Simple Self-Care Practices for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul
Self-care is becoming an increasingly popular phenomenon as we learn to speak more on our mental health needs. While we all hear about the concept of self-care all the time, it’s not always clear what self-care is.
What Is Self-Care? So what exactly is self-care? According to the Oxford Dictionary, self care is “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health”. It is a method of taking an active role in protecting your well-being and happiness. It is increasingly important to practice self-care during periods of stress, yet also as a preventative form of care in attempts to avoid overwhelming periods of time. In a way, there are no exact rules for how we go about self care as it is what makes you happier and more relaxed. However, if you’re having a hard time coming up with activities to help you relax, here are a few simple self-care practices to have a healthy mind, body, and soul.
Finding a quiet space to breath and rest for a couple of minutes each day can make a large difference in your overall health. The act of meditation increases blood flow to your brain which helps your brain grow stronger and better in its functions. In addition to blood flow, there are many health benefits to meditation. Looking at it from a self-care perspective, meditation will help you relax, increase your connection to yourself and others, as well as increase your sense of purpose and meaning.
Looking at it from a beauty perspective, the benefits of meditation which include stress relief will help you relax and age at a slower rate. This is due to the fact that your skin and face will be carrying less tension. The relief from stress will also slow down the production of stress hormones that can lead to acne.
2. Have A Good Laugh
Having a laugh is a great way to raise your spirits. It also decreases your stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection fighting antibodies. Laughing basically helps improve your resistance to diseases. Through laughter you are also releasing endorphins which are the body’s natural feel good chemicals. This chemical, as suggested in the title, gives you an overall good feeling and can temporarily relieve pain.
Obviously laughing on command to help yourself isn’t exactly realistic or genuine. To try and get a good laugh out of yourself try watching a movie, reading a funny comic strip, or even practice laughter yoga. Laughter yoga, being one of the silliest forms of yoga is easy to do on your own and sure to get you cracking up. The idea of the practice is to place yourself in a wide low stance similar to a sumo wrestlers. From there you have to project different series of laughters from deep within your belly. Reciting ‘hi, hi, hi, ho, ho, ho, ha, ha, ha” will eventually have you genuinely cracking up from the sheer silliness of the practice. It’s even better if you can find yourself a partner and take turns laughing at each other.
3. Splurge A Little
As mentioned before, there are no real limits to what self-care can look like as long as it makes you happy. If that sounds like and looks like splurging a little, so be it. Buy yourself something that you have been eyeing for a while in the shop window, buy some expensive ice-cream, get yourself a manicure or pedicure, or even buy yourself a new piece of furniture.
Whatever it is that makes you happy and will keep you on a happy high for a while, go for it! It’s okay to splurge a little every once in a while, especially if you don’t do it that often. By buying yourself something that you want and don’t necessarily need, you are sending a message to your brain that you matter. You’re ensuring that there is a place for yourself and you’re feeding your own emotional bank.
4. Get Active!
Working out isn’t for everyone, which is why this is not what this practice is about. All we are asking is that you take a few minutes of your day to run, walk, dance, or even take the stairs. Not only will you be working towards lowering your stress by being active for a couple of minutes a day, you’ll also be working towards maintaining and improving your overall health.
If you can muster up the effort to turn a couple of minutes into 30 minutes of physical activity, you’ll be well on your way increasing your cardiovascular fitness, strengthening your bones, reducing excess body fat, and boosting your muscular power and endurance. With this bit of activity not only will your body feel healthier and happier, but your face will radiate it as well. Increase activity will increase circulation. Increased circulation will then draw more oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells which will help your face glow.
5. Have A Self-Date
Similar to the idea of splurging on yourself, by having a self-date you’ll be working on telling your brain that you matter. A self-date can be as simple as taking yourself on a long relaxing walk, to going to a museum, watching a movie, or even taking yourself to lunch. It really doesn’t have to be big, go to a park and read a book if that’s what makes you happy. We owe it to ourselves to take the time to do the things we love most, even if it means doing it by ourselves. The whole point is to get a little me time, enjoy, and relax.
When you go out on actual dates the idea is to get to know the other person and enjoy yourself, so why can’t we do that for ourselves? Even though we do have moments alone like when we shower, spending some time alone doing an activity is different. Take the time to get to know yourself and love yourself.