2020 has been one hell of a year. It has done some damage to my mental health. I’m sure I am not the only one. I have done lots of self-care just to stay sane this year. I have a list of self-care ideas that I wrote out in my planner that I refer to if I feel like I need some extra love.
Mental health issues are at an all time high now a days. There is still a lot of stigma around mental health but it is becoming more and more acceptable to take care of your mental health. Making sure you have enough self-care is one of the ways to take care of your mental health. I try to incorporate at least 1 self-care practice into my daily routine and if I am feeling particularly anxious, depressed, or just “off”, I look at my list to see what I can do to help myself feel a little better.
Did you know 18.1% of Americans (or 40 million people) suffer from anxiety every year? And only 36.9 % of those suffering receive treatment?! Most of them are suffering in silence. Some of this is due to the stigmatism that surrounds mental health. People don’t want to admit that they need help. They feel like something is wrong with them. Or that they “should” be better, they “should” be able to handle this particular situation.
Why do so many people have anxiety or depression? One very real and common cause of anxiety and depression is stress. Some of this is due to the Western lifestyle. It is STRESSFUL! People are constantly on the go. Working. Kids activities. Their own activities. Cleaning the house. Family or extended family responsibilities. Recently I have come to realize that I don’t need or have to do some of the things that I thought I did. Being successful isn’t determined by how busy we are. We decide what “success” means to us. I have been making a conscious effort to slow down and do less. Let me tell you, it is hard to change my mindset. My kids do not have to be in multiple extracurricular activities. I do not have to attend every extended-family function. Or say yes to every invitation from (insert name here).
Instead I have learned (and still learning) to make intentional decisions about my time. It is hard for me to give my best to my kids if I don’t give my best to myself. I can’t fill my kid’s and spouse’s cup, if my cup is half empty. When my cup is overflowing, then and only then can I help fill anyone else’s cup.
Without further ado, here is the awesome list of self-care ideas that will make you feel amazing!
- Meditate: Meditate for 15 minutes. Read Stress Less, Accomplish More to learn more about a different way to meditate.
- Read: choose a book that you have been wanting to read but haven’t had time or one you have started but haven’t finished yet.
- Affirmations: make a list of positive affirmations and keep them in your planner, write them on your mirror, leave them on sticky notes around your house and car.
- Intimacy: call or write a letter to a friend; hang out with your significant other or friend.
- Kindness: do something nice for someone; (volunteer; bake cookies for your neighbor)
- Cuddling: Cuddle with your significant other
- Spend Time with Family: Play a board game, go for a hike, watch a movie with popcorn
- Spend Time with Pets: Take a pet for a walk, play fetch
- Music: put on your favorite play list
- Create/DIY: Pinterest is the best place to find DIY crafts that you can do. Find something that interests you and do it!
- Journal: You can find journal prompts online, you can buy a journal, or just get some paper and start writing and see where it goes from there.
- Me-Time: Choose something that you like to do (take an uninterrupted long hot bath, take a walk, sit in the sunshine, read a book) by yourself and do it. Even if it is only for 20 minutes, it can be enough to help you feel refreshed.
- Gratitude: Start a gratitude journal. Write 3 things you are grateful for everyday and be specific.
Body: It will thank you later!
- Yoga: There are some free yoga classes online on youtube. (It isn’t as easy as your think, I promise).
- Run/Walk: Go for a run or walk around the block.
- Hike: Go for a hike and enjoy nature.
- Hydration: Drink a glass of water.
- Nails: Go for a mani/pedi or do your nails at home for free.
- Nutrition: Eat an apple or some carrots and hummus.
- Skin Care: Do some dry skin brushing or a hot oil massage, or just put some lotion on the rehydrate your skin.
- Relaxing Bath: Add in some Epsom salt and some essential oils, maybe light some candles and dim the lights and play some relaxing music.
- Outside/Nature: Just sit outside and watch the birds/squirrels, look at the flowers, plant a garden, put up a bird feeder.
- Earthing/Grounding: Walk outside barefooted for 10-20 minutes. The negative electrical charges of the Earth are absorbed by our feet and can help regulate our own electrical charges inside our body.
Get your printable list of these self-care ideas below. Get yours today. Hang them up in your bathroom or bedroom. Put them in your planner. Try to do at least 1 a day. Whenever you feel you need some extra self-care, look at the list and pick something out!
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