What is self-care?
Self-care is a deliberate effort to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, or spiritually. When you make an effort to prioritize your needs, it’s not selfish – it’s smart. Caring for yourself may not come intuitively, but it’s essential so you can feel good. When you neglect yourself, it will come out in other ways. You may start to feel resentful toward people you are sacrificing yourself for, and that’s not good. You could end up feeling physically and emotionally exhausted. Here are some simple ways you can engage in self-care.
Have some quiet time
Take a small amount of time to read a book, write in a journal, meditate, take a nap, or go for a quiet walk. Having time where you are free from obligations and can embrace silence can feel freeing. You don’t have to be “on” all the time. You may be thinking, “I’m too busy to set aside time to be quiet.” It doesn’t take a lot of time. You can put aside 10 minutes to write each day, which will help you feel better.
Pet your animals
Animals are great comforts to us when we’re feeling anxious, stressed, or depressed. One thing you can do to take care of yourself is pet your cat or take your dog for a walk. You are caring for another living creature, but it’s also comforting to you. When you take your dog to the park, it’s a small victory. You can feel good about the fact that you cared for them, and it’s also a way for you to get out of the house and get some fresh air. It’s a win/win situation; your dog gets to play, and you get to clear your mind.
Eat something you love
What’s your favorite meal? Make it for yourself. Cooking can be healing if you enjoy it. If you don’t like to cook, take yourself out for dinner or dessert. Think about what makes you happy to eat and enjoy it. Maybe you love to make salads. Perhaps you adore brownie sundaes. It’s okay to treat yourself once in a while. Choosing a food you love is simple, but can make you feel cared for and loved.
If you’re an artistic person, creating something can make you feel good about yourself. If you like to paint, take out some watercolors and make a painting. If you enjoy acting, use your smartphone and take a video of yourself doing a monologue. Some people love singing, and that’s something that you can do anywhere. Whatever makes you feel creative, engage in that activity. You don’t have to be an artist to create. You can make things recreationally too. It can feel therapeutic to doodle or color in a coloring book or on an app. Creating something can make you feel accomplished and calm.
Taking care of yourself in therapy
Another way to care for yourself is to seek the guidance of mental health professionals. The psychology of self-care is something a therapist understands and can show you. Whether you are working with someone online or in your local area, it’s essential to care for your mental health. Your therapist can help you learn coping skills and strategies for self-care. Sometimes it’s challenging to learn to care for yourself, especially if you’re used to caring for others. With the right mental health professional, you can get the support to learn how to change patterns that aren’t serving you. Self-care is possible, and you deserve good things in your life.
About the Author:
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.