What is Self Care and How Can I Start?

Self care is a term that’s been thrown around a lot in the last few years, but what does it actually mean? By definition, self care is practicing behaviors and activities that are beneficial to both your physical and mental health. Self care, by all means, certainly isn’t selfish. In fact, it can help to strengthen your relationships and make you more equipped to take care of others. There are several ways in which you can practice self care from exercise to meditation. It’s simply about paying attention to your health and giving it the importance it needs.

  1. Benefits of Self Care
  2. How to Practice Self Care

Benefits of Self Care

Self care has various benefits for your mental health. It’s a way to reduce stress and take a break from the pressures of everyday life. If you dedicate a little time to taking care of yourself, by doing exercise or a creative hobby, for example, this will help to improve your mood and relieve tension. Hobbies are good for your overall mental well-being as they require a deep level of engagement and can also be very rewarding. It’s important to find the right activity that helps you relax and feel better inside and out.

How to Practice Self Care

  1. Journaling
Image of woman practicing self care by journaling.

Journaling has many benefits. By writing down your feelings, goals, and experiences you’ll be able to reflect on the past and develop a more positive outlook. It isn’t something you need to do every day, but it can be a great habit to include in your weekly routine. You could summarize what you’ve learned over the past week and this will give you motivation. Journaling can help you set and achieve realistic goals for the future.

  1. Getting enough sleep
Image of woman practicing self care by sleeping peacefully.

Sleep is an essential part of a healthy routine. You should aim to develop a regular sleep pattern to ensure you are energized throughout the day. A good night’s sleep is also beneficial for your mental health. It’s normally recommended to get between 7-9 hours of sleep a night, and to try to keep your bedtime and getting up time the same. If you have trouble sleeping you could try relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises or acupressure massage before bed. 

  1. Gardening
Image of woman practicing self care by indoor gardening.

Gardening can be such a relaxing hobby it’s commonly considered a wellness activity. There are several mental health benefits of gardening. It’s very calming and helps to relieve stress. Gardening takes a fair amount of work and this encourages you to engage your cognitive functions and develop useful skills such as problem-solving. A touch of greenery will also help to cleanse the air of your home. Plants help to create a relaxing atmosphere and they’re also great self care reminders. It can be very fulfilling taking care of plants and you’ll get immense satisfaction from it. This is why gardening is recommended as a therapeutic activity for those experiencing depression, stress, or anxiety. If you’re looking for a new hobby, gardening could be a wonderful way to practice self care, and you can literally enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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