Self-care is not a one time deal. It’s a set of actions you should be doing regularly, to care for yourself both mentally, physically and emotionally. Self-care isn’t limited to particular actions, or a particular timetable and is not set in stone. It is merely doing things to soothe your soul and make you feel good, so that during those bad, stressful days you can relax, and take time to let yourself breathe.
The best way to start is to incorporate small self-care habits to your everyday lifestyle. Little things that cost cheap and aren’t extremely time-consuming. As I promised in my previous blog “Self-care Part I”, I’ve compiled a list below which you are free to choose from if you wish. I’d love for you to also add to the list in the comment section below!
- Cloud watching: Lie down, relax and watch the sky. Not only would you relax, you’d also soak in some much needed Vitamin D from the sun. Just remember to put on sunscreen first!
- Meditate: Now you can either look into this more deeply, or do what I do which is practice deep breathing. Breathing deeply* in and out for just a few minutes really makes me feel relaxed and I’m often able to focus better on my work afterwards. [*Breathe into your abdomen, and let the air puff out your stomach and chest.]
- Take a new route to work, college, university, school: Sometimes even a small thing such as a change in routine can lift up your mood!
- Practice gratitude: Get a jar, and on a small slip of paper write down one thing you are grateful for. After a year is up, you can reread what you’ve written and (hopefully) you’d feel thankful about the blessings you have in life. I try to be grateful everyday because in my religion, there is a verse in the Qur’an that says, “Be grateful, and I will give you more,” and we believe that the more you practice gratitude the more blessing you will have, no matter how big or small.
- Be disconnected for an hour: Put your phone on airplane mode and disconnect yourself from social media. For that hour choose to immerse yourself in an activity that makes you happy, and enjoy yourself without the constant alerts and notifications from social media apps.
- Five minutes of play/dance: Schedule five minutes several times a day where you can either let loose with some dance moves or play around with something for a bit and just basically goof off and have fun.
- Write out your thought: Write for 15 minutes on something that bothers you. Then let it go as you rip or bin the paper.
- Treat your skin: Wear something that feels great against your skin. It sounds weird but I love wearing this really soft sweater I have. It just just feels nice and puts me in a good mood.
- Make a small positive change to your diet: Believe me when I say that I understand the struggles of constantly trying to eat healthy and feeling sad when you just can’t commit. Baby steps are important. Just incorporating something healthy into your diet can make you feel better, and motivated even if it’s as small as consuming more water every day.
- Stroke a pet: If you don’t have one, ask a friend who does!
- Peppermint: Whenever I smell peppermint, I don’t know why but it makes me feel happy. Out of curiosity I looked it up and it’s actually a thing. The scent of peppermint is known to make people’s moods improve. Peppermint tea is also amazing for all those tea lovers out there. It improves digestion, reduces pain, eliminate inflammation, relax the body and mind, cure bad breath, aids in weight loss and boosts the immune system.
- Take a quick nap: Sometimes taking a 10-20 minute naps leaves me feeling refreshed and ready for action.
- Beauty scavenger hunt: I got this tip online and basically every day on your usual commute to work, college, university, school, etc, you try to pick out five things you think are beautiful. What I mean by beautiful is whatever you consider beautiful. It doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to looks, but also actions, sounds, smells, the list goes on!
- Get positive feedback: Ask three good friends to tell you what they love about you.
- Reflection: Sometimes it’s important to reflect on yourself and think about your goals and decide whether you need to make adjustments to achieve them better or not. One thing I like to reflect upon is my goal of improving myself and being a better person. Every so often I like to ask myself, “Are you a better person than you were last week?” And if the answer is ‘No’, I think of ways to fix this.
- Take a home spa: Have a long bath or shower, sit around in your bathrobe, and do something that makes you happy.
- Mirror compliments: Every time you look into your bathroom mirror, vanity mirror, etc, smile and give yourself a compliment.
- Get out of your comfort zone: Even if it’s something small such as talking to someone at the bus stop.
These are just a few of my tips, I always like to switch up my self-care habits instead of limiting myself to just a few. I’m someone who gets bored easily! Again, I’d love to hear some of your self-care habits so feel free to drop some down below in the comments section!