We all know the pressure to "be healthy". Live a healthy lifestyle, eat healthy food, and partake in physical activity. But, being healthy is more than just what we do with our bodies.
Our emotional health and mental health are also important aspects of health. If we fail to take care of our emotional and mental health, the rest of our health will suffer too. Self-care is an easy, relaxing way to take care of these two factors!
Self-care is any activity that meets your physical, emotional, or mental health needs. If you need alone time, setting aside a day for yourself can be self-care. The self-care process looks different for everyone, but if you have no idea where to start, here are some of the best self-care activities to add to your weekend plans!
When I think of meditation, I think of sitting in a peaceful, quiet place and relaxing. While it certainly feels good for the mind and body to meditate, there are tons of neurological benefits as well.
Meditation can increase connectivity between the centers of your brain, reduce levels of anxiety and depression, increase concentration, and promote your overall health and wellbeing. It can even help keep our brains young!
Implementing meditation into your self-care routine is well worth it. But if you've never meditated before, it can seem intimidating. Here are a few tips to start meditating!
Find a comfortable space to sit. Try to find a space that's quiet and where you feel at peace.
Start with shorter meditations. Meditating for 30 minutes may seem impossible. Instead, start with 5 or 10 minutes and gradually increase the time when you feel comfortable!
Connect with your body. The purpose of meditation is to cultivate mindfulness and connection with your body. One way you can do this is to notice your body as you meditate. Pay attention to how you breathe and how your body feels.
Breathe deeply until your lungs are full and exhale completely.
Don't be afraid to let your mind wander. If you can't keep your mind free of thoughts, it's okay! Gently reign yourself back in and continue meditating.
Make room for your thoughts and emotions. Be kind to how you feel before, during, and after meditation.
Journaling is not only a therapeutic practice to start implementing into your self-care routine, but it has benefits for the mind and memory as well!
Journaling can act as an effective way to manage anxiety, relieve stress, cope with trauma and depression, deal with fears, cultivate positivity, reduce negativity, and help you grow as a human being. If you're an over-thinker, journaling can help you process events that happen during the day!
Journaling is easy! You don't have to sit down and write long, eloquent thoughts. Simply jot down what you're grateful for. Write about your day and process events that happened. Write down your feelings or things you notice about yourself.
Journaling can be whatever you make it, so use this outlet and your creative freedoms to support your self-care routine!
3. Read a Book
Reading is a great way to stimulate the mind, strengthen your cognitive skills, increase empathy for others, improve your vocabulary, relieve stress and anxiety, and improve sleep!
Plus, it's downright fun! If you're looking for something stimulating to read, check out any of Jodi Picoult's books! Author of My Sister's Keeper, her books are impossible to put down once you pick them up!
If you're looking for a riveting mystery series, check out the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith. Surprise: it's just J.K Rowling under a pseudonym, so all those memories you have from reading Harry Potter as a kid? Get ready for the adult version!
Another great self-care activity to add to your regimen is dancing! I know what you're thinking. I don't know how to dance. Who said you had to be good at it?
Dancing helps your physical health by promoting circulation, strength, coordination, and heart health, as well as mental health for stress relief, mood management, and confidence!
Put on some music you love get dancing!
5. Have a Spa Day
Another self-care activity to help you relax is to throw yourself a spa day! There's no perfect formula to throw the perfect spa day.
If you like bubble baths, cucumber slices on your eyes, and your favorite rom-com on in the background--do that! Or go get a manicure and pedicure. Do something relaxing that you enjoy and pamper yourself!
I'm a sucker for a good bath. One of my favorite products to use in the bath are Vertly's bath salts! These don't just come with the benefits of essential oils, Epsom Salt, and Dead Sea Salt, but they're infused with full-spectrum CBD to promote muscle relaxation and stress relief!
6. Create Something
Being creative has a multitude of benefits for mental health. To be creative, you don't have to have some hidden talent or ability. Just participate in a hobby you enjoy!
For instance, try painting, knitting, or gardening! Write a short story, play an instrument, or bake a cake. It doesn't matter what creative outlet you choose, the benefits remain the same!
As a bonus, we'll get to talk about hobbies later on. Want to learn how to knit? Use water paints? Be sure to subscribe and follow along to learn
7. Spend Time Outside
Spending time in nature isn't just fun. It boosts Vitamin D intake, which is essential for bone growth and calcium absorption in the body. It also improves brain function, promotes exercise and gets your body moving, and promotes mental health as well!
There are tons of activities to enjoy while outside. Try hiking a trail with a friend, or taking your dog to the park! You can have a picnic outside, take a walk, or throw a barbecue with friends.
Self-care is about doing activities that you enjoy to help yourself relax and unwind. So, the bottom line is, do what you want!