This month it is Mental Health Awareness Month in Australia. I wanted to publish a post relating to mental health every day of the month so that I can personally raise awareness. You can find all posts, posted & upcoming on my schedule. Even when we are not battling mental illness, it is important to practice self-care.
How often do you hear the phrase ‘look after yourself’ or ‘take care’? My bet is pretty often! Especially when friends & family can see that we are very busy either with work, family or multiple responsibilities. Often though, we are just given this warning/advice but no tips on how to actually do it, so I wanted to share 10 ways that you can practice care.
Shower or Have a Bath
One of the quickest things to do to look after yourself is to jump in the shower. Not to think of all the things you need to do but just to let the water run down your body. I prefer quite warm water but you may prefer cold. Just try and focus on the water rather than your thoughts. To slow down your mind even further, a bath might work better. You can use the bath as a pamper session or just lie there slowing down your brain. All of these are valid in practicing self-care and mindfulness.
Write in a Diary/Journal
You might not want to talk about your stresses but by writing them down, you are taking away some of the overwhelming aspects of it. It can also be useful to read it back and decide how to prioritise. Almost like a conversation with yourself. The act of writing forces our minds to slow down to get it down onto paper and anything that slows down a frantic, fast-paced mind is self-care. Racing minds are not productive minds.
Some people practice the meditative side, others stretch, others learn how to breathe and others do a combination. My preferred style is Yin Yoga. It is a slow yoga that focuses on holding the poses for a longer period of time. You could join a class or watch a youtube video to follow along with. All practices are valid but don’t turn it into a competition.
Read a Book
Either stick into fiction and escape for a few hours, grab a graphic novel if your concentration levels aren’t the highest or read a non-fiction book of inspiration. It is entirely your choice but we often don’t take the time as adults to read as much as we should because we ‘don’t have time’.
Graphic Novel Recommendations:
Eat a Healthy Meal
I love sugary food as much (if not more) than the next person but sometimes I just need something plainly healthy. My go-to healthy meal is plain chicken breast, boiled potatoes, raw carrots & garden peas. Not the most interesting for some but it gives me everything I need. Also, choosing fruits as a snack such as pineapple or melon can be a nice change.
A few years ago, adult colouring books were a big trend. A lot of people still use them because they can work for some people. Self-care is about taking time out from what you think you need to do to do nothing in particular. Colouring in can be done for 20 minutes and can relax people even better than a massage!
Go For A Walk
A bit of light exercise and fresh air never hurt anyone. It doesn’t need to be a fast walk or in a certain direction. You don’t need to do a step-count or distance competition. Just walking to get some fresh air through your lungs can make the world of difference. Get closer to nature & you’ll feel closer to your centre.
Log Out of Social Media
Social Media has a lot of positives but it can also be sensory overload and encourage being ‘on’ all the time with FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). A big part of self-care is the ability to switch off but when we are logged into social media on our phones, we increase the need to check! Some people I know delete their social media apps off their phone, that way they can only access it on a desktop computer so they check it less per day.
Create a Music Playlist
Listening to music is self-care and discovering new music can make us happy so creating a playlist can combine the two and leave us with a finished result that we can keep coming back to. Music is powerful.
Doing good and helping your community can boost personal feelings of worth. It is doubly beneficial because you will feel better about yourself and you’re helping someone who really needs it?
How do you practice self-care?