taking good care of ourselves self-care ideas

Taking Good Care of Ourselves — Self-Care Ideas

Learning to care for ourselves is an essential part of our overall health and wellness.  So, we’ve put together some tips to help you build a customized plan to enhance your wellness.

An essential aspect of our wellness is doing the things we need to do which promote holistic health.  You’ll benefit from learning how to monitor your mental and physical health.  That way, you can implement the strategies that will help you achieve your optimal health.

Caring for ourselves is all about implementing behaviors that enrich our health and wellness.  After all, our health is our most important asset.

Practical Self-Care Ideas

Taking good care of ourselves is prudent.  We make better decisions when we are fully rested and present.  The idea is to foster an environment where we are “present” more than running on autopilot.  It means we need to integrate caring for ourselves into our routine.  Think of it as personal preventive medicine.

It’s essential to know doing the things that make you feel better isn’t selfish if we do it in moderation. The ideas here will help to create a healthy holistic plan.  Having this kind of routine is critical during times of stress like a pandemic.  It will help you cope better and make your life less stressful and more enjoyable.

We’ve identified six significant groups of self-care ideas.   Some of these strategies overlap and could easily fit into more than one group. The idea here is to give you a list to mix and match to create your plan.

The best practice for this type of strategy is to start small, add one thing at a time to your plan.  We suggest you start by picking the one item you think will make the most significant positive impact on your health.

1. Emotional 
2. Functional 
3. Mental 
4. Physical 
5. Social 
6. Spiritual 

Taking Good Care of Ourselves

1. Emotional Self-Care Ideas

Our emotions are a barometer of our thought life.  Caring for our emotional health is about doing things that improve our state of mind. It works hand in hand with ideas for mental care.

    • Above all, learn to meditate and practice it every day.  Here is a simple two-step form of meditation.  It’s vital for emotional wellbeing.
    • Writing inspirational notes and Affirmations are excellent ways to boost your attitude.  Put them on sticky notes.  You can then place these stickers in your car, in your lunch, in a mirror, and refrigerator.  In this way, you benefit twice, when you write them and then again when you read them.
    • Another great exercise is to read your affirmations out loud.  And end with the phrase, “I love you.”  Hearing these words is a way of self-healing and nurturing your soul.
    • Practice “stream of consciousness writing.  Some call it “morning pages,” but it’s the process of Automatic Writing.  And it will open your creative mind.
    • Talk to friends.  Do it in person if you can.  But, a phone call is better than no contact at all.
    • Create and write in your journal. It is probably the least expensive and most valuable tool.  It’s a powerful tool for spotting trends and making positive changes.
    • Create art to express your emotions.
    • Spend time with pets from time to time; if you don’t have one go to a pet store or animal shelter.
    • Finally, please reach out and help them if you see someone in need.  Be a good person.  This strategy extends your energy to other people.  You will always get a positive emotional return when you help others.

“Self-care is how you take your power back.” ― Lalah Delia

The bottom line here is learning to build an emotional fortress.  Each of the ideas is like bricks you can use to create a castle.  When you operate with a sense of self-worth, you will move beyond the constraints of any physical or mental ailment.  You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to act with a self-assured presence.

As we go through the rest of these tactics, keep the idea of building a fortress in mind.  You will find that one or two of these ideas will resonate.  Those are the tactics to employ first.

2. Functional Self-Care Ideas

Finding ways to make life easier and more enjoyable deals with many significant life functions or skills.  The elements of these strategies can be some of the most potent behavioral change agents.  We use the “habitual nature” of our minds to create positive behaviors.

    • First, budget your time.  Use your smartphone to schedule your tasks.  Also, estimate the time each task will take.  It will save you time in the long run.  Brainstorm and Include all your routine tasks. Include everything like shopping and the cleaning of your living space.  Balancing your health and wellness is an ongoing task.  It should include taking good care of ourselves.
    • Besides your “to do” list, make a list of things or habits you don’t want to do.  The idea here is to substitute good healthy behaviors for bad habits.  For instance, when you shop for snacks, seek healthy fruits, and avoid the bakery.  Or stop checking voice or work email after a specific time.
    • Speaking of shopping, put a paper list on your refrigerator.  This way, you can keep track of the things you need.  Then when you shop, stick to your plan.  Don’t buy impulse items.  It will also help you stay on budget.
    • Be sure to schedule the other things on your self-care list from the different categories.
    • If you don’t have a financial plan or budget, learn about it, and create one.
    • And, once again, don’t forget to write in your journal.
    • Use the strategy known as “eating the frog.”  It means doing the most challenging things first.  This way, you get the things you dislike out of the way.

The main idea here is organizing routine functions.   Plan out the practical things to make things easier.

“You can have many great ideas in your head, but what makes the difference is the action. Without action upon an idea, there will be no manifestation, no results, and no reward.” ― Don Miguel Ruiz

3. Mental Self-Care ideas

The tactics for emotional and mental care are similar.   However, mental care focuses on our cognitive abilities. This set of exercises focuses on discovering and unlocking gifts.  When you step back and look at your life you realize, it all revolves around memories.  So, enhancing your memory and learning the lessons in your memory is a great place to start.

