What is “Self-Care”? As a definition, self-care is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health. When you think of taking care of your own health, does mental health come to mind? In the world we live in today, mental health is often an aspect of a person’s overall health that is forgotten. But did you know that if you aren’t taking care of your mental well-being, it can affect every area of your life? Physical, emotional, spiritual wellness can all be at risk if you aren’t also practicing self-care. Bottom line, self-care is necessary.
Self-care doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it can be something as little as taking a bath, going for a run, or cooking your favorite meal. Self-care is anything that puts your mind and body at ease, and helps you feel fulfilled. You know when you are feeling overwhelmed and just need a break? That is your body reminding you to practice self-care! Listen to what your body needs, and your overall health will thank you.
It is important to practice self-care routinely and consistently, not just when you feel like you are at the end of your rope. The more consistent you are at practicing self-care, the quicker your body will recognize it as a “good” thing, and allow you to relax. I like to schedule self-care practices into my week, so I know when to expect some time to unwind. Even if you are a busy person, there is always time to spare for your mental well-being. Just five minutes a week can make a world of a difference, and the more the better! Check out the list below on some self-care ideas, and feel free to come up with your own. Self-care is what you make it, and as long as it makes you feel good and fulfilled, you will be heading in the right direction!
Ideas and Inspiration for Self-Care:
- Going for a walk
- Going for a run
- Petting your cat or dog
- Pampering yourself
- Taking a long, hot bath
- Sitting outside in the sun
- Taking the long way home to enjoy the views
- Listening to music
- Getting a manicure or pedicure
- Playing basketball
- Going to a driving range to hit golf balls
Don’t forget to make yourself and your health a priority. You are worthy of time to yourself, and time to allow yourself to unwind and relax! If you don’t make your self-care a priority, who will?
By: Alexis Dunlap MFT, M.S.Ed.