Self-care is a practice about treating yourself with respect, meeting your own needs in a way that is beneficial to your body and your mental health. I see time and time again that self-care is one of those things that gets neglected too often. Before you know it you’re well on the way to becoming physically and mentally unwell. I am a huge advocate for encouraging women to make self-care a priority in their lives after my own experience of neglecting my self-care and stumbling into a depressive episode. In this blog post I share five physical self-care ideas that spark and encourage positive mental health.
What is self-care?
Self-care is about nourishing your mental, emotional and physical health so that you can feel recharged, refueled and regenerated. As I mentioned above, self-care is an act that you do deliberately to take care of your mental, emotional and physical health. There are many benefits to practicing regular self-care, but if its neglected you can run the risk of feeling unhappy, having low self-esteem, feeling resentment towards others, become anxious and experience depression and you can also experience burn out.
1. Go for a walk
We all know how beneficial exercise is to your health in general, but do you know just how much exercise can improve your mental health? Whether you live with depression, anxiety or stress, simply going for a walk can have positive benefits to supporting your recovery. Not only can going for a walk or physical exercise in general can help with your mental health recovery, it can improve your memory and your quality of sleep.
Going for a walk can also give you the time and the space to defuse and reflect upon any negative emotions that you might be feeling, especially if you take a walk in an environment that is calming.
2. Get sweaty
When you get sweaty through exercise, it causes chemical changes in your brain and in your body. When you’re working up a sweat, your body releases the hormone called endorphin, which is a powerful chemical in the body that naturally makes you feel good. Physical exercise and getting sweaty can also boost your self-esteem and improve the way that you feel about yourself and your self-image.
Of course, if you’re planning to introduce exercise into your routine, it is always best to seek professional advice from your doctor and start slow.
3. Visit a new place
Travelling can do wonders for your physical and mental health and you don’t even have to travel far. Taking a break and visiting a new place (or even an old favourite) can help you take a break from your daily routines and stressful situations that may be happening around you. Depending on where you travel to, it can help you to relax, recharge and rejuvenate.
Travelling and visiting new places promotes happiness and wellness, helps you to feel more calm and content, boosts satisfaction, helps you become more mentally resilient and can even move you to a space where you can reflect on your life goals and personal values.
4. Take a power nap
This one can be a little bit tricky, especially if you’ve got young children or if you go to work most days of the week, but if you ever get a chance to take a nap when you desperately need to it can do wonders for your self-care.
Having a quick power nap can promote physical well-being and can improve your mood and your memory.
Mia, from Mia Danielle, talks about the psychological impact of living with clutter. In her article, she talks about how living with clutter can increase stress and overwhelm, feelings of shame, cause distraction and can actually have negative affects on your behaviour.
So, reducing the clutter around you can help reduce stress and feeling overwhelmed and increase your self-esteem and self-worth.
Here’s to finding your best you,
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