4 Self-care practices that you need in your life

Are you looking after yourself or is stress creeping back into your life?

All the little stress relieving activities won’t work, if you aren’t properly aligned with your basic needs and areas of wellbeing. For instance, visiting the gym every now and again won't relieve much stress if you're consuming mostly high-processed, junk focused meals. You need to make conscious decisions about your health first, if you want your stress relief activities to be effective.

What is Self-Care? 

Self-care can mean something different to each person. Ultimately, it is a decision to engage in activities that promote healthy functioning and improve overall well-being. This can include someone’s mental, physical and emotional health. 

Media and advertisements have portrayed self-care as a luxury and now many people view it as a occasional activity, rather than a priority in their life. This way of thinking often leads to mental/physical fatigue, overwhelm and unpreparedness to deal with life’s many challenges. Self-care is necessary to protect your energy and help you build up resilience to outside stressors.

It is important to check in with yourself and make any necessary changes to better take care of your mind, body and soul.

1. Mental Self-care 

What you think and choose to fill your mind with can impact your general well-being immensely. Mental self-care includes doing things that help to calm and declutter your mind, which helps reduce your daily stress levels. Caring for your mental health should be a priority.

Some simple ways to relax your mind is to unplug from technology, go for a walk or engage in things that are joyful and keep your mind busy like learning something new. It can also involve changing the way you speak to yourself - Practice turning negative thoughts, into positive ones. Once you learn to love who you are and speak to yourself like you would to a best friend, your outlook on life will change for the better. Be your own hype girl! 

2. Physical Self-care

Our bodies are a sacred place, our bodies are our home. You need to nurture and care for it correctly, in order for it to run efficiently. When you give your body what it needs, your mind will become clearer and you will truly start to feel like your best self.  

Physical self-care includes how much exercise you are doing, how much sleep you are getting, what you are consuming to fuel your body and how well you are looking after your physical needs. Ask yourself: 

- Are you moving your body enough? 
- Is your diet balanced and nutritious? 
- Do you have control of your health?   

3. Social Self-care 

Some of us may be social butterflies, while others may enjoy their own company. Everyone has slightly different social needs. Socialisation is a great form of self-care. Life gets busy and it can be hard to devote time to friends. Putting the time and energy in to maintain close relationships is important to your wellbeing.

Figure out what your social needs are and create time to nurture your social life. Whether it’s catching up with friends weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, you decide what works for you.

4. Emotional Self-care 

Being attuned with your emotions is crucial. Emotional self-care involves developing healthy ways to cope with any anger, anxiety, sadness or uncomfortable feelings.

It is important to acknowledge how you feel and express them as often as you need to. This may include having conversations with your partner, close friends, a therapist, or participating in activities that you know help centre and calm you. 

The good thing is, you do not need to tackle these areas all at once. Only you know what needs prioritising in your life. Remember, self-care is not an expense, it’s an investment. Make the choice today to put yourself first. Check in with yourself regularly and do those little things that help you to relax and recharge. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.

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