Stress and trauma are the main culprits behind most people’s daily turmoil. As a significant fraction of the population faces mental health and addiction issues, conventional methods may work but seem like a shortcut to finding an ultimate solution. To keep watch over their overall well-being, most people are now turning to unconventional solutions like religion, joining support groups, spirituality, and alternative therapies.
Are you on a quest to take charge of your life? Embark on a self-care journey that entails taking deliberate measures to care for your emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual self. Through self-care, you can better cope with daily stressors at work, at home, or in social situations. Not sure where to start? Below are seven self-care activities to get you on track.
1. Get a Massage
Besides improving circulation, boosting immunity, and relieving muscle strain, a massage is an excellent solution for reducing stress. The self-care journey demands doing something to care for yourself. Getting a massage benefits you and proves you love and care for yourself.
While getting a massage, your body releases dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. These feel-good hormones give you an overall sense of well-being and alleviate anxiety. Regular massages also help decrease cortisol and insulin levels, calming the nervous system. If you regularly have massages, you’ll notice a significant improvement in digestion and reaction to various stressors.
You’ll also get better quality of sleep and stimulate changes in your body that keep you in tip-top shape, physically and mentally. Book regular appointments with a massage therapist to enjoy a stress-free life. Also, consider getting traditional massages if you suffer from chronic pain, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, or depression. Even when you have no underlying health issues, you will reap massive benefits by getting a massage simply for self-care.
2. Take Care of Your Teeth
If you look good, you feel good. Self-care is about sitting on your emotions, whether good or bad. Therefore, when you’re happy, you smile and laugh more. So, what better way than to seek orthodontic services to keep up with your oral health and care for existing dental issues? Flossing and brushing your teeth is great, but your teeth may show signs of discoloration or appear crooked.
Consider undergoing cosmetic dentistry to get you that magazine-worthy smile. Undergoing a simple cosmetic procedure like
teeth whitening, teeth, and gum contouring, or getting porcelain veneers can completely transform your smile. It can give you the emotional confidence boost you need when you’re around people.
After that, smiling won’t remind you of your facial/dental flaws. Instead, it will be something you look forward to. Visit your dentist at least once yearly and more frequently if you have existing dental problems.
3. Enjoy a Good Meal
Does your mood instantly change for the better before your order arrives? Nutrition is an integral part of keeping yourself healthy. But treating yourself to a good meal without worrying about the price is phenomenal. Whether eating out at a restaurant or preparing something nice at home, enjoying a good meal is an act of self-rewarding which is integral to the progress that your self-care journey requires.
Buy yourself a takeaway meal and cake for dessert on your way home from work. Enjoy some craft beers while socializing with friends or during special occasions. Order a pizza while lounging at home, watching movies, or bonding with loved ones. For others, it’s simply pizza, but for you, it’s an opportunity to experience joy.
A good meal doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to affect your mind positively. The goal is to feel good about the experience. Good nutrition has a direct effect on your mental health. Ensure you eat a balanced diet and choose healthy meals that keep you mentally and physically healthy. When your diet is inadequate, you’ll experience issues like forgetfulness, increased fatigue, reduced concentration, and poor productivity. People who don’t eat a balanced diet are likely to experience stress or, worse, develop depression.
4. Upgrade Your Wardrobe
Often, you see a dress that you’re sure would look good on you, but because it costs a lot or you wouldn’t know where to wear it, you turn away and decide to focus on something else. Part of self-care requires you to give to yourself just as much or even more than you give to others. It may be time to upgrade your wardrobe if it’s been a while since you last bought a new outfit or some jewelry. Upgrading your wardrobe comes with a set of perks like:
Complements Your Lifestyle
How you dress is an excellent way to express yourself and your lifestyle. Buying official outfits indicate a lifestyle deeply vested in your work. Putting on colorful, flowery outfits shows you are free-spirited and happy, showcasing your artistic nature. When changing your wardrobe, consider outfits that suit your way of life. You don’t want to spend money on clothes you seldom wear.
Brings in Variety
A new wardrobe may be next on the list in your self-care adventure, but you could also use the opportunity to use it to diversify your otherwise bland collection of outfits. If three-quarters of your outfits are clothes you can only wear to the office, your next wardrobe upgrade should include casual outfits for social gatherings. Conversely, if most outfits in your closet are the same color, purchase brighter, more colorful clothes for a change.
This is where the self-care part of the equation is most conspicuous. Confidence is integral to your self-care journey. What better way to boost your confidence than changing how you look? Upgrading your wardrobe involves buying new clothes, shoes, jewelry, and other accessories. Choosing and trying on dresses, hats, and jewelry is therapeutic. Wearing your new outfit to that special occasion and turning heads is even more exhilarating. Nothing raises your spirits better than the feeling you get after receiving compliments from random strangers because of how good you look.
5. Get Your Hair Done
Getting your hair done makes you feel like you can take over the world! Whether you’re getting a haircut, braids, some highlights, a simple wash, and a blowout, you name it; you feel reborn. It makes you walk and speak more confidently. Your self-care journey embraces the continuation of habits you enjoy and supports changes you make to improve your circumstances.
