Yoga, clean eating, going vegan, meditating… All very familiar things by now, owing their celebrity status to the buzzword of self-care.
We might be cynical because it has all turned into just another pop culture trend by this point, commercialized to death by the desire for profit, but as the saying goes, we shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bath water. There’s still some very good self-care advice out there, and VT have taken the time to compile the best.
Without further ado, here are some of the best self-care tips that really help:
1. Indulge yourself occasionally
Have you been pining for some special product, regardless of how shallow and unnecessary it may be? Maybe that new pair of shoes, or that book, or a watch? Treat yourself. Shopping feels good, but just make sure you don’t overdo it.
2. Do you have favorite things? Do them.
Rewatching your favorite movies, listening to that special song over and over, going for that childhood walk… If it brings you pleasure, it deserves to be done. You deserve it. Now go, do.
3. Dabble in art
Very few people are artistic geniuses, and you shouldn’t feel bad if you’re not the most creative type. But still, it will get your blood moving, your imagination ripe and boost your self-worth. So buy some colors and start splashing them. Do a kiddie drawing if you must, visit that poetry reading, write a poem, or take that pottery class… It’s incredibly therapeutic!
4. Try to consciously come up with things you are grateful for
It’s way too easy to get hooked on all the negative, and get stuck on all the things we lack. But that often leaves us emotionally drained and blind to everything we DO have. And a lot of what we have, we can be grateful for. A little bit of appreciation goes a long way and will take away all that stress.
5. Make one day the mental health day
If you really feel that intense need to take a day off, and can do it – then do it. Don’t think twice. Your mental health is much more important. Some peace and calm will help you gather yourself and regain focus. You can also do some of your favorite things – so the day off will turn into a great day off!
6. Make sure you engage in some physical activity
Most of us forget about this or downplay the effects that exercise has on our mental wellbeing. But a good exercise will blast you with a hit of feel-good endorphins which will make you sleep like a baby. Still, don’t force yourself into activities that you dislike, but try to pick something you can feel good about. That way, you’ll double the effects.
7. Allow yourself to try out a wellness “fad”
Sure, some wellness trends are just empty, ineffective fads, but others do have a real health benefit. So maybe gulp down that turmeric latte, or have that avocado toast, or dare to visit that local acupuncture salon. Chances are you’ll thank yourself for doing it.
8. Keep a diary
Writing a daily journal, especially in the morning, can be amazingly therapeutic. Regardless if it’s one, three, or five pages per day, make sure you try to always write at least a little bit every day. Often, it’s like talking to yourself, and sometimes you can discover things you didn’t even know were there.
9. Allow yourself to truly feel your feelings
Believe it or not, 99% of the time everyone’s going around doing this or that with all their feelings repressed and bottled up. And then when something happens and the floodgates open, we’re all taken aback. To prevent this, and just feel better in your own skin, allow yourself that good cry, or that intense shame to float up, or that worry to make itself know. Just don’t let it overtake you, but let it be there, and who knows – you may end up laughing in the end! So much of our worries and anxieties are made up and meaningless, but we never realize this because we keep them away from the light.
Let’s remember: even in the midst of our hectic lives, we are, ultimately, the masters of our own destiny. We can decide on everything – so why not decide in favor of ourselves, sometimes?
Eventually, others will thank you too.