7 Simple Self-Care Ideas For Everyone
Taking the time for self-care can help you recharge and find rest after a tough day. Activities like yoga, drawing, and meditating are popular forms of self-care, but there’s so much more to self-care than just that.
Self-care encompasses actions you take that help improve your mental health. It provides a sense of well-being to the practitioner. But, not all self-care practices are for everyone. If you need some zen in your life, try some of these popular ideas for self-care!
Research indicates that physical activity can reduce the effects of stress on the body. In addition, movement and exercise provide endorphins, happy hormones, to the body. Here are some ideas for active self-care:
- Exercise strengthens the mind as well as the body. Try going for a run, weight lifting, or doing some gentle stretching to help your body destress.
- Yoga can provide a happy medium between active self-care and meditation.
- Walking provides a low-impact way to get active without the rigor of exercise.
Meditation increases cognitive performance, lowers blood pressure, and improves emotional balance in practitioners. But there are more options in meditation than some “ooohms” and sitting cross-legged. Here are some ideas for meditation:
- Practice hatha yoga, which provides a slower practice that focuses on calm breathing.
- Practice deep breathing or diaphragmatic breathing to reduce stress.
- Tai chi provides active meditation, releasing physical stress, and improving stress management.
Sleep is essential to handling stress, reducing toxins in the body, and staying physically healthy. Unfortunately, most adults don’t get enough sleep, averaging 6.8 hours a night when they need at least 8. Here are some ideas on how to prioritize sleep as self-care:
- Disconnect from electronics one hour before bed. Electronics can stop the production of sleep hormones, making it difficult to fall asleep. So, turn off the television and computer, and don’t look at your phone right before bed.
- Sleep in a cool room. Humans sleep better in rooms around 68 to 72 degrees.
- Invest in a weighted blanket or weighted sleep mask. Weighted masks and blankets help users fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Art is a window into the soul. Engaging in artistic activities is proven to increase confidence and alleviate stress and anxiety. You don’t need an art class to get artsy; here are some ideas for art as self-care:
- Try a paint by numbers. Paint by numbers requires concentration and provides the therapeutic benefits and focus of meditation and the fun of painting.
- Invest in a self-care coloring book. These books come with motivational, funny, or inspiring quotes and pictures to color.
- Give air dry clay a try - you can make anything from keychains to bookmarks without needing to bake or having a pottery wheel on hand.
Set Work Boundaries
Establishing an excellent work-life balance and healthy boundaries is a form of self-care. While it might sound nontraditional, healthy boundaries can improve mental and emotional well-being. Here’s how to do it:
- Turn off work email or cell phones on the weekend or after work hours. Unless it’s an emergency, your work can wait until Monday.
- Don’t accept more work than you can actually handle. Balance your workload with your ability. It’s okay to say “no” or “not at the moment” for projects.
- Stick to your schedule. If your hours end at 5 p.m., don’t stick around until 6 p.m.
- Use your sick time and vacation time. You earned it; you should use it.
Connect With Nature
Science has proven that sunshine and exposure to nature improve our physical health and reduce anxiety and stress. Here are some ideas on how to connect with nature for self-care:
- Go for a walk through the local gardens.
- Listen to birdsong.
- Watch the sunrise or sunset with a cup of tea.
- Read your favorite book on the porch on a sunny day.
- Take your dog for a walk.
- Do yoga on the lawn.
- Take a run outside.
Self-expression of emotion can help alleviate the stress and negative feelings experienced in life. Here are some ideas for expressive self-care:
- Talk to a therapist. Yes, therapy is a form of self-care and provides tools and techniques for long-term emotional well-being and mental health.
- Write poetry. Poetry allows you to express emotions you can’t always say out loud.
- Scream or talk into a pillow about any negative feelings you have. The pillow won’t judge.
- Journal. A journal can have anything from your day-to-day activities to your deepest thoughts held in it. Use it to reflect on your day, your emotions, and your dreams.
Parting Thoughts On Self-Care
Taking the time for self-care does more than just provide a bit of relaxation; regular self-care improves your mental, emotional, and physical health too. Self-care is a personal experience, so make sure and explore some of the ideas mentioned and find what works best for you.