I can not believe that we are already in the second quarter of the year 2020. Time feels like it is moving quickly and yet at other times I feel like time as slowed down and I have lived a year in these past three months. A lot as happened and the world as we know it is going through a major change that is impacting each of us in various ways. It is my prayer and hope that after the pressure and grind that we each emerge diamonds, sparkling with an inner and outer beauty that will change the world for the better.
Today I would like to offer some self care practices that may soothe our mind, bodies and spirit in these challenging times. I hope you may find a few practices that will resonate with you and help ease any of the stress and anxiety that you are facing. May these practices become part of a healthy system of habits that make our life a lil brighter.
Below you will find a list of self care practices categorized by types.
Self Care Practices
Emotional: these practices help us get in tune with our emotions, provides a healthy avenue for expressing them and help us become more aware of our thoughts and triggers :
- Journaling – if writing is your thing, this is a great way to off load any emotions especially ones that are more intense or overwhelming.
- Mindfulness – checking in with our emotions and thoughts regularly is a great way of building awareness of our triggers and thought patterns and correcting negative self thought quickly.
- Meditation -sometimes taken a moment to be still, even for a few seconds, and bring awareness to our breath helps us to reset and behave proactively instead of reactively in difficult situations.
Between stimulus and response is our greatest power – the freedom to choose.
- Get creative – drawing, painting, cooking, baking or writing are a great way to release or express emotions.
- Communication – talking to a trusted friend, partner or therapist provides with a safe environment to vent, discuss and speak about our experiences.
- Limit noise or negative media – be mindful of the types of media being consumed and absorbed into our psyche
Intellectual: these practices are all about challenging and nourishing our mind by developing new skills and expanding our knowledge.
- Read – listening to an audiobook or reading a self help book about what interests you is a great way to be mentored by others with being in their presence.
- Listen to a podcast – another great way to learn something and you can do this while doing mindless tasks such as doing the laundry.
- Learn a new language or skill – there a re many apps and online learning platforms such as Duolingo, Skillshare or The Great Courses Plus to learn something new.
- Watch a documentary – this is a great way to learn for those who prefer visual stimulus to keep engaged.
- Games – how about challenging the mind with some word games or puzzle. Apps to try include Elevate and Peak labs.
Body: this is about getting that body moving in a way that you enjoy and includes what we put in our bodies and how we treat it.
The WHO (World Health Organisation|) recommends that persons 18 – 64 years old get at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense or 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity a week or a an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous activity. Muscle-strengthen exercises are recommended 2 or more days a week.
- Exercise – this includes strength training, cycling, running, walking, yoga, pilates, dance and many more activities. There is a wide range to choose from. Find one that you can enjoy.
- Water intake – drinking enough water is an important of our physical self as it helps to regulate our body temperature, remove toxins and carries nutrients throughout our bodies.
- Sleep – this is a necessary but greatly neglected part of taking care of our bodies. We require on average 7 to 9 hours of sleep nightly with the number increasing the younger we are. Sleep affects every aspect of our well being and imperative for maintaining and creating a productive, healthy human being.
- Nutrition – eating a balanced meal, having a well -rounded diet containing food from the five food groups (fruits & vegetables; proteins; dairy; grains; and fats & oils) are important for a well nourished body. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet
- Medical care – taking care of our bodies also involves treating illnesses, taking supplements and vitamins/ minerals if necessary.
Spiritual: taking care of and nourishing your soul is just as important as taking care of your body and mind. Soul care may include religious practices such as prayers, bible studies and other forms of worship however the main focus is on finding meaning in and living a purposeful, achieving inner peace and servicing others.
- Time in nature – this is a great way for us to connect with the world and learn valuable principles of life by observing the way nature operates. The way water flows over, through and under all obstacles, how trees provides fruit, shelter and shade to every creature with out discrimination or the flowers provide food and promote the lives of many insects. We are all connected and play a vital role in each others life.
- Meditation – is a way of connecting with our inner self, finding inner peace and meaning in life by learning about ourselves.
- Service – there are many ways of giving back such as donating money or resources to a cause you believe in, going out yourself and feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and spending time with disable, sick or marginalized.
- Plant a mini garden – being responsible of the growth and survival of plants in your care can teach you to cherish the earth and is a great way to connect with the earth
- Re-decorate your space / create a sacred space or altar – in these times of uncertainty being able to control our surroundings can help us feel less anxious especially when creating an environment we can enjoy and holds special meaning to us.
Social: We are all social being and seeking connection with others is an important part of self care. However these practices will be different for each of us depending on our degree of extroversion vs introversion.
- Spending time with loved ones – sharing quality and quantity time with those persons you cherish creates feelings of belonging and love that feeds our soul.
- Small talk with strangers – this creates opportunities to develop new relationship with others and grow your community
- Dates with friends/ partner – this time to focus and connect deeply with the people in your life without distractions
- Call, voice , video chat – a great substitute for connecting with your loved ones when apart because you can still hear and/ or see their reactions
- Letter, emails, text – pleasant and thoughtful way to let your family, friends and colleagues know that you are thinking of them.
- Set boundaries – knowing, identifying and sharing your limits with those around is a crucial part of creating healthy relationships.
Remember that self care is suppose to be enjoyable and not a burden or dreaded task on your to do list or calendar. There is no one way of taking care of ourselves, just find what makes you feel good and nurtures you. There are many more options available that what I spoke about.
Thank you for reading.