10 Ways To Indulge In Self-Care In 2019
With a new year comes new efforts, we have all started to organize the next 365 days so we can get the most out of 2019. We are planning to work out, we are planning to be more organized, we are planning to save money, We are planning to do better and be better. The one thing I have not heard much planning about is self-care.
Self-care is the practice of taking action to improve or preserve ones mental, physical, emotional health. While everyone is busy scheduling their life away, self-care often takes a back seat. We have to learn how to be proactive about taking care of ourselves without restrictions. Here are ten ways to indulge in self-care this year.
Take more days off
I can hear all the work obsessed people going “oh nooooo, we can’t do this”. Yes, you can and you will. How many times have you been so stressed that the tension in your neck or back becomes unbearable? How many times have you been in a stressful situation and came down with a random cold or felt flu-like symptoms after working long hard hours? We all make the same promise when we have to take the day to recover - “Wow I really need to relax more often” then you return to the same sad cycle. Schedule your days off, you can start with one every 2 months. This day should be yours to relax and do the things that you want to do, not to do the things that you have to do. Things you want to do include: visiting a museum, making your favorite soup, heading to your favorite coffee shop, catching up on your favorite shows or getting your hair washed, calling or visiting family or friends or simply just sleeping. This day should not be used for running errands or doctor’s appointments.
Find time to be alone
Sometimes life gets hectic, and when we attempt to meet all the demands of the outside world it can leave us feeling frustrated, drained and insufficient. Finding the time to be alone will help with realigning your ideas and putting you back on the right path. I have read a few online articles that state that the best ideas will come first thing in the morning when the mind is fresh or they may come at night right before you fall asleep. My ideas show up when I take long showers and I have never made the connection until recently that its not about the time, its more about your surroundings. Being alone allows your mind to think flourishing thoughts without distraction because even the sight of someone can be a distraction. You can use alone time to plan your day, you can also use this time to find a solution to a major problem that you have tried to tackle before. You can also use this time to just breathe, before you send that angry email to your colleague or friend. Feel free to take at least 10 minutes per day to be alone with your thoughts.
Observe your happiness
One of the things that saves us daily is our baseline happiness. We wake up and face the world and this is not always a positive process, our happiness does a lot for us, it keeps us grounded and sets our minds at ease even if for just a few minutes. We need to practice how to observe and give recognition to our happy moments by replaying those moments in our heads and be thankful for such moments. If someone is being kind or thoughtful towards you, remember to be present and appreciative. Be mindful when you have a moment of pure bliss, enjoy and be protective of it. Here’s a secret that I’ve learnt, don’t be afraid to use other people’s happiness as your own for example, if someone gets a a raise or promotion at work, just focus on how happy they are and how happy you are for them to have that opportunity.
Find a hobby
Hobbies seem to have become a thing of the past, maybe because people can hardly find spare time to do anything (apart from scrolling through feeds on social media). Re-establishing your hobby or finding one is an ideal step towards self-care. Remember how fun it was when we were younger and almost everything was interesting? I used to make throw pillow covers and I loved the satisfaction that I felt when I had completed a pair. I would name them based on the color of the fabric, even if it wasn’t the best pair in the world, it was my best. I would remain super focused until the job was done, it was hard work but it was also relaxing at the same time.
The fear of Pampering
I have discussed pampering in a previous post and was surprised to hear how many people wanted to try but felt guilty for pampering themselves. It then occurred to me that getting people to pamper themselves meant addressing the fear to pamper which is also the fear of what will someone else think. We live in this weird world where everyone is obsessed with sharing bad news. It seems that if bad things are happening to us and to other people and as well we are in some form of fraternity of resilience where we continuously share trials and hyped up stories about how we have persevered. God forbid someone says how was your day, and we reply by saying “I am having a great day, went to the spa yesterday and I feel rejuvenated”. Most of the times we try to mirror the issues of others and this has to be stopped. You have the right to treat yourself well, visit the spa, have a manicure AND pedicure, have a facial, and tell others. Get fancy with your body, its the only one you have.
Try something new
Recently I have been going through Groupon with a fine tooth comb because I want new experiences in 2019 for cheap. Life is short and if you have long and short term goals but no bucket list then your list is incomplete. What’s on your list? travelling? you do know that getting in a cab is travelling right? Look, lets jazz this up! let’s do some Hot air balloon rides, Horseback riding, sign up for a Kick boxing class, buy tickets to a concert with the best line up you have ever seen (not Fyrefestival), get a dog or a cat or both, try a wheel throwing class or a glass blowing class or sky diving. There’s such a wide variety of things to try, don’t miss out because you’re stressed about work.
Shop - a little
We all know what a little shopping can do for the soul. Retail therapy (within reason) can be considered self-care. Go ahead and pick out a nice outfit that would look chic early Monday morning. Pick up a candle or two, a new body wash, or ingredients for your favorite meal. Once you have identified what makes you happy, go ahead and use these items whenever you need to put a pep in your step.
Laughter is good for your overall health; over the years I have heard multiple people refer to laughter as the best medicine. As children we had great imaginations and almost everything was considered fun and funny but as adults, we tend to be very selective regarding what makes us laugh. I understand that life can be stressful and there is no joke in that however, laughing relaxes your body and relives stress. Laughter reduces anger by releasing endorphins and improving our overall mood. Laughing at yourself will allow you to move past negative situations quickly.
Pampering yourself is imperative, but can be way more fun if you pamper with others. Other people encounter tough times and get burned out as often as you do, share your wealth by inviting them to pamper themselves as well, this way your self-care process can be a more memorable one. Reaching out to someone to someone can help them or you put difficult things into perspective because it allows you to share your thoughts in a relaxed atmosphere; and since both parties are calm, it will help your listening skills as well as your ability to receive and process feedback effectively.
Being able to care less about anything at all was always seen as negative. You have to care, you have to care about the environment, you have to care about global warming, you have to care about what you coworkers think, you have to care about what your spouse thinks, you have to care about what your boss thinks, what your kids think and before you know it, you care about so many things that you don’t even know who you are and how you got there. In order to be more, you have to care less. have confidence in yourself, as well as your ability to make great decisions. No one is perfect and if mistakes are made, be strong enough to accept and move forward. When you obsess about an issue it has the potential to consume you, and why would you want that? Just care less and live, not everything that happens deserve your full attention. Be selfish with your caring, reserve it for the really important issues in your life.
Stress affects your health even when you are unaware. Common symptoms of stress are Headache
Muscle tension or pain
Lack of motivation or focus
Overeating or under-eating
If you are currently encountering these symptoms, along with these ten tips please consider seeing a professional counselor or therapist, who can help you identify stressors and learn new coping tools.
Remember, you can’t be the best if you are not at your best~