Self-care has become a phenomenon of late, with increasingly more people understanding that taking good care of themselves is not an indulgence, but a necessity. This is probably helped by the fact that people are aware of the importance of good mental health.
We know that we need to take care of our minds like we take care of our bodies, but how? It is easy to get swept away by the self-care trends we see on social media every day: Do you need to drink this particular herbal tea? Do these yoga poses? Buy this bath bomb? How do you know what products to buy? And, perhaps most importantly, how do we find the time to fit this all into our busy schedule?
Self-care is a lot easier (and cheaper) than you think. Here are a few simple ways to practice it.
Take Time To Relax
Perhaps the most important thing you can do in terms of self-care is just...relax. Make soothing, calming activities a regular part of your routine, whatever that means for you. Whether it’s a daily hot bath, weekly hobby, or monthly massage, make your relaxation part of your to-do list. If you need a hand (or two) to help you to relax, look into hiring a cleaning service. (The average national cost for a cleaning is around $160, but prices can vary based on your location.)
“But I don’t have time to relax!” you say. Well, it may sound cliché, but you have to make the time. A great first step if you think you don’t have time is to download a monitoring app to your smartphone. You might be shocked at how much of your precious time you are misusing.
Actively carving out time to relax is important, but so is proactively preventing stress from popping up in the first place. According to Goop, stress is terrible for your mental health, but it can also damage our physical health by encouraging us to overeat and weakening the immune system.
Start noticing when you are stressed: What tends to trigger it? If you’re always in a hurry, give yourself more time to get places. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by demands, learn how to say no. Above all, make sure you are not living in a stressful environment - messy, chaotic living spaces lead to messy, chaotic minds. A more minimalist lifestyle could be a great solution if you often find yourself being overwhelmed by all your stuff.
Consider downsizing some of your belongings for a clear mind and a clear bedroom. If decluttering your home scares you, you can consider investing in an inexpensive self-storage space, which can be a great short-term solution until you can make a final decision. Storage units can be rented for relatively cheap too. For example, a self-storage space in Milford, New Hampshire, can range from $29-$143 depending on size. Keeping your home free of non-essentials will help you to realize that you are capable of living with less.
Get Enough Sleep
Finally, a good night’s rest is invaluable. Lack of sleep can have devastating long-term effects on both physical and mental health. No self-care routine is complete without seven to nine hours of uninterrupted nightly sleep.
The best way to guarantee adequate rest is to create a consistent and healthy routine, which includes finding ways to wind down at night and doing everything you can to make the morning as easy as possible. These 15 tips by Tuck are a great place to start.
Of course, these actions are broad, but that’s the point. Your self-care routine should be made up of the habits that make you feel happier and healthier. Self-care for mental health is all about connecting with what makes you feel better and then committing to incorporate it into your life. It really is as simple as that.
Lead Writer, seniordiabetic.com