Self-Care: 6 Ways You Can Take Better Care of Yourself
By Zack Halliwell
The concept and idea of self-care is one which we are hearing more and more of these days, but so many of us are still confused as to what it actually means and how it can benefit us on a daily basis. Self-care is a generalised term which is used to describe the things you do for yourself which make you feel good.
From picking up your favourite coffee on the way to work or booking a spontaneous trip at the end of a busy and stressful week, these are all things that can improve our mood and mindset almost instantly. However, these aren’t suitable for long-term benefits and, whilst self-care activities are crucial to our mental health and emotional wellbeing, they don’t set the path for us to prioritise ourselves and making sure you are the best “you” possible. So, if you are wanting to take better care of yourself, here are 4 things you can do to boost your mental wellbeing.
Change Your Mindset
It is hard to feel happy and fulfilled when you are constantly focusing on the negatives going on in your life. But why? This is because where your focus is, so is your energy. Instead of focusing on what is wrong, you must learn to adopt a positive mindset. This is one of the most important life-altering self-care ideas you can adopt. Reframing your thoughts and moving your focus is a practice which takes time, but if you are able to accomplish it, then you will experience greater joy and feelings of fulfilment in almost all areas of your life.
Eat a Nutritious Diet
Many self-care tips which focus on foods tend to be centred around things such as cupcakes, a big juicy steak or a bag of your favourite sweets or chocolates. Whilst it is definitely beneficial to treat yourself every once in a while, it may be worth shifting your food-centred self-care thoughts to healthier and more sustainable foods, both for your physical and mental well-being.
Leafy greens, fresh fruit and colourful vegetables will all give you a much longer-lasting energy boost and make you feel stronger and healthier over time. Instead of seeing food as a treat or a reward, see it instead as a fuel which powers your body and use supplements and vitamins, such as high strength fish oil and digestive health capsules to further boost your feelings of wellbeing.
Instead of junk food, reward yourself with an activity you enjoy, such as reading a book uninterrupted for an hour or going on a walk through your favourite park. When it comes to food, treat yourself instead by going to a smoothie shop and trying a juice or smoothie which appeals to you, or spend an hour trying out a new recipe at home. It is important to understand that the food you eat has a direct effect on your energy levels and mood, as well as the quality of your life.
Learn to Say “No”
Knowing when to say “no” is perhaps one of the best self-care techniques you can adopt, but it is one which most people struggle with. Between your personal life and work, it might always feel like you are saying “yes” when people ask you for something. Sure, it can feel rewarding to have a calendar which is always full, but it is important to know when you should say “no”.
If you are feeling run-down or that you are spreading yourself thin, then give yourself the opportunity to indulge in the ultimate self-care luxury - downtime. By taking the time you need to recharge and refresh, you will re-centre your energy in order to be able to fully return to your usual schedule, with extra energy and motivation.
We often overlook the importance of physical health when we discuss our mental and emotional well-being and health, but the mind-body connection we have cannot be denied. When your body feels its strongest and healthiest self, then your mood naturally soars and, when you are in a good emotional state, this shows in the way that you move your body.
Make a point to properly and regularly engage in physical activities which you love, whether you go for a run, attend a relaxing yoga class or do a few laps around your local pool. Changing from a sedentary state to an active one is an easy and fulfilling way to take care of yourself. This doesn’t even need to be anything extremely strenuous, even just a walk during your dinnertime with a colleague whilst at work is a good way to use your dinner hour and re-energise and refocus for the afternoon ahead.
Whatever self-care practices you decide to apply to your lifestyle, be sure that they bring you some form of happiness. Forcing yourself to go for a jog every morning or eat platefuls of veg shouldn’t be on your to-do list if they make you miserable.
Zack Halliwell is a writer in the health and marketing niche, giving advice on anything from the perfect branding for to the latest thyroid support to industry updates. When not writing he can be found on long mountain walks with his dog, Batman.