Self-care is an essential part of our overall health and wellness. So, we’ve put together some self-care tips to help you build a customized self-care plan.
Self-care is all about behaviors that enrich our health and wellness. After all, our health is our most important asset. Taking good care of ourselves is prudent. We make better decisions when we are fully present. Self-care is an essential element we need to integrate into our routine. Think of it as another form of personal preventive medicine.
It’s essential to know self-care isn’t selfish if we do it in moderation. The ideas here will help to create a self-care plan. It 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. Some of these strategies overlap. The ideas could fit into more than one group. Mix and match to create your plan.
1. Emotional Self-Care Ideas
Our emotions are a barometer of our thought life. Emotional self-care is about doing things that improve our emotional wellbeing. It works hand in hand with mental self-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 self-care.
- Writing inspirational notes and Affirmations are a powerful way to boost your attitude. Put them on sticky notes. You can then place these stickers in your car, in your lunch, on a mirror, and refrigerator. So, in this way, you benefit twice. You benefit 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. This 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 self-care idea extends your energy to other people. You will always get a positive emotional return when you help others.
Bottom line. Build an emotional fortress. Use these above ideas like bricks to build it.
“Self-care is how you take your power back.” ― Lalah Delia
2. Functional Self-Care Ideas
Functional self-care is finding ways to make life easier and more enjoyable. The elements of functional self-care are also some powerful behavioral change agents.
- 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 yourself.
- 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
Mental self-care is similar to emotional self-care. But, the focus here is on our cognitive abilities. This set of exercises focuses on discovering and unlocking gifts.
- 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 unplug, 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. Let stuff go. Erase old emails. Reduce your mental and physical clutter.
- Learn and practice self-compassion.
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.
“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 using the four powerful tools in Nurturing Wellness through Radical Self-Care.” ― Janet Gallagher Nestor
4. Physical Self-Care Ideas
This aspect of self-care also overlaps with emotional and mental self-care. Physical self-care is simply a focus 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. 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. Social self-care focuses on skills to develop and maintain healthy relationships.
- 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
- 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. They reduce stress and connect us with nature. Some refer to nature as the old gods. But don’t stop. 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 these self-care ideas will help you create a plan that fits your lifestyle and needs. It’s important to remember that self-care 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 self-care plan around products. Your self-care focus needs to be on actions and behaviors that improve health. For the best results, use self-care ideas from each of the six groups.
Thanks for reading this article. We welcome your opinion, so don’t hesitate to comment or email us. We hope it provides some food for thought. You can find more mind-opening topics on our blog.
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(1) free language courses at duoling.com
(2) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia