Happy Saturday! Today, I am sharing with you a full guide on how to self-care. Self-care is all about taking care of yourself, mentally, physically, and spiritually. It’s the effort of being the best version of yourself and to declare to yourself that you are important and that you matter! In this post, I will talk about what is self-care exactly and what are the activities you can do to achieve it!
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A Complete Guide to Self-Care🧖♀️
What is Self-care
The term “Self-Care” is a buzzword these days and has been highly represented in the media. However, these representations can be misleading. The media lashes self-care solutions in the form of expensive spa days and retail therapy. But, is getting a manicure, going to the spa, buying new products, or paying for an expensive massage a self-care? Well, the truth is Self-Care is whatever activity that you do to take care of yourself, mentally and physically, and to improve your well-being. So, whether it is buying a new purse, going to the spa, or even just sit at home and read, if these activities make you feel good, then it is self-care.
The main goal of self-care is to have a healthy mind, a healthy body, and a healthy spirit. According to Murphy-Hiscock (2018), a Wiccan High Priestess “the point of self-care isn’t just about giving yourself a break. It’s about becoming skilled at identifying your needs by listening to your mind, body, and spirit”. A big percentage of the population faces mental issues such as anxiety, depression, or an ongoing feeling of failure. In fact, in 2019, 2.5million Canadians claimed to have a poor mental health state (Elflein, 2020).
On another note, self-care is not selfish nor lazy. It does not encourage you to procrastinate, it encourages you to be kind to yourself and take things slow and easy. It’s, on the contrary, here to help you be more productive! Self-care is about treating yourself with kindness, respect, and love! It means to consider yourself as worthy and to present yourself as valuable and deserving.
Unlike what the media tells you, you do not need to spend a big amount of money to take care of yourself and self-care does not need to be extravagant. In fact, self-care can be so simple and free! You can perform self-care in a minimal and constant way in order to avoid reaching a desperate level where you feel the need to have a big self-care day. Personally, I always dedicate 20 minutes of the day for myself, like a self-care moment to help me recharge and take care of my well-being.
Mental Self-Care Activities
Magick or Witchcraft
The first activity on my list is magick or witchcraft. One of the main goals of magick is healing. It’s healing the self, humanity, earth, and nature. Hence, magick and self-care kind of go hand in hand since both look to heal you mentally, physically, and spiritually. Magick helps with self-empowerment and exerting control over your life. It encourages you to be the best person (or witch) you can be. Personally, witchcraft has truly helped me overcome mental and emotional dilemmas. In fact, I started it for a pure self-care reason. Witchcraft is actually a pretty big topic that I really cannot summarize in a couple of words however I highly recommend looking into it and maybe read the book that I mentioned as a reference at the end. It’s a truly wonderful book!
The second activity on my list is meditation. I am pretty sure someone already told you, at least once, to meditate whenever you are feeling stressed. And, I definitely believe the word “meditate” is being thrown around a lot. Meditation is actually a practice where you sit or lie down and you focus on your mind, body, and soul. It helps you achieve a certain level of self-awareness and facilitates relaxation. It helps you be completely aware of what’s around you without your mind thinking and helps you look things into perspective, it helps you to look at yourself from an outside and objective point of view. In terms of self-care, meditation will help you be kind to yourself and not judge your decisions. It will also help you relax and be in your best possible state of mind!
Unplug for the day
The third tip to help you self-care is to unplug for a little while. And by that I mean, to avoid any social media and any internet. While being connected to your loved ones via WhatsApp or Instagram can feel good, it can be extremely tiring. Keeping up with your friends’ news and the heavy flow of information can be overwhelming. In general, unplugging helps you refocus on yourself, to focus on the present moment, and to stay away from “the emotional roller-coaster that you ride reacting to a friend’s story” (Murphy-Hiscock, 2018). It gives you a chance to focus on you, who you are, and what you like to do. Which brings me to my fourth activity and that is to embark on an activity that you enjoy doing!
Artistic activity or anything that YOU enjoy doing!
There are so many wonderful things you can do while being disconnected from the world of social media. Personally, I love painting. I am not that good at it but I love it. It makes me feel relaxed, help me pass the time, and keep my mind creative. Sometimes, I unplug, just to go paint. This is how much I love it. But of course, there a dozen other activities you can do to relax and benefit from your unplugging: Listen to music, watch a movie, read a book, draw, cook, garden, bake, craft, take a walk, work out, play with your pet, clean and so forth.
Next on my list is the process of journaling. Journaling is a therapeutic practice, it allows you to transfer all of your thoughts and emotions from your mind to a piece of paper. It allows you to label emotions and acknowledge traumatic events and hence helps you make sense of everything. Moreover, it helps you organize your thoughts, and let, whatever is bringing you down, out. Personally, in my journal, I love to write down what makes me happy and what are the wonderful things that happen to me every day.
