Five More Ways to Practice Self-Care

In my last blog post, I discussed what self care is and wrote about five self-care activities that I find helpful: Taking medications, refraining from drugs/alcohol, counselling, exercise, and meditation.

In this blog post, I will discuss five more activities and how they can help.

Walks

  • Getting out of the house and going for a walk is a great way to improve mental and physical health.
  • Research suggests that being outside in nature also makes us feel more alive.
  • Living in an area with lots of green space, such as parks and gardens, is linked to better mental health and life satisfaction.[1]

Long walks really help me unclutter my thoughts and think more clearly. I put my phone on silent and I’m free from any distractions. It’s even better when I’m listening to music. It’s very refreshing and peaceful. My favourite walks are long ones where I’m not even paying attention to where I’m going and get lost; it makes me feel free.

Music

  • Dancing can improve both mood and body image.
  • It can also help lead you to a better outlook.
  • Research shows that listening to music, especially upbeat music, can make you experience positive emotions.[2]

Music is something I’m very passionate about. Music is therapeutic for me. Whether it’s slow or upbeat, my favourite songs make me happy and helps me calm down or forget about my problems. It gives me strength and confidence. It helps me sort through my thoughts/emotions and express them. It speaks for me and helps me find the words I’m looking for, when all else fails.

Write

  • Writing can help you clarify your thoughts and feelings, and solve problems more effectively.
  • It can help resolve disagreements with others. Writing about misunderstandings and conflicts may help you to understand another’s point of view.
  • Keeping a journal allows you to track improvement and growth over time.
  • Writing about stressful or traumatic events helps you come to terms with them.
  • Writing about painful emotions helps to release the intensity of the feelings. By writing about the experiences, you may feel calmer and better able to stay in the present. [3]

Writing is also therapeutic for me. It’s something I’m good at so it’s a valuable use of my time and a great, productive thing to do when I’m bored or lack motivation. It also helps me get things out that I need to say and helps me organize/lay out my thoughts. I also learn about myself and other things by writing and researching.

Chores/Errands

  • Doing chores mindfully (focusing on smell, feel, touch, etc) can reduce anxiety and other stressful emotions.
  • Morning cleaning routines are linked to better productivity, a greater sense of well-being.[4]
  • Doing something productive, like housework, can help take your mind off negative things, by giving you something else to focus on.[5]
  • It can boost self-esteem. Having a clean, tidy, good-looking house can make you feel better about yourself and your home. It can also provide a small sense of accomplishment.[6]

Chores/errands are a great way for me to pass time, especially if I’m anxiously waiting for something, and it can be a good distraction from my negative/anxious thoughts. It also makes me feel good because I accomplished something.

Socialize/hang with friends

  • “Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times.”
  • Friends prevent loneliness.
  • They can also increase your sense of belonging and purpose, help boost your happiness and reduce your stress, help improve your self-confidence and self-worth.
  • They help you cope with distress or trauma, and encourage you to avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits.[7]

I love spending time with my friends. It makes me so happy. We have lots of laughs. We can talk for hours. We comfort each other. I love hugs/cuddles and my best friend gives the best ones.


References

[1] Duron, A. (2015). 25 Science-Backed Ways to Change Your Life by Taking Better Care of Yourself. Greatist. Retrieved from http://greatist.com/happiness/ways-to-practice-self-care

[2] Ibid.

[3] Purcell, M. (2016). The Health Benefits of Journaling. PsychCentral. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-health-benefits-of-journaling/

[4] Gelman, L. (n.d.). 8 Annoying Chores With Unexpected Scientific Health Benefits. Reader’s Digest. Retrieved from http://www.rd.com/home/cleaning-organizing/health-benefits-chores/

[5] The Health & Wellness Benefits of Housework. (2016). Castle Thai Spa. Retrieved from https://www.castlethaispa.com/the-health-wellness-benefits-of-housework/

[6] Raine, D. (n.d.). The hidden benefits of The Housework Workout. Make Peace With Housework. Retrieved from http://makepeacewithhousework.com/blog/the-hidden-benefits-of-the-housework-workout/

[7] Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014). Friendships: Enrich your life and improve your health. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/friendships/art-20044860

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