10 Easy Self-Care Activities
When we talk about self-care, we’re talking about more than just slapping on a face mask and unwinding for 10 minutes. Self-care encompasses everything that you do to help improve your physical, mental, and emotional health. It takes more than a nice smelling candle to take care of yourself, it takes work and appreciation.
You engage in activities that improve or worsen your body and mind every day. So what can you do to help get yourself back to a healthy state of both mind and body?
Take A Hot Shower or Bath
When you’re feeling like you’re in a funk, then it’s time to scrub the funk away. Taking a hot shower or bath can actually help relax your muscles and help soothe stiff joints. Both of which can occur even just working a desk job. When your muscles relax, your brain releases serotonin, a mood-stabilizing hormone, to help prevent muscles from immediately contracting. So the next time you find yourself feeling tense, get the hot water running and take some time to scrub the stress of the day away.
Do An At-Home Spa Day
Now, while an at-home spa day isn’t anything new in the self-care world, it is one of the few that’s closest to the feelings of luxury that you would pay to get at an actual spa. Doing a face mask, or giving yourself a pedicure aren’t just great ways to keep your skin glowing, they can also help you boost your serotonin levels. Funnily enough, taking time to pamper yourself with a spa treatment can also make you feel more energized and productive. Some people cite feeling a heightened sense of creativity after indulging in a spa treatment. Take some time out of your day to do some easy DIY spa treatments.
Taking care of your body extends beyond glowing, moisturized skin. The inside matters as much as the outside. Exercise is one of the most powerful tools you have to preserve and protect your health. Engaging in 15-20 minutes of moderate exercise is enough to kickstart your body’s metabolism. So try taking some time out of the day to do something physical. Walking, jogging, weight-lifting, and pilates are all great options for you to choose from. Each offers its own benefits and can help you better maintain heart health, muscle health, immune health, and neurological health. Get active as a form of stress relief and see how much better you feel!
Cook A Nice Meal
A home-made meal, especially a healthy one, is always a treat. People often cite feeling calmer or energized after cooking a meal that’s all their own. Why is that? A study found that many people who cooked meals at home, were more likely to try and cook a healthier meal than if they were to go out to a restaurant and eat. Additionally, people found that when they cooked at home, their family members were more likely to join them in the kitchen to spend some quality time with them. The combination of these different elements increased their dopamine levels and made them enjoy their meals more. So if you find yourself needing a little pick-me-up, make yourself a nice meal and see if your spouse or kids want to join you?
This has become quite popular in recent years. In a world where we look at electronic screens nearly all day, it’s good to turn the screens off every once in a while and just focus on the world around us. Studies have shown that people in the U.S. check their phones over 100 times a day and many people cite feeling anxiety or depression when using social media, this is especially prevalent where negative body image is concerned. So do yourself a favor and leave the phone and computer off. Instead of checking up on social media, read a book, or enjoy a nice cup of tea outside. Let yourself take some time off from screens.
Do A Half-Hour Stretch
Spending all day sitting down at a desk can take its toll. It can cause problems with muscle stiffness, sore joints, poor posture, and more. The best way to combat this is to get up and move, but if you’re not in a position to go for a mile run, stretching can help stimulate much-needed blood flow and oxygen.
Reach Out To Friends
Humans are social creatures, and no matter how much we may like to decompress alone, sometimes getting that social interaction is important, even if it’s from miles away. If you have friends or family members that you haven’t talked to in a while then maybe now is the time to reach out to them. Call them up to see how they’re doing, to share a funny story, or just to talk about how much you miss each other. Having that interaction can help reenergize you.
Enjoy The Outdoors
Did you know that the greatest source of Vitamin D that the human body can get is through sunlight? When UV rays from the sun hit the skin, Vitamin D starts to get produced from cholesterol that resides in the skin. This can help your body maintain bone health and regulate your immune system, but that’s not the only benefit of a little sunshine. Getting enough sunlight can also help your body create melatonin, one of the necessary sleep hormones, and help you sleep better at night. So if you feel your eyes straining from staring at a computer screen or you’re feeling a little sluggish, step outside for ten minutes. Better yet, enjoy an afternoon outside and read a good book.
Do Something Artsy
Creativity can be a powerful form of relaxation. It helps us take our mind off of the stresses of the day. When you draw or paint or sculpt, you become completely immersed in that activity. So much so, that it actually causes you to lose track of time. That immersion causes your brain to release dopamine and serotonin, which lowers stress hormones and anxiety. That’s not all! Creativity also helps keep your brain sharp. Your brain’s problem-solving abilities actually improve when you do something artistic, which can help with other cognitive functions in the future, including memory. So give your brain some self-love and care by doing something creative!
Have A Movie Marathon
Another great way to destress after a long day is to sit back, relax, and enjoy a good movie. Whether it’s an old favorite or one you’ve never seen before, escaping into the world of cinema can be a great way to decompress. It’s also a great way to spend time with loved ones. If you and your spouse are feeling tired after a long day of work stress, financial stress, and family stress, then turn on the TV and find a movie the both of you will enjoy. Share a few laughs, shed a few tears, and just enjoy each other’s company in a moment of calm. There’s nothing better than a good story.
Self-Care Can Mean Anything
Self-care is one of the ways you can express self-love. Taking time to unwind, to get back to a state of relaxation, or to just enjoy the time you have with those you love can do a lot for your mental and physical health. Dedicate some time to yourself and remember what matters most to you. Prioritize your health and happiness. After all, you are the only one who can define what that is.