Self-care is not cowardly

To quote an article I read recently:

“the point of self-care isn’t to ‘make yourself feel good’. It’s making intentional choices to improve your overall mental, emotional, and physical health.”

As the author points out, self-care might mean vanilla scented candles and a long bath, but self-care can also be raw and painful, like having difficult conversations or asking for help.

And sometimes, we don’t even know what we need or where to start.

This interactive flow-chart can help. It guides readers through a series of questions around physical health and surroundings, medication and moods to help identify the cause of distress and then suggest appropriate self-care strategies.

Additionally, I have compiled a list of some self-care activities below:

  • Eat mindfully
  • Breathing techniques such as alternating nostrils, to help balance and clear the mind
  • Walking mindfully so that you really take in your surroundings
  • Sing or listen to music
  • Write a pros/cons list
  • Get out of bed
  • Be vulnerable with people who won’t judge you
  • Find a local social group
  • Drink more water
  • Express anger or grief – you don’t always have to be happy
  • Hug someone – including pets
  • Exercise
  • Watch a humorous video
  • Begin a new hobby
  • Write a letter
  • Stretch
  • Learn to say ‘yes’
  • Have an night in by yourself
  • Think about therapy – or give it another go
  • Clean up or organise your surroundings
  • Take a lunch break during your work day
  • Make an appointment with your doctor
  • Engage in positive self-talk
  • Call a friend
  • Get some sunshine
  • Reduce the amount of hobbies you have
  • Take a shower
  • Apologise and make amends where necessary
  • Sleep
  • Give yourself permission to try – and to fail
  • Go out with friends
  • Mindful self-compassion meditations
  • Take prescribed medications or investigate this as an option
  • Ask someone for help – even for small things
  • Pampering activities such as massages and baths
  • Let go of relationships that no longer contribute to your well-being
  • Write down some goals
  • Dress up or dress down
  • Practise gratitude and empathy
  • Listen to your body
  • Learn to say ‘no’
  • Call a help line
  • Engage in difficult conversations – practise speaking to a pet or object first
  • Random acts of kindness
  • Remind yourself that worthiness doesn’t have prerequisites and you can be who you are in the world without shame

While this list is a good start, almost anything can be an activity in self-care, provided it is working to increase well-being. Some may be easier than others, but ultimately all are acts of bravery – because there’s nothing about self-care that is cowardly.

 

 

 

Photo credit: James Stencilowsky

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Published by

Melita Caulfield

Melita believes in living mindfully and authentically which is reflected in her writing and artistic expression.

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