There are many ways to practice self-care, and it can be overwhelming to read the all of the self-care tips and information found online. It is important to note that there is no absolutely right or wrong way to practice self-care. We need to find what works for each of us on our own, based on our personal traits, lifestyles, etc.
Your body is different from those around you. Some people want to talk about their feelings to relieve stress, while others prefer exercise as a stress reliever. Some need 10 hours of sleep to feel rested, while others can run on 6 hours or fewer.
Make sure to sleep.
Sleep is very important. Adults on average need 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day. Lack of sleep causes tiredness and difficulty focusing. It is also important to limit the intake of caffeine and sugar, as well as the use of phones at night in order to fall asleep better.
Move your body and exercise.
Exercise makes you feel more motivated and less stressed. You do not have to go to the gym to exercise; try going for a walk or run in your neighborhood for 30 minutes or follow a workout video at home. Explore different workout routines or exercises and find out what works for you.
What we eat also plays an important role in maintaining our well-being. If we eat more junk food or sweets and less vegetables, our bodies will react accordingly. Make more meals at home and stay away from packaged food so you can observe what is going into your body.
Remember to say no.
It is difficult to say no to plans with friends or cancel plans. However, it is important to say no to people and plans activities you prefer not to do if you need that time to wind down and recharge. Turn off your phone and laptop, read something, clean your home. Go for a walk to take a break from the hours of homework. Take a break from social media! It is important to take conscious breaks as well. Not having enough breaks can lead to emotional and physical burnouts and mental distress.
Messy places, messy minds. The messier our minds are, the more stressed we feel. Clean your room and declutter. When you know what you have in your room or fridge, you have better ideas about what you need when you go to the store. If you have a clean room, you can skip the unnecessary panic of thinking you lost your keys or wallet in the mess!
Use a calendar, notes, and reminders. Mark important dates on your calendar, such as due dates for your assignments, exams, and appointments. Use this to plan your days and weeks accordingly, and remember to mark some time off for yourself!
Let your emotions out.
Watch movies or TV shows that make you cry and/or laugh. Express yourself through writing, painting or singing. If you feel comfortable, talk to your family, friends, colleagues or someone else you trust and let everything out. The more we hold onto our emotions, the more overwhelmed we feel. Remember to let loose.
Loving yourself can be hard sometimes, especially when you make mistakes or failures you did not anticipate. You can get so much advice from people around you, whether they are your family, friends, classmates, coworkers or not. What you think about yourself can affect your mood. At the end of the day, you are your own cheerleader. It’s important to keep the following in your mind:
– Be kind and gentle to yourself.
– Know and embrace your strengths.
– Do what makes you happy.
Here is a mini worksheet you can use to start practicing self-love. As a start, think about what makes you happy. Is it a compliment you recently received from your friend? Is it your most recent test that you got a good grade on? Make a habit of writing down these moments of appreciation and gratitude.
Davis, T. (2018, December 28). Self-Care: 12 Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself. https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/click-here-happiness/201812/self-care-12-ways-take-better-care-yourself
Michael, Raphailia MA (2018, July 8). What Self-Care Is – and What It Isn’t. https://psychcentral.com/blog/what-self-care-is-and-what-it-isnt-2/