To many, self-care appears like a luxury, something only those rare non-busy people can fit into their schedules. But no matter what your daily routine looks like, you must incorporate self-care into your lifestyle on a regular basis.
Self-care is not something you do once and then tick off the list. It’s a constant repetition of tiny habits and activities. The concept of self-care is one we’re hearing about more and more lately. The world today often feels out of our control and many people are struggling with feeling disconnected, stressed, and anxious about the future.
Everyone seems to be asking, WHAT IS SELF-CARE?
Many people search for ” how to start doing self-care” That’s because the process seems daunting, but in reality, it’s the opposite. Self-care can be different for every person. In this blog I am going to share a few of my personal tips and pointers of implementing self-care in your daily life:
- TRY TO HANGOUT ALONE SOMETIMES:
The first step of self-care is basically understanding and connecting with yourself on a deeper level. Modern society has developed some negative associations with the idea of being alone. Some people have also confused “being alone” with “being lonely”. But that, of course, is not the case. Being alone doesn’t necessarily cause loneliness and many people can feel lonely in spite of being in the constant presence of other people.
Alone time will give you the chance to look within and discover things that may have been forced into hiding due to the busyness of your life. Take yourself out for shopping, movie theaters to watch a movie alone occasionally, go to your favorite coffee spot and enjoy the delicious coffee while reading a book or watching Netflix or go on solo trips. You must be thinking, is she crazy? Why do I have to do things alone when I can ask someone to accompany me.
Because that is exactly the point here! It’s essential for your mental health and personal growth to learn how to spend time alone every once in a while. And perhaps the greatest benefit to solitude is that it gives you a chance to learn more about yourself.
You can also play dress up, try on different ideas of makeup looks, click pictures or make videos, read a nice book or even redecorate/declutter your room and spend your alone time being even more productive. Mark my words, it will be really fun and interesting, you just have to give it a try!
2. CREATE A MOOD BOARD FOR YOURSELF:
A mood board or inspiration board is a physical or digital collage of ideas. A mood-board can do so many things like it can visualize how you feel, explain your ideas without words, divide opinion, influence, and inspire or even just be something beautiful to look at.
I created a mood board this year with approximately 19-20 pictures explaining few of my goals for this year along with few pictures of the things I like or brings me happiness. Honestly, it was a fun task to choose the pictures and place them on the wall. The idea behind this mood board is:
- It looks super cute on your bedroom wall and gives a nice Pinterest – y look to your room.
- Every day you tend to stare at those pictures and visualize your goals or bucket list. This way, even if you start feeling negative regarding a particular goal that you want to achieve, the visual picture will turn your negative thoughts into positivity because when you see a picture of something right beside you, every single day, it feels closer to reality than your mental thoughts.
When it comes to self-care, one of the most important aspects is to work for your betterment not only emotionally and physically but also by becoming independent and achieving all the things that you desire. Mood boards are an exciting as well as a useful element that you can create and use as per your liking.
3. MNP – MUSIC, NETFLIX, PODCAST:
Sometimes, it’s good to switch off and become lost in a fun story or the rhythm of music. My way of processing emotions and expressing them sometimes is though switching my brain off from the world. I follow the MNP theory ( basically I created this short form :p ):
MUSIC can have a positive, direct effect on our mental state. Fast tempos can psychologically and physiologically stimulate you, helping rejuvenate you for the day. Slower, tunes can help you to unwind and lower your stress levels. Your favorite melodies release dopamine, known as the feel-good hormone, which triggers your brain’s enjoyment and reward system.
NETFLIX can help to stimulate low mood very easily if you engross yourself in a nice series or a movie. There are so many different genre’s available that you can choose from based on your liking and mood. For me, whenever I feel low, I prefer to watch horror movies which immediately amps up my mood. Snuggle up in your bed, order some snacks, get a coffee and watch your favorite show/movie peacefully. Obviously, excessive of anything is harmful, so while binge watching keep in mind you do not surpass that limit.
PODCASTS stimulates multiple parts of your brain, so whether it’s that adrenaline rush you get from crime podcasts or a comedy podcast that boosts your endorphins, there’s truly something out there for everyone. You can also find a variety of motivational, meditation and random talking podcasts. Since people listen to podcasts instead of watching them, it pushes listeners to use their imagination and create the pictures in their mind. Thus, people who listen to podcasts frequently have a stronger and more vibrant imagination. Spotify has a bunch of podcasts that you can listen to while multitasking throughout your day.
4. CHOOSE THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU WISELY:
Throughout adulthood or even in your late teenage years, it’s easy to lose touch with old friends and it can be hard to develop new friendships. The digital age has complicated this procedure as well by altering the way friends interact. As phone calls have been swapped for text messages and social media has replaced the need for face-to-face interaction, get-togethers with friends often turn out to be fewer and farther between.
There’s a rising evidence that authentic and genuine friendships may be very significant in terms of your personal and professional life. Friends have a big impact over how you feel, think, and behave. I feel friendships should be such that it brings you peace and makes you happy rather than creating issues. Here are a few points that I follow now, which I have learnt through experience over a period of time. Choose friendships that:
- Makes you happy and brings a smile on your face
- Understanding and communicating is the key element required
- Does not create unnecessary siyapa (trouble)
- Does not break your trust, takes you for granted, makes you feel left out, unloved or insults and criticize you in a bad way
- Does not hamper your mental health in any way
- Does not have a two-faced agenda towards you as a friend
Self-care is also interrelated with the kind of people you surround yourself with. The more toxic people you will have around you, the more it will affect your mood and mental health, which can be labeled as harming yourself indirectly. And self-care does not include harming yourself emotionally or physically. So, to keep the self-care process in place, choose the people around you wisely.
5. LEARN TO SAY NO:
Knowing when to say “no” is one of the self-care tips 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.
Self-care looks different for everyone. What’s soothing to one person could be stressful to another. An extrovert may find that socializing with friends is an excellent form of self-care while an introvert would find this draining. Choose what works for you the best either by hit and trial method or by way of experience.