Self-care is becoming a very popular method to assist in one’s mental health. Self-care can mean something different to everyone, whether it’s reading a book or eating chocolate— it’s whatever a person does to relax their mind (as long as it’s not harmful).
Self-care is an activity that you do to take care of yourself. Here are five popular self-care activities that would be beneficial to turn into regular healthy habits.
Aromatherapy is most notably used as a method to destress, relax, and even help with sleep issues. Typically, essential oils are used in aromatherapy. Common oils that are used include lavender, eucalyptus, and lemon oils. These oils are believed to create a positive response in your brain when inhaled (through smell receptors) and when placed on the skin. It is important to note that essential oils are highly concentrated and should not be used directly on the skin unless diluted with a carrier oil (coconut, olive, avocado, etc.) or with water.
Some may even say that scented candles have the same effect as essential oils. Lighting your favorite scented candle is a great way to relax and wind down, and it also pairs nicely with many of the other self-care routines listed below.
Exercise is an activity that benefits both mental and physical health. The physical benefits of exercise are obvious: weight loss, healthy heart, etc., but it’s also good for your mental health. Exercise relieves stress, so your body is producing less of the stress hormone, cortisol. At the same time, exercising also increases the hormones that make you feel happy. Exercising can also help to boost your confidence and help you sleep better at night.
Everyone’s exercise routine won’t look the same, and if you haven’t exercised before, you should definitely start off with low impact exercise, or even walking. Yoga and meditation are also good, low impact forms of exercise that don’t tend to overwhelm you.
3.Personal Care Routines
Your personal care routine includes things like showering or taking a relaxing bath, your skincare routine, and even your hair routine. It’s also beneficial to add an occasional spa day to your personal care routine. Having someone else “pamper” you while you relax takes away a lot of stress. If you’re low on cash, you can skip the spa and create your own spa day at home, complete with your favorite body wash/bubble bath, scented candles, and relaxing music. Creating your own spa at home also allows you to enjoy this every day, without worrying about spending money.
To make your personal self-care benefit your physical health, opt for naturally made products free from synthetic and harmful ingredients. This may cost more upfront, but it’s a lot better for your health in the end. Certain products have been known to contain chemicals that cause serious health issues. For example, talcum powder may contain traces of asbestos, which is known to cause cancer in various organs in the abdomen and chest.
Cooking is another way to relax your mind and treat yourself. Soup is known to be a comfort food, and there are many different soup recipes to try. This dish is one of the easiest to prepare and you can load it up with many veggies and herbs that are good for you. You can also treat yourself from time to time with dessert recipes, also known as comfort food. Just don’t go overboard with your dessert dishes and too many high-sodium/sugar/fat recipes— it is still self-care, so you want to give your body the best nutrients in a tasty way.
“Retail therapy” is a thing, and it can be a form of self-care when done correctly. The best way to go about retail therapy is to create a realistic spending budget, and try not to spend when you’re upset. It’s also beneficial when you’re shopping for other forms of self-care: essential oils, new workout clothes, scented candles, or grocery shopping for a new recipe you want to try.
Remember that self-care is not a substitute for dealing with mental health issues, but it is an effective supplement to therapy.