It’s an established fact that self-care is essential for physical and mental health alike. Not only does it make us feel happier, but it translates into more effective work, productivity, and longevity. But what is self-care, actually? Well, it depends on the person. Self-care means different things to different people, depending on what’s important to them. There are lots of options out there worth exploring.
For some people, getting out and about and interacting with others is energizing, grounding, and rejuvenating. If you’re one of these people, try organizing weekly outings with friends. Perhaps you form a team and compete each week at a local bar’s trivia night. Maybe you start a team–you can even include friends who are far away!–and promote a spirit of friendly competition. Maybe you can join a volunteering organization that meets weekly or monthly and participate in events. That sense of giving back will compound with the social element to create a truly fulfilling experience.
In a society that increasingly focused on consumerism, you may find that you need to express yourself and create something. There are all kinds of projects out there that will give you an end product to be proud of. Why not make regular time to paint, sculpt, or draw? Cook a fun meal every few days–one that you’re really interested in making, not just something functional. Perhaps there’s a new dish you’ve been wanting to try. Maybe you haven’t played with your smart oven yet and figured out all its features. Make the time to do it! If you love to act–or help out behind-the-scenes–get involved with a local theatrical club.
It may take up a bit of your time, but you’ll create a performance in the end that you’ll be proud of. Maybe you are interested in woodcarving–why not take a class? And it doesn’t matter if you feel like you’re good at these things; what matters is the act of making the time for yourself to do something that matters to you and brings you joy.
If you’re a person with a hectic lifestyle, time in quiet and stillness may be what your head and heart need. Wind-down time is a type of self-care that should probably happen every day. The hour before bed, turn off electronic devices. Snuggle up by a lamp with some tea and read, write, or do a crossword puzzle. Let yourself decompress. You might slice out 20 minutes in the middle of each day for meditation a tiny nap. If you need a major wind-down, try out the spa or go get a massage. Taking the time to decompress can do wonders.
You may take this time to invest in spiritual practices as well. Spiritual people really feel it when they aren’t able to dedicate time and energy toward their beliefs. If you’re one of these folks, practice the self-care of spirituality, whether it’s reading, praying, practicing yoga, or simply enjoying nature.
Perhaps you’re a person who feels best when you are styled, clean, and well. If this is the case, you might schedule in a monthly manicure or hair appointment. Stay looking and feeling your best! Be sure to exercise regularly. You’ll feel energized and confident in your body, and you’ll know you’re doing something good for your health. Additionally, exercise releases endorphins, so you’ll chemically feel better as well!