Right now many of us are hitting a wall and being forced to rediscover how important self care is in our lives. When everything else in our lives feels uncertain it is important that we incorporate practices of self care that help us center ourselves and feel grounded. What might self care look like today for you? The good news is many self care practices are cheap or free and can be done with little to no equipment. Self care does not have to mean spending a ton online or setting aside whole days for a retreat. The best self care practices are those which are small enough that we can incorporate them throughout our day, and can be done each and every day.
We live in a time when the most social interaction we get most days are via zoom calls. This has led some of us to not spend as much attention to how we look. While comfort will always have its place there have been studies that have shown that going the extra mile for our appearance can help our overall mental health. This might look like putting on a nice outfit, using edge gel or a bit of makeup, or even putting on one or two meaningful pieces of jewelry. The key to remember is it does not matter if anyone else is going to see you in the end taking care of our appearance will make us feel better about ourselves. Do not wait until someday in order to feel beautiful or powerful, you can feel those things today.
Mindfulness is a simple self care practice that anyone can do no matter what is happening in their life. Mindfulness involves taking the time to really be aware of what is going on around you. This might look like sitting and listening to the sounds all around you, lighting a candle and taking time to really smell it, or slowly eating a piece of chocolate and savoring each and every bite. Mindfulness is one way to find inner peace, but it is not the only one. Some people find that sitting does not work for them so they choose a movement based mindfulness practice such as yoga. Others find meditation or breathing exercise can help. In the end there is no right or wrong way to be mindful so take a deep breath and let yourself enjoy a bit of self care.
Journaling is a great self care practice. You do not have to have a fancy notebook filled with quotes or prompts instead you can use any paper you have lying around. Scientific studies have shown journaling has many benefits including being able to boost mindfulness, memory and communication skills as well as lead to better sleep, a stronger immune system, more self-confidence and sometimes even a higher I.Q. That is a lot of benefits from a practice that anyone can do. Journaling helps us be able to get the thoughts that are running around our head out, and in the process of getting these thoughts out we often learn about ourselves. In addition, sitting down and journaling about a challenge we are facing or an experience we are having, can often surprisingly lead to solutions we could not see before.
Talking To Others.
Especially right now it is important that we find ways to stay connected to others. For some this is having regular virtual game nights, book clubs or social hours with friends. For others this is finding a good therapist (many who will meet via telehealth) who will allow them to process everything that is going on. For some it is connecting to a social group which is centered around a love of a show, a passion for a hobby, or a career goal. For still others communication comes in a more traditional package and might include sending cards or care packages to others because even today with many forms of quick communication everyone loves getting something meaningful in the mail. While it is very easy to fall into bad habits and find ourselves very isolated it is important that we make the effort to connect to others.