The concept of self-care is one that we hear about more and more these days, but many people are confused by what it actually means. What exactly is self care? And what are some self-care activities that you can use to ensure you are taking care of your mind, body and soul?
Think about the safety speech you hear every time you’re on a plane. If you’re traveling with other people who might need your help in case of an emergency, the flight attendants tell you to be sure to secure your own oxygen mask before tending to those in your care. Why? Because if you try to help others without ensuring your own safety first, you might pass out.
The same logic can be applied to your everyday life. Have you invested in taking care of yourself? Many people shy away from the term “self-care” because they assume the notion is founded on ideas of selfishness or a lack of caring about others. On the contrary, self-care is essential to our lives. When you’re able to care for yourself physically, emotionally and mentally, you become better able to pursue your goals and enrich the lives of the people around you.
What is self-care?
Self-care is a generalized term that’s recently grown in popularity used to describe things you do for yourself to make yourself feel good. These can be small self-care tips like picking up your favorite latte on your way to work, or something on a grander scale like booking an international vacation. Self-care activities are critical to our mental health and emotional state of well-being. When you prioritize yourself, you not only ensure you are the best “you” possible, but you reinvigorate yourself. You have more energy and joy to give in other areas of your life. Here are some self-care ideas if you’re looking for ways to bolster your well-being.
We often overlook our physical health when discussing mental and emotional health, but the mind-body connection can’t be denied. When your body feels healthy and strong, your mood soars, and when you’re in a great emotional state, it shows in how you move your body. Make it a point to regularly engage in physical activities you love. Whether it’s going for a run, swimming or attending a yoga class, changing your physical state from sedentary to active is a simple and fulfilling way to take care of yourself. It can even be something as simple as going for a walk with a coworker during your lunch hour. Whatever self-care ideas you decide to incorporate, make sure they bring you at least some level of happiness. Forcing yourself to jog every morning if you’re miserable the entire time should not be on your list of self-care activities.
Change your mindset
It’s hard to feel fulfilled when you’re constantly focusing on the negatives in life. Why? Because where your focus goes, your energy flows. Say you’re at a restaurant on an incredible date with someone you’re deeply interested in. Everything’s going well until your waiter mixes up your order and you end up getting the wrong dish. You decide to eat the incorrect order but are secretly fuming about it. When you look back on the date, you can hardly remember your connection with your date, but you still remember receiving the wrong order.
Instead of focusing on what’s wrong, learn to adopt an abundance mindset. This is perhaps one of the most life-changing self-care ideas you can incorporate into your life. Reframing your thoughts and shifting your focus is a deliberate practice that takes time. However, if you’re able to accomplish it, you’ll experience greater joy and fulfillment in all areas of your life.
Eat nutritious foods
When you think of self-care ideas as they pertain to food, you might envision treats like cupcakes, chips or mounds of savory, rich foods like lasagna or a juicy steak. While it’s certainly beneficial to treat yourself once in a while, you should envision self-care in the form of more sustainable foods like leafy greens, alkaline foods and items that will make you feel energetic and strong. Instead of viewing food as a reward, try to reframe it as fuel for your body. Reward yourself with activities you enjoy, like giving yourself an hour to read or checking out a new fitness studio. When it comes to food, treat yourself by going to a local juice shop and finding a smoothie that calls to you or try cooking a healthy new recipe at home. Understand that the food you put into your body has a direct effect not only on your mood and energy level, but also on the quality and length of your life. Eating a healthy diet is not just one of the best self-care tips you can incorporate, but it can also mean the difference between an active, fulfilling life and one plagued by sickness and limitations.
Knowing when to say “no” is one of the self-care activities that people have the most trouble with. Between work and your personal life, it feels like you’re always saying “yes” when people ask you for something. It can be rewarding to have a full calendar, but it’s also important to know when to say “no.” If you’re feeling run down or spread thin, grant yourself the ultimate luxury: downtime. By taking the necessary time needed to recharge, you’ll bolster your energy and be able to return to your regular schedule with increased energy and gusto. Carefully choose when you say “yes” and make sure you are only agreeing to activities or requests that align with your values or bring you happiness. When following your passion is one of your self-care activities, you seamlessly create a business and life you love.
Practice focus and gratitude
Self-care tips don’t all have to involve making major changes to your lifestyle – they can be as simple as finding a few minutes to reflect each morning. Instead of reaching for your phone or hitting the snooze button when you wake up, try a priming routine. This 10-minute exercise requires you to become conscious of your breathing, practice gratitude, visualize what you want and focus your newfound positive energy on accomplishing goals that are important to you. Creating a morning routine can help you to stay on track and centered throughout the day. It can also help you deal with challenges as you learn that even the biggest roadblocks can be reframed into an advantageous opportunity.
Above all, never forget that self-care activities are personal. While some may enjoy a weekend away with friends, others may find this stressful. What’s important is incorporating the self-care ideas that resonate with you and bring you inner peace. Find hobbies and activities you enjoy and make the time to luxuriate in them. Whether you find yourself reading a good book in a bubble bath or going on a 10-mile run, know that the way you engage in these self-care tips is yours alone. Incorporate these acts of self-kindness into your normal routine so you can continue feeling energetic and excited about your goals. Remember that taking care of yourself is not a selfish activity – it’s the way you can best position yourself to help others and add to the world as a whole.
The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. See full disclaimer.
Feed your body, mind and soul
Prioritizing self-care and self-kindness is crucial to maintaining a mind and body capable of achieving your goals. Combine these self-care tips and healthy lifestyle routines in order to reach the results you desire with Tony Robbins’ free digital Ultimate Health Guide.