometimes we need help in learning new tools that can lead us in the right direction. Seeking out a caring, non-judgemental counsellor to share your struggles with is a perfect first step.