Some say that my generation, millennials, is obsessed with the concept of self-care but I think we should all care about it.
As explained on GoodTherapy.org, a website of resources related to mental health with a directory of therapists in the United States, “self-care is any intentional action taken to meet an individual’s physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional needs. In short, it’s all the little ways we take care of ourselves to avoid a breakdown in those respective areas of health.” Further, as stated in this article, self-care’s three crucial functions are to prevent “overload burnout,” reduce the negative effects of stress, and help you refocus.
Self-care can mean different things to different people. To me, self-care means doing what brings me peace and comfort when I need them most. It means engaging in thoughts and activities that make my mind slow down and relax when I am anxious, frustrated, sad – or all the above. When I practice self-care, I do something that I really like and enjoy instead of something less likeable or enjoyable.
In honor of my being 25 now, I share in this post 25 of my favorite activities and practices related to self-care. I encourage you to add a couple (or all?) to your self-care routine.
25 SELF-CARE PRACTICES AND ACTIVITIES
- Talk to friends and family, especially people who are generally optimistic and positive
- Shut out the rest of the world for a few hours (no messages, no calls, no emails, no Instagram or Twitter, mute groups and turn off notifications on WhatsApp, etc.)
- Sleep until you wake up naturally
- Eat something you’ve been craving
- Eat a meal you did not cook (order takeaway, go to a restaurant)
- Exercise for 30 minutes – jumping jacks, sit ups, squats, leg raises, pilates, etc.
Psychological, mental or emotional
- Scream or cry
- Go on a photography walk; take photos
- Go for a walk, explore
- Listen to music
- Sing or dance
- Say “no” when you do not want to do something; voice your disagreement
- Read a positive quote, poem or story
- Write a journal entry
- Watch episodes of one of your favorite tv shows or your favorite movie again
- Watch a vlog, music or funny video
- Sit or lay down in silence, doing absolutely nothing, for a couple of minutes or even hours
- Say or write a list of positive affirmations
- Write a list of achievements
- Write a list of things you are grateful for
- Pray or meditate
- Listen to a religious or spiritual message
As a bonus, check out nine inspirational TED talks on the importance of self-care here. I recommend the famed professor, author and public speaker Brené Brown especially. She helped me understand why I should not be ashamed or uncomfortable about being “emotional” “sensitive” “imperfect” or “flawed” once in a while. Beyond her TED talk, Brown’s work on courage, shame and vulnerability is a useful resource to develop a better sense of self and figure out how to care for yourself in the best way possible. I encourage you to check it out.
What does self-care mean to you? How do you take care of yourself?