Six Simple Tips to Help You Practice Self-Care
The hustle and bustle of life provides you with a laundry list of people you must be accountable to on a daily basis. That list can include employers, family, friends or even an HOA closely monitoring the height of your hydrangeas out front of your home. When it comes to that list of whom you need to help, one person who may often get lost in the shuffle is yourself.
We are always taught to think of others before ourselves. However, just because you aren’t thinking of yourself first does not mean you should not think of yourself at all. September is Self-Care Awareness Month, which reminds us that taking time for yourself is an important step in maintaining your overall inner wellness. If you’re having trouble thinking of ways you can best help yourself, consider these tips.
Take a walk
Much has been said about a “runner’s high,” where a person experiences a positive change in mood and improved mental clarity following a nice run or jog. However, you don’t have to hit the treadmill, as a brisk walk outside can still work wonders.
Take that time to experience your surroundings, daydream, work through the day’s problems in your head or just be present in the moment. Your mind and body just may thank you.
The ways in which the world has been taken over by technology cannot be overstated. Many days, the first and last thing you see is your phone. Whether it’s social media, text chains or casual web surfing, you may not even realize just how much of your day is accompanied by your mobile device. There are tremendous advantages to cell phones, tablets and streaming services, but there can also be some negativity, particularly stemming from the chaos that is social media.
Try setting your phone down, flipping the television off and doing something you did before the advances in technology. That can be piecing together that puzzle collecting cobwebs in the closet, picking up an active hobby, having an undistracted conversation with a friend or family member or just taking some time to meditate. Just because technology has dipped its hands into everything does not mean that technology needs to be your everything.
Watch something that makes you laugh
On a similar note, a lot of what we consume on television and social media can be frustrating, maddening or all-around sad. Try watching something that makes you laugh, whether it’s a movie you have seen 100 times, a comedian that always does the trick or a new comedy that popped up on the unending list of available options to stream.
It is good to take time to unwind and just laugh. It could be a nice changeup to the regular doomsday documentaries and nightly news rundowns.
Spend time with your pets
According to a survey, 77 percent of American households feature pets. Studies have shown that petting an animal and feeling the unbridled love of a devoted pet can greatly improve one’s mood. That is why you so often see dogs brought to hospitals and schools to help alleviate worry or hurt.
Your dog or cat will love it, too. So often, they catch the brunt of falling by the wayside as your attention is turned to other things in your life. Taking 10 minutes to sit on the ground and pet your favorite furry companion won’t just better their day, it will better yours, too.
Indulge in a beloved food
I am not saying to go all out with an unseasonal Christmas feast, but we often deny ourselves sweet or savory treats because we know they are not as healthy as their leafy green counterparts. Still, as you’re checking out at the grocery store, grab your favorite candy bar once in a while. Don’t just keep the chocolate chip cookies in the jar for company, have one yourself. It’s a simple joy, but one that is just as enjoyable as an adult as it was when you were younger.
Pay a compliment forward
This may seem counterintuitive to the “self-care” aspect of this piece, but you may be surprised. The world is not without negativity, so why not counter that with some positive output? You may not realize the impact one friendly compliment or comment of appreciation can have on a friend, neighbor or coworker.
Not only will you be helping their day, but you will also feel better knowing you helped improve someone else’s day with little to no effort at all.
By following these few steps and giving yourself a daily dose of compassion, you’ll be able to approach your relationships and work with a clear mind, allowing the positivity to continue throughout your week.
By: Michael Quirk
Michael Quirk is the communications coordinator for Ameris Bank. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, Katy, and their two dogs. He enjoys running, playing fetch with his golden retriever and watching any sports that come across the TV.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Ameris Bank does not endorse nor is affiliated with the companies listed in this article.