10 Self Care Tips
Each of us is responsible for our own wellbeing both mentally and physically. The more aware we are or can become about our own needs the more we can take action towards keeping ourselves healthy. It can be a challenge to make time for ourselves and to take care of ourselves. If we brush aside our needs, assuming we will get to it “someday” the slope is slippery and our mental and physical health can decline rapidly in a true crisis. If we are willing to do the work, before we encounter a true challenge or crisis, the upside is a balanced life full of health and happiness.
Here are 10 tips that act as a baseline for both mental and physical health.
- Prioritize sleep: Getting enough rest is crucial for mental health. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. A 15-20 Minute Nap can really help if you’re needing extra rest. Active recovery like meditation and yoga can help improve sleep.
- Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment. It can help reduce stress and anxiety. Try incorporating mindfulness techniques like deep breathing or meditation into your daily routine.
- Stay physically active: Exercise is a great way to boost mood and reduce stress. Find a physical activity you enjoy and make it a part of your routine. Simple but effective options like a 30-minute walk can help to clear your head, improve your cardiovascular fitness and have a positive effect on resting heart rate and heart rate variability.
- Connect with others: Social connections can improve mental health. Make time to connect with family and friends, whether it’s through phone calls, video chats, or in-person interactions. Find activities you enjoy and invite a friend along. It’s important to find joy in these connections. Avoid emotional dumping. If you need to talk about life’s challenges, it’s a good practice to ask for permission to share and to set expectations like, “I don’t need advice right now, I just need someone to listen” or “could you listen while I talk through what’s going on with me?” Remember to honor and accept others boundaries too. It’s easier for loved ones to hold space if we are clear about what we need.
- Take breaks: It’s important to take breaks throughout the day to prevent burnout. Schedule short breaks throughout the day to recharge. Make a cup of tea, read something uplifting, write in a journal, sit quietly, focus on your breathing.
- Practice self-compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and understanding. Practice self-compassion by acknowledging your struggles and treating yourself with the same kindness you would offer a friend.
- Set boundaries: Setting boundaries is important for protecting your mental health. Learn to say no to commitments that are not essential and prioritize your own needs.
- Seek support: It’s okay to seek support when you need it. Reach out to a mental health professional, coach, friend (who is emotionally available) or support group for help.
- Engage in activities you enjoy: Take time to engage in hobbies and activities you enjoy. Doing things you love, can boost mood and improve mental well-being.
- Take care of your physical health: Physical health and mental health are closely linked. Make sure to take care of your physical health by eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, exercising 3-4 times a week. Consult a physician if you have questions about your physical health.
These tips can be looked at as a practice or something we want to get good at. Simple is best. If we try to change everything all at once we usually give up. It seems overwhelming to change many things in our lives all at once. If we take it a little at a time, we can see improvements and over time we become comfortable with the new routines.
The goal is to improve a little each day.