5 Self Care practices that impact your life big time!
Does it mean that you have a big head or are really selfish or a narcissist? Some people think that this is the case but in truth self-care is taking care of yourself because you love and respect yourself completely and 100%ly. Loving your strengths as well as your weaknesses, your big nose and your funny looking toes. You can only truly love and participate in life when you fully accept yourself, warts and all. And the way to build that acceptance is to practice self-care.
When it’s done right, self-care can help to improve your mental well-being and stop mental health problems taking control. There can be a lot of confusion around self-care and what it really involves but it’s basically all about being kind to yourself. Here are a few self-care practices that you may not be doing right now.
Eat Nourishing Food’s
What you choose to nourish your body with health giving foods its a form of self-love. A “self-care” diet helps you to feel better, gives you more energy and can even help you to avoid health problems. By listening to your body, you are able to pinpoint the foods that it loves and also the foods it goes Ahhh! not so much! An easy way to benefit from this practice is to keep a food/mood diary. Just by writing what you ate and how you felt after can really show over time the foods that make your body feel happy, alive and full of energy. Then you can just incorporate more of those foods into your diet. Simple!!
Believing that you’re worthy of this kind of self-care and nourishment is the first step to making a big commitment to your health and well-being. When you feel that you’re a truly worthy recipient of self-love, you’ll automatically start putting your health first, especially your nutrition. This means choosing foods that are good for your body and that help you to feel fuller for longer as well as keep your blood sugar levels stable. Adding fiber to your diet really helps with both of those things as well as feeding your gut bacteria, helping with digestion, elimination of toxins and cholesterol from the body.
A self-love diet doesn’t mean totally depriving yourself though, just as long as you take the cues from your body and stop when you’re full.
Being “In Your Zone”
Having “me” time is really important for getting in your zone, even if it’s just for short periods at a time. Even five minutes of quality time “in your zone” is an underrated way to practice self-love. How you get into your zone is a personal choice – some people use meditation, mindfulness or their favorite music, for example. Anything that helps you to be in the present and focus your mind counts for this one. Being in the moment really helps rest the brain and stop the worry cycle that we can get ourselves into. Also it helps fill your cup so you are more able to give your time and love to others.
Being Grateful for What You Have
If you’re not showing yourself self-love, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other people. This can be toxic for your mental health and is pretty much the opposite of self-love. It can be a hard one to break if you’ve been in this mindset for a while but one way to do this involves gratitude.
Get into the habit of feeling grateful for all of the good things that you have in your life, whether that is health, a loving family or good friends. Watch this short video that shows the science behind the benefits of gratitude to decrease depression and enhance feel good chemical sin the brain.
According to studies,writing in a gratitude diary at least once a week can help to make you feel happier, especially if you do it for around 15 minutes each time. Up it to three times per week and the results can be even better. The idea is that you list up to five things that you were grateful for in that particular day. This can be as simple as you like – in fact, being grateful for the simple things can be work really well! But the important thing to remember is to not just write things down and move on, but really feel those feelings of gratefulness.Why are you grateful and how does this person or thing enhance your life?
Having a Clear Out
Have a look around your home and see how many things you have that you don’t use anymore. For most of us, this is going to be more than you think! Clearing out anything you don’t need or use can be wonderfully therapeutic. A good rule of thumb is to throw out anything you haven’t used in the past year. Chances are, you’re not going to miss it too much if you’ve not used it for this long.
The theory behind this one is pretty simple and it’s all about getting rid of old things so that you can open the door to new alternatives. According to Marie Kondo, creating a clutter-free space can help you feel more confident, becomes more successful and be motivated to create the life you want. She is the author of “The life changing magic of tidying”.
Walking in the Park
Getting closer to nature is a great way to practice mindfulness and a walk in the park is the perfect way to start doing this. Studies have shown that being in green spaces enhances relaxation, rejuvenation happiness and has positive effects on mental states such as anxiety and depression. If you live in a fairly urban area, getting out to a park or other green space can be just what you need to clear your mind,especially if you combine it with mindfulness.
Walks in the park also have the added bonus of bringing another self-care move into play – exercise! We all know about the “feel good” endorphins and other mental health benefits that exercise brings but walking in nature itself takes this up a notch. According to another study, the natural chemicals secreted by evergreen trees such as eucalypts, called phytoncides, have been shown to be associated with increasing number and activity of cancer-fighting natural killer cells in the human body for up to 30 days!
Getting out to your nearest park (or any green space if you don’t have one locally) can be a really underrated way to show yourself a bit more self-love and help to keep your mental well-being in check.
It’s time to start making time for you so that you can live a life of happiness and love.