Whether you’re a student, manage your house or call the shots in the office, stress follows you everywhere. That’s exactly why self-care is essential. If you think that it is a luxury, you can’t afford then you are wrong. You don’t have to book tickets to travel the world or burn a hole in your pocket for self-care activities. It can be doing small things that you like. On International Self-Care Day, let us check out some ways to indulge in self-care to improve mental health.
Health Shots checked with psychotherapist, life and business coach Dr Chandni Tugnait to find out the importance of self-care.
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What is self-care?
Taking care of your family and loved ones is good, but don’t put yourself last. Self-care is about putting your health and happiness at the top of your to-do list. Amidst the hustle and bustle, we forget the importance of taking care of ourselves. Engaging in activities that cater to our physical, mental, and emotional health is what self-care is all about, says Dr Tugnait.
The need for self-care
Self-care is not something that you should simply practise when you’re unwell or depressed. It is to be made a habit and it is crucial to have a self-care routine. Just work around your schedule and priorities. When there is a lack of self-care in terms of health, hygiene or living conditions, it is self-neglect, which can have adverse effects on physical, emotional, and mental health, says the expert. Self-care is not selfish, despite what some others might think. Be it relationships, self-confidence, health or finances, with self-care, you can witness stability in every area of life.
Self-care ideas for mental health
Take time to discover what truly rejuvenates and refreshes you personally instead of just following what others are doing. Here are a few ideas to get started with self-care:
1. Mindfulness meditation
Focusing on the present moment without passing judgment is a component of mindfulness meditation, explains the expert. This practice is believed to lower anxiety and despair while also enhancing general well-being. You can use mindful eating or box-breathing to build the skill of being mindful.
Regular exercise is one of the most widely recommended self-care practices as it is a fantastic method to raise your mood and relieve stress. Also, it can help with body image and self-confidence. If you are not a fitness enthusiast, exercising for 30 minutes most days of the week will seem like a lot of work. But it’s for your own good.
Essential oils can be used to ease stress and promote relaxation. Consider putting a few drops of chamomile or lavender oil in your bath. You can also put a few drops on the corners of your pillow to enjoy a relaxed sleep.
4. Connect with nature
Being outside in nature can help you feel calmer and grounded. Whether you’re hiking, strolling through a park, or just sitting outside, connecting with nature can fill you with peace and energy.
Journaling is an excellent way to manage feelings and de-stress. Every day, try writing down your ideas and emotions. You can also use prompts to get you thinking. Whether it is brain-dumping or brainstorming, writing thoughts on paper is highly effective.
6. Digital detox
Spending too much time staring at devices or on social media might be detrimental to your mental health. Think about setting aside a specific amount of time each day to take a break from technology.
7. Alternative therapies
Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, energy healing and physiotherapy can help with stress management and relaxation.
If things seem too difficult to manage or you feel overwhelmed with everything, reach out for professional help.