    • Use the Strategies for optimal learning that promote the use of several exercises for expanding exercises.  Many people start their care plan with 30 minutes of memory training every day.
    • So, play an online memory or trivia game.  While you have fun, you create new connections in the brain, which keeps our minds healthy.  The exercise of your memory is also a great way to improve your attitude and essential reasoning ability.
    • Explore and learn other languages.  Use Duolingo (1) or some other online source.  Learning a new language also rewires the mind.
    • Take a one-hour break from the internet and social media.  Almost everything works better when you unplug them and let them rest.  It’s the same for your mind.  When you silence the internal chatter, it gives you space to “think” and “feel.”  In turn, this helps you become fully present. When you feel overwhelmed, take a break. Sometimes you need to be with these emotions.  Otherwise, they come up when you don’t want them to.  For instance, when you are trying to sleep or engage in problem-solving.
    • Add something positive to your routine.  Read a new book or exciting articles. You’ll find some here.
    • Give away clothes and other things you don’t use.  Letting go of stuff gives you room to enjoy the things you keep.  Clean your digital world and erase old emails.  Reduce your mental and physical clutter.
    • Learn and practice self-compassion.

“It is possible to stop the mental chatter, regain your emotional balance and live free of stress and anxiety when you create a new habit of daily energetic self-care…” ― Janet Gallagher Nestor

It’s all about emotional equilibrium.  But remember that life also has highs and lows.  Taking good care of ourselves helps us maintain our ability to function in all areas of our life.  Janet is referring to the use of meditation.  We placed the quote under mental rather than emotional to emphasize how meditation helps calm the active mind.    The fact is meditation is one of the elements you could put under any category.

4. Physical Self-Care Ideas

This aspect also has considerable overlap with emotional and mental care ideas.  In this case, the focus is on the body instead of the mind.

    • Your schedule is a tool.  Make sure it serves you. However, don’t let your schedule become your master.
    • Drink a glass of water with lemon every day.
    • Walk at least 250 steps every hour.  And do at least one type of stretch every day.
    • Follow a workout routine that focuses on durability.
    • Take brief cat naps
    • Play your favorite music mix, and find new songs to add to this mix.  Explore other genres of music.  Music also rewires the mind to keep it younger.
    • Find reasons to see the bright side of life.  Seek reasons to laugh.
    • Learn and practice breathing exercises.  After all, breath sustains us.
    • Meditate every day for at least 20 minutes.  Many people meditate twice a day, and so can you!
    • Get a message.  Let someone else work out the kinks.
    • Additionally, don’t forget your health care appointments.

“True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body; the two are ever united.” ―Wilhelm von Humboldt

5. Social Self-Care Ideas

We are social animals.  The ideas here focus on skills to develop and maintain healthy relationships.  Learning to base relationships on healthy spiritual energy rather than superficial and temporary conditions will bring long-lasting enjoyment.

    • Write “thank you” notes.  It used to be common practice, but today handwritten notes are rare.  For that reason, they are more valuable than ever.
    • Set a daily time budget for the use of social media.  Social media is a magnificent tool, but it’s not a substitute for real human interaction.
    • Nothing can take the place of face-to-face interaction. So, get out in the physical world.   Find free meeting events on topics that interest you. Go to concerts. Meet new people.
    • Contact friends regularly to see how they are doing. Use the Extending love fearlessly exercise.  It’s one of the best ways to build confidence in expressing emotions and ideas.
    • Volunteer, it’s is a tangible way to show gratitude.

“If you are on social media, and you are not learning, not laughing, not being inspired or not networking, then you are using it wrong.” ― Germany Kent

6. Spiritual Self-Care Ideas

The focus on spiritual care has nothing to do with religion.  We are already spiritual entities without adding the burden of religious dogma.  We are born a blank slate without religion.  The focus here is on exploring and developing our spiritual awareness and exploring higher states of consciousness.  It involves practices that connect us with nature.  We call this spiritual exploration or the “journey exploring spirituality.”  This practice unlocks our spiritual gifts.
    • You guessed it.  Meditation is at the top of the list.  Learn the simple two-step Beginning Meditation method. Practice it every day.  You’ll experience the results immediately.  By all means, learn as many types as you can.  Learn other techniques like mindfulness meditation.   Forest Bathing and Tree Grounding are “grounding” methods anyone can use.  These methods reduce stress and connect us with nature. Practice the chanting of Mantras.  Learn Japa or Transcendental Meditation and then the Siddhis.  We call these ancient processes spiritual exploration.  Also, you can use these tools to create your spiritual path.
    • Enhance your critical thinking skills.  Study logic and use the scientific process to research. Emotional checks are a crucial part of this process.
    • Avoid organized religion  Many people mistake religion for spirituality or spiritual practice.  It’s the difference between doctrine and process.
    • Volunteer.  Give yourself in service to those in need.
    • Learn about and practice the Eightfold Path of Yoga.  You’ll find it’s much more than a form of exercise.
    • We’ve mentioned this before, but be a kind person.  So, if you can help someone in need, please do it.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Self-Care is Taking Good Care of Ourselves

We hope you create your holistic plan of individual care. It’s important to remember that your plan should not be a burden. It needs to be something you look forward to doing. So, find a mix of things that work for you.  Everyone is different.  And, if something doesn’t work, change it or delete it.

One last important tip.  Do not base your plan around products.  Your care should focus on behaviors that improve health. For the best results, use ideas from each of the six groups.

If this article resonates, you’ll find more to spark your interest on our blog. To learn more about our organization, see our FAQ page.  Register on our site to receive discounts on training and unadvertised material. We comply with all GDPR guidelines and never share or sell your contact data.

Are you interested in spiritual exploration?  Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey (1).  Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions.  Please consider donating and supporting our mission.

References

(1) free language courses at duoling.com
(2) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia

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