If you’re going through stress at work, at home, or feeling down for whatever reason, getting your hair done may seem insignificant but can trigger a ripple effect that positively resets you mentally and emotionally. When you’re struggling to transition, getting your hair done is an act of self-care that can trigger positive change. If you’ve just ended a relationship or suffered a loss, switching your hairstyle from your typical long tresses to a short bob is an announcement to others and yourself that the new you is entering a new chapter.
A hairdo is also one way to get colleagues to take you seriously. If you want to earn more respect without saying a word, get a professional hairstyle that complements your outfit and attracts the desired results. A professional and fresh hairdo every couple of times a month makes you look younger, feel great, and become more creative. It hints at your personality and commands attention from everyone.
Find a hair salon that uses quality hair products and guarantees value for money. The hair salon must have stylists who know much about hair and can choose a hairdo that matches your lifestyle, vibe, and attitude. A new hairstyle can’t make you bulletproof, but it can sure feel like it.
6. Try a New Hobby
A hobby is an activity you do regularly during your leisure time for enjoyment. It’s not something you do because you’re getting paid for it or because it’s your job. A hobby is what you do out of love and passion. Having a hobby is one of the most underrated activities for self-care. However, if you are adamant about staying on course in your self-care journey, you must not only have a new hobby but be open also to trying new ones. Examples of new hobbies you could try include:
- Reading, etc.
Maintaining a hobby, even when it seems like you have too much on your plate and barely have extra time, is a significant deterrent for most people. However, hobbies can help improve your personal and professional life tremendously. Irrefutable benefits of trying a new hobby include:
- Promotes Happiness
: A hobby is something you’re excited to do. Prioritize self-care by intentionally setting aside time for your hobby as a means to stay happy. For example, if your new hobby is playing the piano, visit the local piano shop to buy a piano and ask about starting piano lessons.
- Relieves Stress
: If you like reading, singing, knitting, or drawing as a hobby, use it to relieve stress whenever you feel angry, disappointed, or nervous. Look at your new hobby as something pleasurable you do to escape from thinking about your stressor to reap its stress-relieving benefits.
- Cultivates Purpose
: When it seems your work or family dominates your life, a hobby helps take away your attention from the daily routine . Too much work can be monotonous, and your life can seem black and white if you have no hobbies. A new hobby adds color to your life. It is the self-care activity that allows you to set new goals, face unique challenges, and exist with enthusiasm.
- It’s a Social Outlet
: Sports, physical activity, and wellness groups are excellent when you’re looking for a new hobby. Baseball, for example, introduces you to new people and enables you to build a new network of people outside of your family and workmates. Buying baseball equipment to better enjoy your hobby is one way to improve at the sport and maybe play professionally.
To reap the benefits, participate in your hobbies frequently, preferably once or more a week.
7. Talk to a Therapist
The misconstrued notion that therapy is never for you but for others with severe mental issues is misplaced. It’s perfectly ok to see a therapist even when you haven’t been diagnosed with any mental disorder. People take up exercising or dieting to look and feel better. Therapy is no different. Therapy can complement your self-care journey because it’s an avenue to face your traumas and share your thoughts without judgment.
In recent years, more people are going to therapy, which sets them up to reap irrefutable benefits. Besides self-care, therapy can also simultaneously help you do the following.
- Access positive support whenever you need an emotional boost
- Develop stronger communication skills
- Develop better coping skills and strategies when faced with difficulty
- Build stronger relationships
- Learn how to better deal with stress or triggers
- Improve self-awareness
- Better solve conflict
- Cope better despite your struggle with mental disorders
You don’t need a specific reason to start therapy. Most people wait until they have an issue with their partners or struggling with work/life to consider going for therapy. However, therapy is an excellent tool to keep track of yourself and find out how you’re doing mentally and emotionally. There are issues you may be going through that you may be unaware of but are apparent to a therapist, who can, in turn, suggest various ways to maneuver.
Whether for self-care or medical reasons, therapy helps manage emotions like anxiety, sadness, anger, and frustration. You probably experience these feelings daily from family, work, existing health issues, and isolated insecurities. Therapy is a type of self-care that requires one to be honest with themselves.
If you’re experiencing struggles with your friend group, therapy helps you set boundaries with people and equips you with the necessary tools to remove yourself from any adverse situations. Anything you need to do to maintain your mental state is what therapy advocates for. Through regular sessions with your therapist, you’ll understand and cope with your mental struggles while supporting others who are struggling. Therapy equips you with critical self-care skills that you can apply in any daily scenario.
For therapy to work as effectively as you expect on your self-care journey, you must adopt healthy habits like getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, etc. In isolated cases, the therapist may prescribe medication to treat disorders like Schizophrenia, Bipolar, dementia, ADHD, OCD, etc.
The self-care journey is personal for everyone. Your experiences may appear similar, but what works for you may not work for someone else. Above are excellent self-care activities you should consider to enjoy a better quality of life and face triggers with ease.