Are you taking care of You?
What self-care tips are you following this summer? What is self-care you might ask? It’s when you actively engage in an activity you have decided will enhance your emotional, physically and/or mentally. The term self-care is often so loosely thrown around you may have to stop and ask just what it is. The good news is that it’s entirely up to you. The moment it becomes about someone else, it’s no longer self-care. At that point, it’s just caring for others and defeats the purpose. Therefore, it is imperative for these self-care tips to become a part of your lifestyle. Also, the best part is self-care cost as little or as much as you decide. Really, there is no reason not to do it.
Try Something New
Trying a new activity is a fun self-care tip to follow. So much falls into this category. Over the years these things have varied depending on what was going on in my life. I remember taking tennis lessons,swimming , skating lessons and don’t even ask why I didn’t learn to skate as a child. How could I forget my foray into softball and flag football?
Vacation Or Stay-cation
Take a vacation or even a stay-cation. I believe vacation is self-explanatory but I will use this opportunity to mention my recent trip to Orlando for a Star Wars Half Marathon. It was so nice to get away for a few days. Anytime you can exercise and have fun, it’s a win-win situation. Of course, there is always the road trip to the beach. Stay-cations are an opportunity to explore your own city as a tourist but without the hassles of packing and traveling. Visit your local museums, a baseball game, have dinner at a swanky restaurant, go on a tour, visit the parks and gardens. I’m amazed at how much I learn and how inexpensive it is to explore locally.
Explore New Foods
Trying new recipes is the perfect self-care tip for foodies. Many people are pulling out the grills this time of year. Grilling is a great way to add flavor without the added calories that tend to go with fried foods. Many vegetables and fruit can be added to the grill. If you aren’t a fan of grilling consider giving old recipes a do-over with new flavors from some bold spices other than salt.
Get social by reconnecting with family or old friends. Invite a few of them over for a summer cookout. This is an opportunity to try new foods by setting a theme with a healthy flare. If each guest brings a dish to share it takes away some of the event planning stress. The ideas are endless and could include such themes as a luau or Mardi gras. Food doesn’t have to be the focal point. This is also the perfect opportunity to take a group walk, bike ride or fitness class together.
Just Have Me Time
Hang with yourself on a solo date. Sometimes it’s fun just to hang out with yourself. Deciding to treat yourself to a spa day, lunch, movies, or good ole workout. Some of my best times have been spent shopping alone or going on a solo bike ride.
Practice Mindfulness Activities
Practicing mindfulness is a great way to get in tune with yourself, reduce stress and its free. It is the process of practicing awareness and acceptance of the present moment. Mindfulness has been proven to not only help lower stress but also assist with pain management, weight management as well as alleviate many of the symptoms of mental illness. There are many types of mindfulness activities that you could practice alone or with others including, deep breathing, meditation, mindful eating, adult coloring, and yoga.
Self-care isn’t just about what we do in the gym or the food on our plates. It really should take a holistic approach. There is a direct correlation between practicing self-care, lowered stress levels and improved mental health. Per the American Psychological Association, exercise reduces stress. Lower stress levels have a positive impact on mental health, especially for those living with anxiety and depression. These 6 self-care tips shouldn’t be a rare treat but instead it should be a part of your regular routine. The next time you begin to feel overwhelmed with the thought of trying to manage too many things at once, just stop and breathe. Remember, it is okay to say NO. This may sound a bit cliché but I try to live by the mantra, “you can’t pour from an empty vessel.”