Guest Article is written by Brad Krause at Selfcaring.info.
When was the last time you did something with the sole purpose of improving your own mental well-being? When was the last time you did something to take care of yourself without any other qualifications? If you have to think about those questions for more than a few seconds, you need to focus on prioritizing self-care. You’ll be healthier, happier, and a better partner, friend, and parent too. Here are some ways you can start.
1.Cook yourself a real meal. If you live a busy life that finds you eating infrequently, unhealthily, or in a rush (sometimes all three!), you’re doing yourself a disservice. Taking the time to cook a proper meal for yourself is not only relaxing but it gives you all the benefits of healthy food (mind and body). Cooking can be both fast and healthy.
2.Practice meditation. Very few things help you relax more than meditation, and it doesn’t have to be a huge thing. Try one of these five-minute guided programs.
3.Go to bed. Sleep deprivation will harm your mental health faster than almost anything else. Truly focusing on getting good, quality sleep is a vital act of self-care.
4.Spend time outside. Vitamin D (which you produce in sun exposure) is important to maintaining good mental health and fighting the symptoms of depression. Not only that, but the simple act of being in nature has a calming and restorative effect on your mind and body. Take a walk, a hike, or just sit on a park bench.
5.Play some basketball. Part of proper self-care is being able to reduce stress through exercise, and it’s even better if you can incorporate some family time into the mix. Consider putting up a basketball goal at home so this can be a regular way for you to practice self-care and family bonding. The best basketball hoops (such as those in this guide) will be durable, not too expensive, and will be easy to put together.
6.Turn off your phone. Proper self-care often means tuning out the outside world where your many responsibilities and obligations exist. You need some time every day when you don’t have to worry about someone else calling you with a request or something from work ruining your tranquility. Some might call it a “digital detox.”
7.Stimulate your senses. Your brain has to deal with a lot of stress and anxiety on one end and quite a bit of monotony on the other. Self-care means giving your mind something to be happy about. You can do this by stimulating your senses. Light some aromatherapy candles or work with essential oils. Eat a sweet treat (in moderation). Listen to beautiful music, take a warm bath, or watch a sunset or take in some art. You can even stimulate your senses in the office if you must!
8.Laugh a little (or a lot). Laughter may not be the best medicine, but it certainly helps to boost your overall mental and physical health. Self-care can mean giving yourself the opportunity to drop all pretense and simply yuk it up every day. Watch a funny movie or TV show. Tell a joke. If you’re smiling and laughing, you’re taking care of yourself.
According to Psychology Today, “incorporating self-care every day helps to serve as an armor to protect the energy that we need in order to survive and thrive.” Life is hard, and every stress wears you down. Focus on yourself. Build up resistance to life’s hardships with daily acts of self-care. Below long, you’ll enjoy all of those positive benefits.