In our current world of self isolation and social distance, self care is more important than ever. It’s an essential part of living a happy and healthy life. The practice of self care lets us take time to put ourselves first. Since we’re going to be spending more time than ever at home, there’s never been a better time to make self care a priority.
Why is Self Care so important?
Every day we give huge parts of ourselves to others, to our jobs, to causes we believe in. Over time, we get worn out, burnt out. If we give all of ourselves to others, we end up with very little left for ourselves.
One of the best things we can do for ourselves and those we care about is setting aside to take care of ourselves. It’s not selfish to take time for ourselves, time to do things that bring joy to our lives. Self care is a wonderful way to recharge, to make sure we can still do as much as possible to help others.
Life is tough, we all have struggles no one knows about and we’re all trying our best to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. If we establish a pattern of taking care of ourselves in quick and easy ways, we will soon find our overall physical health and mental well being will begin to improve.
Self care is one tool we can use to remind ourselves we are valuable, we’re worthy and deserving of good things. One of the most common misconceptions about self care is that it’s costly. While that can be true, caring for yourself can be simple, free even. You don’t have to get facials, manicures and massages to practice self care.
Free Self Care Ideas
Truth be told, I’ve been spending a lot of time sleeping lately. It’s not because I’m lazy or depresses, it’s because for the first time in my life I’m listening to my body and giving it what it needs.
Sleeping in (if it’s not going to stress you out) is a valid self care activity. With that said, it is still important to do in moderation.
Sleeping in every day, spending days not getting out of bed is a sign of depression. If depression is something you struggle with or think you might be experiencing, seeking professional treatment might be a good idea.
With all of that said, by all means, sleep in for a couple hours on Saturday morning. Or, if you’re really focusing on yourself, enjoy an afternoon nap.
Take a Walk
Yes, we live in a world of social distancing but that doesn’t mean we can’t leave our house. Stay a safe distance away from people and avoid crowded places.
Go outside, get your blood pumping, enjoy the fresh air and change of scenery. If you’ve been stuck inside for days on end, you’ll notice the benefits right away.
The walk need not be long or vigorous, simply going out and putting yourself first for a few minutes is enough. Not to mention the bonus exercise and related health benefits.
If you are in a lock down situation and can’t leave your home, there are so many amazing “walk in your living room” type exercise videos on YouTube. Take a few minutes and go for a brisk walk without having to set foot outdoors.
Look at the Sky
While this is best done outdoors, it can also be done from your window or balcony no problem. When was the last time you laid down in the grass or on a truck box and looked at the stars? The clouds?
Chances are it’s been a while. Take some time to look at the clouds, look at the stars or even the streetlights. Be aware of what you’re seeing and how your body is feeling.
The really beneficial part of this is the chance to focus on something outside of yourself and the stress you deal with each and every day.
Watch funny Videos
Anyone else addicted to funny cat videos? It’s so easy to get lost in an endless stream of videos and suddenly it’s 3 hours later. This is not something to do regularly, when it can get in the way of your responsibilities. However it is something nice to do on occasion. Who can’t benefit from a good laugh from time to time?
Call a Friend
Right now with all the the shelter in place instructions, limitations on gatherings and the expectation of social distancing our social life is probably hurting. It’s harder to stay in touch with people, but arguably more important now than ever.
Furthermore, when life gets hectic, we have a habit of pushing people away. This is unfortunate because it’s really when we need to be pulling our friends closer and holding onto them a little tighter.
Pick up the phone, send a message and start the conversation, you never know when you’ll meet your next best friend or have a meaningful conversation.
Reading for as little as 5 minutes at a time has been shown to reduce stress. I like to read before bed, it’s just a great way to wind down after a long stressful day.
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Self Care is an important part of my life and daily routine. I’m always on the lookout for free or cheap self care activities. What are some of your favorites?
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