Self-Care is the Best Care: 11 Ideas to Ease Your Mind and Soul

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Self-care is the process of nurturing your emotional and psychological health. Here are some ideas you might want to incorporate into your self-care journey.

Living a well-rounded existence takes effort. You need to get out of your way to ensure that all your choices lead you toward growth and possibilities. However, that's not a job you can entrust to someone else. You need to be in control.

Then again, taking control of your life's trajectory can be difficult if your mind and soul are not in the right place. Such a situation can easily weigh you down and derail your personal development. That is where self-care comes in.

Self-care is the never-ending process of nurturing your well-being, especially your emotional and psychological health. It's more than just the occasional weekend staycation where you treat yourself to good food and a relaxing massage.

Ideally, it's a sustained commitment that informs every decision you make daily. That goes without saying that self-care doesn't have to be an uphill battle, either. Lest you get discouraged from committing, know it's perfectly doable—no matter how busy you get.

Here are some ideas you might want to incorporate into your self-care journey.

 

1. Meditation and Mindfulness Practices

You don't need to have the flexibility of a yogi to pursue mindfulness. Similarly, you don't have to go to the beach with a view of the ocean and a backdrop of mountains to practice meditation. You can incorporate these self-care exercises into your daily routine: in your room, cubicle, or car in the middle of traffic. 

You don't even have to call it meditation or mindfulness if you find new-age words awkward for some reason. You can name it whatever you want. So long as the process gets you grounded and centered, the terms you use are irrelevant. 

To help you get started with your mindfulness journey, download a meditation app. 

 

2. Regular Exercise

You've probably heard how regular exercise boosts emotional well-being. According to Debra Fulghum Bruce of WebMD, "When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain." 

If you've been carrying heavy emotional baggage, it's time to give the gym a shot. Who knows what could happen? The best result could be you starting to feel unburdened. Meanwhile, the worse that could result from your CrossFit training might be finding your entire body aching because it's building those muscles you've always fancied. Either way, you win. 

 

3. Creative Activities and Hobbies

Humans don't live by bread alone. Your stomach is not the only component of your being that feels fits of hunger. The soul needs nourishment, too. And for that, the most satisfying meals are creative hobbies and activities.

While it's true that not all of us are gifted creatively, we all have a certain degree of access to artistic outputs. So, make it a habit to visit a nearby art gallery whenever you can. Do not miss every chance you get to attend a recital. 

Now if you're one of the lucky few who can play an instrument or handle a paintbrush, find the time to create despite your hectic schedule. It'll be nourishing for your soul.

 

4. Healthy Lifestyle

Start with good hygiene. Remember that hygiene is integral to self-care because you feel better about yourself when your body is cared for.  

Another crucial component of a healthy lifestyle is proper eating, which entails consciously choosing healthy foods in just the right portions. 

Take this lifestyle recalibration a little further with abstinence from smoking and drinking. Go cold turkey if you have to, or have accountability partners to help you with the transition. 

 

5. Nature Time

This might be challenging if you live in a high-rise condo amid a concrete jungle. But don't lose hope. All challenges have a workaround.

For example, you can start cultivating an indoor garden. This indoor garden does not necessarily have to be strictly indoors, especially if your condo unit has a small terrace. To save space, you can explore vertical hydroponic gardening.

If you live an hour away from a hiking trail, treat yourself to nature walks from time to time. You'll be amazed how this simple activity can be so rejuvenating. It's basically meditation in motion. As you inhale fresh air and bask in nature's many shades of green, you'll release all the tension from your body.


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6. Social Connections

Cliches run the world. They're cliches because they're pretty reliable. One of those cliches you need to turn into a mantra in service of self-care is this: no man is an island. 

No matter how introverted you are, you cannot rely exclusively on yourself. You need to reach out to people and experience their warmth and camaraderie. You have to maintain a strong support system made up of friends and family. 

This is not as difficult to do now as it was back in the day, considering the presence of social media. However, ideally, your personal relationships are not purely digital. Go out with your constants constantly. Get updated on each other's journeys. Laugh about old stories that never get old. 

 

7. Gratitude

Sure, many things in this world will weigh us down. There's global warming on a larger scale. At work, your managers might not be aware of how their leadership styles add undue pressure to your day-to-day. These distressing things notwithstanding, it's important to be grateful, at least for self-care. 

Gratitude allows you to see the small gifts of life that you might otherwise not notice amid the daily grind and hustle. Gratitude enables you to slow down and appreciate how you've grown and the still many possibilities in the offing. 

 

8. Quality Sleep Time

Of course, it's difficult to be grateful if you've only had three hours of intermittent sleep in the past three months. No matter how hard you try to be delighted by the cup of brewed coffee in front of you or appreciate the sunset you see from your office on the 20th floor of a building, you can't if your brain's foggy for lack of sleep. This is one of self-care's biggest enemies.  

To combat the lack of quality sleep, stick to a bedtime routine. Go to bed at the same time every night and get out at the same time every morning. The goal is to recalibrate your body clock for it to go back to its healthy rhythm. 

 

9. Screen Detox

We're all guilty of doomscrolling. The whole thing starts innocently enough. You open your preferred social media platform with the plan of just checking in. And then you find your phone's digital time has clocked away a couple of hours or more away from your day. Not only is this detrimental to whatever work you need to accomplish, but it's also a bane to your well-being.

Start following strict screen time detox schedules. You can impose this rule at bedtime or on weekends. Sticking to this self-care strategy will not just help you prevent eye strain; it will also boost your mood significantly. 

 

10. Fulfilling Work

Life is too short to be working a job that makes you miserable. Even if you're getting an excellent salary, you'll be at a high risk of burnout. With that said, ideally, you pursue a career aligned with what your heart and soul yearn for.

However, you also need to be realistic. Like most people, you have bills to pay and can't afford to leave your job without a plan.

Reassess your priorities. If self-care is what you value more, it might be in your best interest to shift to a more rewarding job, in every sense. 

 

11. Financial Literacy

No matter how physically fit, well-fed, and creatively nourished you are, if you find yourself withdrawing from an overdrawn account, you'll find yourself in a great state of misery. That's because financial health is crucial to your overall well-being. After all, the blues become bluer when you're broke. 

To save yourself from getting broke, commit to financial literacy. Manage your revenue stream in such a way that you take care of your present needs without overlooking future contingencies. A good rule of thumb is always to have savings in the bank that can sustain you for at least six months of being out of a job.

 

Jumpstart Your Self-Care Journey

Everyone will have a unique self-care journey. What works for one person might not necessarily apply to another. Your best friend's self-care pace might not work for you, and vice versa.

As such, you have to be patient with yourself. It's your journey, after all. Stop comparing yourself to other people and focus on yourself instead. The important thing is that once you commit to self-care, you vow to be consistent with those habits that uplift your emotional and psychological well-being.

Speaking of habits, we've already discussed self-care ideas you might want to try. The list is by no means exhaustive, though. You know yourself better than anyone else. You can design your personalized self-care combo, so don't hesitate to do so. Track your progress with wellness apps just to be sure. 

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