Have you ever heard someone say, “This isn’t good for my mental health” or “I’ve not been paying attention to my self-care routine” and you’re probably wondering what self-care is and what makes it so important? Why is this relevant to your mental health and how can you practice good self-care?
So many questions, but hey! That’s why I’m here, innit?
Self-care makes us be us. It is what you do that makes you, you! Confused much? Well, in simpler terms, self-care is more than just taking care of your physical health. In fact, just eating healthy is no longer enough to be recognized as “self-care”.
Self-care is whatever you engage in that also takes care of your mental and emotional health. It’s that thing you do for you. And that’s what makes it so important. It’s not really called ‘self’ care if it’s not for you, is it?
That being said, you would definitely agree with me how important your self-care should be to you but sadly, we often tend to overlook it. This is why I’ve decided to call your attention to it in this blog post (at least that’s what I’m trying to do *chuckles*).
There are a lot of self-care practices to engage in. It could be taking time off social media maybe due to the negative news going on as it is currently, it could also mean watching very nice movies, cartoons inclusive, heck! Some of us even do yoga or work out at the gym. It counts! You guys, I could go on and on.
Finding Or Knowing The Right Self-Care Practice To Engage In
Well, one thing I know for sure is that it definitely needs to make you happy. If it doesn’t, what’s the whole point?
So when you’re unsure what works for you or what doesn’t, here’s a list of things you might wanna consider when deciding what self-care practice to engage in. It might require you to do a bit of self-digging, soul searching.
Do you like it?
Do you like meditating? Do you like cycling? Some activities may be good for your general well-being, but it’s not “self-care” if you actually hate them. It’s imperative that whatever practice you decide to engage in for your self-care, you should like them.
Does it make you happy?
If it makes you happy, there’s a high probability that you enjoy doing it. And if you enjoy doing it, it would come to you naturally, no pressure. For example, how do you feel when you go for a long walk? Happy, relaxed? Or do you just feel tired and can’t get to do anything after?
Some people come up with good ideas after taking a walk. It is normal to feel tired after a long walk (we’re not Superman or Wonder woman) but if you discover that nothing good comes out of taking a long walk for you, then, it isn’t the right self-care practice for you. The same thing goes into other things. If it doesn’t make you feel good or refreshed or relaxed, then look into other things to engage in.
Is it something you’ll have no problem being consistent with?
Self-care isn’t something you do once, and that’s it. The key to a good self-care routine is consistency. You have to be consistent with it.
Why is your self-care important?
There are so many benefits that you can get from practising good self-care. They are so many but I’ll try as much as possible to summarize them below. So here goes:
- It helps you remind yourself and other people that you and your needs are important too. Sometimes, putting the needs of other people first can get overwhelming, and more often than not, all you need to do might be to take a step back, take care of yourself, and when you feel all relaxed and refreshed to continue, pick up from where you left off.
Self-care is important to remind you that ‘Hey! I’m also human and I’ve got needs too’.
- Having a great self-care routine boosts your self-confidence and produces positive feelings. You might be feeling all sad and gloomy one day, and the next (when you’ve done something to take care of yourself of course), you’ll be so positive and so confident that you’ll get people talking about you.
Positive feelings bring about good energy and good energy my friends, is something you can’t hide. It will spread even to others.
- You get more productive and creative. We all know that being productive is to our advantage. I have a blog post on 10 apps that helps me to be productive. You can check it out.
Self-Care Practices To Engage In
I’ll be listing some of the self-care practices you can engage in. Like I said earlier, there are so many self-care practices to engage in and I can’t possibly list them all. Some of you can relate to the ones I’ll be listing while some of us are total strangers to them. Nevertheless,
- Taking time off social media
Honestly guys, lately, being on social media is so overwhelming. Bad news everywhere! From the killing of innocent blacks to rape of young girls, argh! A little time off social media might not be such a bad idea after all. It doesn’t make you insensitive or whatever.
- Taking a long, warm bath
A wise man once said, “Never underestimate the power of a long warm bath” (Uhmn. That wise man would be me). But jokes aside, as simple as this may sound, sometimes, it might be all you need. You might have been stressed from work all week. Imagine getting a long warm bath maybe on a Saturday morning. Just imagine!
- Taking a nap
Okay, I know this might sound funny. Taking naps especially in between work makes you feel refreshed and you’ll find it easy to continue with work, rather than putting your brain under pressure. Most times, in between work, if I feel the need to take a nap, even if it’s for 15 minutes, I usually take it.
- Give yourself a manicure.
I enjoy doing this one. I cannot explain how calm it makes me. This right here requires a lot of concentration. I mean, who wants a messy manicure anyways? Here’s a post on how to do your nails yourself at home
- Watch your favorite movie.
And if you don’t have one, or can’t decide, I have some videos suggestions for you on Netflix
- Light a candle.
If you know me, you’ll know I’m a sucker for aromatic candles. Try lighting one and tell me what you think. I don’t want to say much.
The list goes on and on but the key is to find something that makes you happy, something you can do consistently without coercion, and doing it whenever you feel the need to. Anything that helps keep you you.
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Which of these self-care practices that I’ve mentioned do you engage in? Are there others that you also engage in and I didn’t mention? Do tell me. I could also learn a thing or two. Leave a comment and don’t forget to share.