Life is complicated- daily hassles, past trauma, demands from family, friends, work, your own dilemmas and the quest for a better life can easily leave you drained. So, how do you take care of yourself in order to regain strength, vitality, and energy and claim your life back? Here are some science-backed things you can do to take care of yourself and enhance your well-being.
1. Acknowledge the situation
The first thing you need to do is simple- just acknowledge that the situation you are going through is rough and that most people would have an adverse reaction. Don’t fight it, just see it the way it is. This basic type of acceptance is often enough to help reduce your guilt and self-doubts.
2. Take care of your body
When under pressure and stressed, your body suffers. Maybe you have migraine headaches, upset stomach or indigestion, constipation or diarrhea, sore muscles, a stiff neck…. Whatever. Remember that when you are too stressed out your body starts suffering first. Take care of your body and induce relaxation. You can try a massage, a yoga class, walking, or anything that helps you relax those muscles and take away the tension.
That’s important! Breathing is the hallmark of living. Take some long. Deep, deliberate breaths. Fill your lungs with oxygen, invigorate your body. In the in-breath say, “Breathe in calm” and in the out-breath say “breathe out stress.”
Learn a meditation technique to break the stress cycle and find your inner peace spot. When you meditate with your eyes closed you induce alpha brain waves, that is a relaxed state of consciousness. When you allow your brain to operate on the alpha waves, you obliterate stress and restore calm, inner peace, and creativity.
Keep a journal not of just happened in your day, but a log of your inner experience, thoughts, and feelings. Try to see what are recurring patterns of thought and behavior. Identify thoughts, feelings, and mental states.
Books offer a wealth of benefits. You may enjoy literature, self-development books, or poetry. Whatever your taste in reading might be, invest in the act of reading. That’s an act of self-care. When you read you invest in yourself: you learn new things, you see yourself and your situation depicted outside of your environment, you get new ideas and inspirations on how to handle the difficulties life throws at you.
Another way to take good, positive care of yourself is investing in your self-development. You develop your self when you read articles on self-improvement, when you take new hobbies, when you meet and connect to new people and when you give your life a positive direction.
8. Connect with nature
Another powerful way of self-care is when you spend time in nature. Do you like the sea? Forests? Gardens? Whatever your preference might be, make sure you spend time outdoors in nature, walking, observing, breathing the fresh air.
9. Listen to music
Music is super powerful! It evokes pleasurable feelings and can lift you up instantly. Make a play-list with your favorite songs and listen to them on a daily basis.
10. Move that body
Another important sign of self-care is movement. Your body needs movement, as in walking, running, biking, dancing… whatever it is that you like. Science says that 10,000 steps per day is the optimal amount to refuel your energy and make you feel less stressed and more anxious.
11. Find a hobby/interest
Yes, I know you are busy. Yes, I know you don’t have much time in the day. But I also know how important it is for all of us to invest in hobbies and interests. Make time to do the things you love, the things that lift your spirit and nourish your soul.
12. Enjoy long, relaxing baths
Take care of yourself by immersing yourself in warm water. Add essential oils, perhaps light a candle and… voila! You have created a powerful self-care moment. Remember that water has cleansing and restorative powers; so give yourself a chance to enjoy long showers, scented baths, hot saunas….
13. Take a power-nap
Research shows that power-naps, that last about 20 minutes, have the ability to “reboot” ourselves, and re-energize us. So why not carve out 20 minutes and take a cat nap?
14. Remove negative people from your social media
Now this is a powerful act of self-care! Mute or delete the negative people in your social media or your social network. Spend more time with positive people.
15. Go Fika!
I love this one! Fika is the Swish coffee break; it’s the concept of carving out some positive downtime daily. Fika is also about connecting with others while taking a coffee break. When you meet other people, you talk and connect with them, you have an enhanced experience of total self-care!