Updated: Aug 19, 2019
We are living in a time where everyone is talking about “self-care”. Every person or self-help guru has their own ideas on what it is and why it is important. As a therapist I have helped clients learn how to practice self-care for years and am able to tailor a personalized plan to fit into my client’s lifestyle. Everyone is unique and has different day to day jobs, duties, or requirements that need to get done. Going to yoga or taking a lavender bath does not work for everyone and sometimes we should try multiple self-care activities to feel better. However, many people think only of physical self-care and neglect the other aspects of it.
The way I define self-care is the process of actively engaging to preserve and or protect your overall wellness, health, and life satisfaction. In times of high stress, it is imperative to practice self–care to prevent sickness, being burnt out, mood swings, intense and overwhelming emotions, and other physical/mental/and emotional problems. When we practice self-care repeatedly and consistently, we actively combat stress and other mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Mental health relapses occur when stress is high, and self-care is low. Many people sacrifice self-care to help others or engage in other activities in their daily living. It is essential that you make self-care a priority in your life and strive to practice it every day. In the beginning it may be difficult get into a self-care routine because self-care tends to be the first thing we stop doing when stressed or overwhelmed and the hardest routine to implement back into our day to day life once we perceive life as “okay.”
Self-care can be broken into PHYSICAL, MENTAL, EMOTIONAL, SPIRITUAL, SOCIAL AND PERSONAL. Many therapists and self-help gurus have different categories, but these are the main ones I have personally observed during people’s struggle. Below are a few activities or acts you can do for each self-care category. Pick a few from each category and try to implement one or more daily into your routine.
There are so many more things you can do to practice self-care in each category. I am aware that it is hard to practice some of these when your mental health is struggling. I will be writing a blog about what to do on the days when you have no energy or lack of motivation. I hope this list helps you to kickstart your self-care practice!