The sixth activity to help you self-care is positive thinking through affirmations. Affirmations are amazing to address negative self-talk. They are basically positive statements that reinforce desired goals. Examples of affirmations could be: “I am allowed to make mistakes”, “I am enough”, “I will do better next time”, “I am beautiful” and “I have the power to change myself and my world”. The thing is, you are the person who speaks to yourself the most so it’s important for you to be kind to yourself. We are often punishingly hard with ourselves and that is extremely unhealthy and does not help with self-confidence.
Create a gratitude list
Next on my list, is to create a daily or weekly gratitude list. So basically, write down all of the things you are grateful for, it could be something extremely corny and vapid, it does not matter but if it makes you happy then add it to your list. A gratitude list will allow you to be content with what you have and recognize all of the wonderful things that happen to you or that surrounds you. That way, you’ll start validating your successes and your life more!
Quality time with quality person
Next, what I think really helps you heal mentally is to spend quality time with a person that makes you feel good, and that values you. Surrounding yourself with positive energy is extremely important for your mental and emotional health. Actually, I am sure you’ve heard about getting rid of toxic people in your life and that is exactly it. You do not need people who speak negatively to you or who constantly bring you down. What you need is a person who believes in you, who loves you, and who makes you feel like the best person in the world.
Note that it’s also important to acknowledge if YOU are the toxic person and be willing to change.
The last activity on my “mental self-care activities” list is to declutter and organize your house, but also, your work tasks. One of the most stressful things is the overwhelming feeling to have a thousand things to do and not enough time. For this reason, I love to organize my day and plan what I have to do ahead of time. This helps make my work tasks more manageable and allows me to dedicate time to relax. I also believe that decluttering your things and organizing your house or room is extremely soothing and helps see things clearer.
Physical Self-Care Activities
Take care of your physical self
The tenth activity on my list is to take care of your physical body. It’s extremely important to respect your body by nourishing it, caring for it, and celebrating it. Your body is what houses your spirit and mental and emotional self, it is so important to take care of it. Taking care of your physical self can start by remembering to hydrate, to rest, and to eat healthily. But on top of all that, indulging in a skin, body, and hair care routine can be extremely beneficial. This routine will allow you to become more comfortable with yourself and it’s a way to show respect and love to your skin and hair.
Like I mentioned above, I always save 20 minutes of the day for a moment for me and at that moment, I take a shower, exfoliate and moisturize my body, brush my teeth, light a candle, apply oil on my hair, do my skincare routine and go to bed early. This is what helps me end the day on a positive note.
Slow work out
The next activity on my list is to opt for a slow workout like yoga, stretching, or casual exercises. Physical activity stimulates your brain and the release of dopamine, which is the hormone responsible for the feeling of happiness. Working out also allows you to keep your body moving and healthy and allows you to be more productive during the day. Hence, I believe working out should be included in your self-care routine!
The twelfth tip on my list is to get a restful sleep. One of the keys to reducing stress and taking good care of your physical (and mental) health is to rest enough and receive adequate sleep. A good night’s sleep can help reduce blood pressure, regulate your appetite, and improve concentration and productivity. It basically helps you have a wonderful day and be physically healthy. There are obvious things you can do to help you sleep better like for instance: eat lighter for supper, avoid using your phone, sleep and wake up at the same time every day, set yourself a nice and cozy routine, and make your room calm and clean.
The last tip on my list is to eat healthily. I don’t know about you but junk food makes me feel horrible and is extremely harmful to the health. Eating is one of the most basic forms of self-care and an unhealthy diet can lead to fatigue and a low level of energy. Also, food can easily impact your mood. So, to put it briefly, it’s important to cover your basic dietary needs. For instance, soups are wonderful self-care foods. They feel warm and comforting and, allow you to eat as many vegetables as possible.
Murphy-Hiscock, A. (2018). The Witch’s Book Of Self-Care: Magical ways to pamper, soothe and care for your body and spirit. Adams Media
Elflein, J. (2020). Number of Canadians who perceived their mental health as fair or poor from 2003 to 2019. Statista. Retrieved on the 4th of November 2020 from https://www.statista.com/statistics/434062/number-of-canadians-perceiving-their-mental-health-as-fair-or-poor/
Phelan, H. (2018). What’s all this about Journaling? The New York Times. Retrieved on the 13th of November 2020 from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/25/style/journaling-benefits.html
Exercise, Depression, and the Brand. Healthline. Retrieved on the 14th of November 2020 from https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/exercise
A Complete Guide To Self-Care
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