In your busy life, do you often forget to take care of yourself? Remember, you can never pour from an empty cup. Take good care of yourself first, so that you get the energy to take care of everyone and every other aspect of your life.
Here are 15 self-care ideas & thoughts for you to practise!
1. Eat healthy food often, eat happy food once in a while.
Eating healthy food, no doubt, is important for the body. Eating happy food once in a while is important for the soul too, don’t neglect that!
What would your sinful indulgence be? Mine is Mcdonald’s. Despite being fully aware that it’s not the healthiest choice, every now and then, I’ll enjoy my favourite spicy burger. Afterwards, my mood will be a little better!
2. Sleep well, sleep enough.
There’re many studies that share about how you should sleep 6/7/8 hours a night. I don’t have a conclusion for my sleep intake, but I try to sleep at least 7 hours daily. In terms of health, it’s good advice to rise with the sun, so you might like to try it. I have a long way to work on that though – I sleep way too late every night!
As much as you can, the sleep should be quality sleep. I switch my phone on Airplane mode late at night, which also blocks all notifications and prevents me from accessing social networks. It also ensures I won’t wake up with notifications greeting me when I open my eyes to touch the phone.
If going off mobile feels too extreme for you, for iPhone-users, there’s a “Do Not Disturb” mode which silences all calls and alerts. You can set it such that people in your Favorite list can still call through, or repeated calls will not be silenced.
3. Stretch to make space.
Stretchhhh. Your body needs to move.
Give yoga a try with a Downward Dog pose. From the side view, it looks like an inverted V, but don’t get too hung up about the shape because that’s not the purpose. The more important intention of this pose is to stretch out your spine. Squeeze your shoulders downwards away from your neck, fingers spread wide open and pressing firmly onto the ground, hands stretched but don’t lock the elbows. Keep your knees bent if your heels can’t touch the floor yet.
4. Take a time-out & do something you enjoy.
Perhaps it’s just quiet time to enjoy your favourite tea at leisure, or do a craft project such as crocheting or painting, or take a short painting workshop, go to a spa for aromatherapy and massages, or even read a novel you’ve been putting off for a long time!
Therapeutic activities do wonders for your spirit!
5. Try your best for today and be done with it.
Don’t finish today what you can do tomorrow. Yep, it’s the complete opposite of what people say, “Don’t do tomorrow what you can finish today.” Things will never be finished, therefore what’s done is completed. I learned this wisdom from my life mentor. Being a workaholic and a creativity addict, this is very challenging for myself to achieve too, so take things with an open mind and give yourself a break when needed.
6. Take a social media detox.
Have you tried staying off social media for a day or a weekend before? Try it, log out, it’ll will feel very different, I promise. Your mind will feel less flustered, which means better mental energy. You’ll suddenly discover a lot more spare time too!
7. Go to a place that brings you peace.
It might be the park, the beach, or even a forest. Go somewhere safe that’s isn’t lurking with ill-intentioned people, then mindfully soak in the peace and quietness.
8. Feeling annoyed? Find healthy outlets to release the frustration.
The key terms are “healthy outlet”. If you really need to vent verbally, approach a good friend who’s either really forgetful or does an amazing job at detaching. I will never suggest ranting on social media, unless you have mastered certain skills. Careful to not let your anger turn you into a mean monster and also leave evidence for people to use against you in the future.
Here’s a suggested method: Scribble your annoyance onto paper and tear it up!
9. Rise above trivialities and pettiness.
There will be people who’ll always drive you up the wall with their words, behaviour and trouble they cause. You hold the power to limit the damage. How? By not allowing it to spread.
Did someone say something to provoke you? If you tell someone else about what he/she said or did, you would have allowed that person to get on your nerves a total of three times. Makes sense?
Let that shit go.
Rise above trivial matters and pettiness.
10. Protect your space.
The space you need to protect include your physical space, as well as the inner aspects – emotional and mental.
Avoid people who speaks rubbish, or the ones that always put you down no matter what you do, or people whose behavior make your head feel like it’ll explode soon. Definitely stay away from people always speaks ill about others. Keep away from the ones that treat others badly, or if you can, stand up for justice.
If, for certain reasons, you’re stuck with toxic people, remember: you’re not a sponge. Don’t absorb the toxin. Also, you can always walk away.
11. Practise deep breathing, or try meditation.
Meditation is tough and also requires a lot of self-discipline. My mentor likes to say, if you’re busy, meditate for 10 minutes. If you’re extremely busy, meditate for one hour. For newbies, think of meditation as going to sit for a few minutes and just simply taking deep breaths. Sometimes, I purposely choose yoga classes where I know the teacher will include breathing exercises (pranayama).
With that said, give Headspace or Calm apps a chance. I’ve tried these 2 apps and find each has their own advantages for newbie meditators.
| Also read: my Design Review of Headspace app! |
12. Give yourself a hug.
At one of his seminars, my mentor cheerfully put his arms around himself and embraced himself. As what he said, if you think it’s so silly to hug yourself, you definitely need to do that 😉
13. Connect with a dear heart.
We human beings are meant to be connected, to feel the warmth of real, sincere relationships. Simply catching up over a short conversation, can bring more benefits to your heart and soul than you realize.
14. Seek the things that make your heart expand.
It could be reading an article that shares a story about humanity. In this era, we’re still constantly bombarded by sensational news of disasters and tragedies, therefore this step requires strategic planning on your part.
15. Do something nice for another person.
Choose kindness, always. When you do something nice for someone else, the ripple effects of Kindness will always come back to you.
Hope you gained some benefits of self-care from this post!
This post was first published on my Medium page.
Image credits: Header image is by Agnieszka Boeske. Stretching photo is by Jacob Postuma • Coffee & book photo is by Anthony Tran
This post is adapted from my original article on Medium.
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