I’ve been prioritizing self-care in my life and while I indulged in some practices that I never have before, I’ve also gone to old reliables that make me feel fulfilled. If you are looking to be more attentive to self-care, I found these practices were some of the best:
I’m a writer by nature so I love to put pen to paper. When I write down my thoughts and feelings I feel like I process things better, gain more perspective and self-awareness. It also helps me release what things may be bothering me and keep track of the blessings, achievements and good things in my life to be grateful for and look back on. Journaling to me is written therapy and nothing helps you process what life is throwing at you then by writing and reflecting on it.
If you haven’t tried reflexology before, I highly recommend it. My main disclaimer, however, is that there can be some pain involved. To sum up the practice, reflex points in the feet are worked to relieve tension. Each area of the foot corresponds with a separate part of the body and the practice has been found to relieve tension and cure illnesses. After my first time, I was hooked and now when I need a sudden boost, reflexology is my go-to to physically feel better. Think of it as the release of tension throughout your body, nothing screams better physical self-care than that!
Conversations with God are possibly the easiest form of self-care. Driving to work, cooking dinner, or taking a shower are all ordinary times that you can add a good chat with the Big Guy Upstairs. I found my favorite time to talk to God is when I’m driving. I get to catch Him up on my day, what I’m struggling with, what I need His strength and help with. I get to pour my heart out to what may seem like an empty car, but somehow I feel like I’m being listened to. If you aren’t a religious or spiritual person, I’d suggest meditation which is a very close practice to active prayer. Prayer is a nice way of vocalizing your worries and getting them off your chest, and your blessings to stay grateful and humble. Staying grounded and aware through prayer is a phenomenal form of self-care.
4.) Massage Therapy
I recently went for a deep tissue massage (also painful at times) but found that the knots in my muscles are gone and I felt a helluva lot more relaxed and moveable afterward. We tend to carry our stress in our muscles. Mine mainly exists in my neck and shoulders and has even traveled throughout my back. But I could feel that tension release after a good massage. It’s kind of scary to think of how the stress that cooks up in our minds affects us physically and so a good practice like massage therapy that releases the tension (and knots) of our stress can not only help us relax but undo some damage!
I love yoga and I know it is not for everyone. But there is something to be said about a physical exercise that meets mental relaxation in a perfect marriage. I’m still a yoga novice, but in the few classes I’ve taken, I leave feeling like my body is a rubber band (that’s a good thing!) and my mind is clear. The slightest thought of something aside from the pose you’re engaging in and may leave you face-first on the mat in front of you. It sounds tough, but it isn’t. The practice requires such mindfulness and focus that you are forced to not think of anything. It’s a very freeing exercise both physically and mentally. You get a great workout while escaping the outside world – and that sounds pretty amazing to me.
Back at my old job we had a Walk Club and FitBit competitions to see who could garner the most steps in a workweek. While it was competitive then, I’ve tried to keep some movement in the form of walking going at a more leisurely pace. I’ve found walks around the block, or through a park are the most captivating. Getting to feel the breeze, while seeing sights and sounds of nature is pretty invigorating. I’ll even listen to a good podcast alongside. In the simple act of walking, you allow your body to simply move. To me, movement is a key stimulation for our minds and our bodies and connecting the two is a great practice in self-care.
While assembling new bedroom furniture was a frustrating experience, the act of cleaning, organizing and getting rid of things is pretty incredible. When the physical space around you is clean and organized, I swear it determines how clean your internal space is, too. When you can get rid of some of your clutter, and get the dust out of the room, you are surrounded by cleanly goodness and you will feel better as a result. The feeling of new furniture, ridding myself of old unused things and a clean space made me feel accomplished and lighter – two great signs of good self-care.
One of the most relaxing activities is reading. What sounds better than crawling into bed grabbing your book and just reading a chapter or two? I’ve found myself reading more and more because I’ve made it a nighttime ritual. I find that not only am I learning more and feeling more creative as a result, but I find that I’m more relaxed before bed and sleep better when I read beforehand. Stimulation for the creative mind and a good night’s sleep are just two great benefits of this self-care practice.
9.) Acts of Kindness
While self-care is all about being better to yourself, there is something to be said for the good feeling you get when helping others. It can be volunteering your time to the needy or helping someone at work who doesn’t understand something. I’ve found that the random acts of kindness you perform make you feel really good when you walk away. The simplest of acts can change a person. You may have given someone a smile on a bad day because you covered their coffee in the drive-thru, or maybe you gave them a chance when no one else did. Never count out how good you can feel by making someone else feel good, first.
Are there practices of self-care you swear by that I should try out or you want others to know about? Feel free to share your best self-care practices by commenting below!
Also feel free to read about the 6 Important Lessons About Self-Care in order to ensure you make the most of being better to yourself!