Self-care has taken me a long time to learn. I’m the type of person who has a ‘go, go, go’ personality. I push myself as hard as I possibly can. Then, I’m forced to face the inevitable crash at the end. But on the other end of the spectrum, self-care has been one of the greatest things I’ve learned how to do. It’s taken years for me to learn what self-care is for me and how I need to practice it and how often I need to practice it.
The first thing you have to learn is that self-care is different for everyone and for every situation. Sometimes it’s deep breaths and naps, sometimes it’s bubble baths and a weekend in Bali, and sometimes it’s lying on the floor listening to Twenty One Pilots and crying. But, that’s okay. Every person and every situation is different and that means you’ll have to practice different types of self-care at different points in your life. Some weeks, I practice all of these.
Before I get into this post, I want to say that I’m sorry it’s been about 6 weeks since I’ve posted on my blog. A LOT of stuff has happened in my personal life and I’ve had to readjust my priorities. I’ve had to practice all of these forms of self-care so often in the past few weeks. With all of that, let’s get into the types of self-care!
Here are My Top 7 Types of Self-Care That I Practice at Least Once a Week.
1. Recognize that You Need a Break
This is first because it’s vital. I know how hard it is to realize this. For me, it’s when I’m so stressed about stuff that I can’t think straight. Or, it’s when I realize that my heart is beating really fast.
Take a step back from what you’re doing, evaluate what’s stressing you, and then find something to do to calm yourself down and relax you. It’s okay to take a break from whatever you’re doing. You need to remember to prioritize yourself, you can’t pour from an empty glass.
I really struggle with this step sometimes. I’ve gotten a lot better over the years but it’s still really hard. You need to learn what your breaking point is and what you’re like before you hit that point. I’m learning that you need to practice self-care before you reach your breaking point. That way, you prevent yourself from breaking completely and having to take a long break from everything. (Spoiler alert, I’m really bad at taking care of myself before I reach the breaking point.)
Listen to it and play it.
Put on some music that you find calming and/or stress relieving. Whether that’s acoustic piano music or hardcore rock. It doesn’t matter. Listen to what works for you. For me, if I’m anxious, I’ll put on this one acoustic guitarist that I love and it helps me to calm down. Or if I’m stressed and I need to relieve it, I’ll listen to some rock or Twenty One Pilots.
Every situation is different and every situation will have a different playlist and that’s okay.
Something that’s even better then just listening to music is playing music if you can. No matter what instrument you play, pick it up and play it for a while. It’s amazing how therapeutic this can be. I’ve played the flute for the past 7 years and every so often, I get it out and just play a few songs that I love. This really helps me calm down and process what’s going on in my life and focus completely on one thing.
3. Deep Breathing
This and listening to music are the two acts of self-care that I do the most often. Sitting quietly and focusing on my breathing can help calm me down so much.
Try breathing in for 5 seconds and out for 5 seconds. It’ll take some time, but eventually, it will help you to calm down.
4. Saying No
This is kind of an odd type of self-care, but I feel as though it’s one that gets glossed over a lot I used to be someone who never said no, or at least said it very rarely. And, this led to a lot of situations where I was really stressed and bored and didn’t want to be there.
Learning when to say no and giving myself the courage to say it, has helped my mental health immensely.
On the other hand, learning when to say yes and push yourself is another form of self-care that everyone needs to practice. I struggle with a lot of undiagnosed anxiety, and it’s so hard for me to say ‘yes’ to things and leave my house. But, I’m getting better and listening to my body and knowing when something is too much and when I can handle something.
I like to use the line between doing too much and doing too little as a jump rope. In other words, I’m bad at balancing things, but that’s okay. I’m still learning and you are too.
5. Take Bubble Baths
Or whatever it is that you like to do to pamper yourself. Maybe it’s a long shower or a walk around the block. Maybe it’s a carton of ice cream or an entire pizza. (Okay, maybe you shouldn’t eat that much junk food. But it’s okay to treat yourself if you’ve had a really hard week.) Take some time to do something that you love and that truly relaxes you, you deserve it. You do so much for others, it’s okay to take some time for yourself.
I love to take a hot bath, listen to some relaxing music and do a face mask every once and a while. It’s so relaxing and refreshing. How do you like to relax?
6. Create Art
I feel as though art is a very underrated form of self-care. But it’s one that really helps. Over a year ago, I posted a blog post called ‘Healing Through Drawing‘ and I love the message from it and the art that I created during that time.
It really doesn’t matter how artistic you are. If you can only draw stick figures or color in a coloring book. Find some form of art that you love and indulge in it regularly. And, art can be anything from writing to cooking to pottery. Find a way to express yourself creatively and it will help you through the tough times.
I personally love sketching, watercolors, and calligraphy the most. They help me think through things and keep my hands busy and create something beautiful all at the same time. It’s so interesting for me to go back and look at the art that I made on my bad days. Because it shows how I was feeling and thinking better than I could describe it.
7. Forgive People Who Have Hurt You
This is something that I think we forget about a lot. It’s so easy to hold on to those feelings of regret and sorrow and anger about people who have hurt us. But, it’s so important to learn how to let those feelings go and forgive the person or people. Forgiveness is so freeing, you should practice it regularly. Those people who have hurt you don’t deserve any more of your mental energy. Let them go and move on to a happier, less stressful life.
If you want to read More Articles about Self-Care, here are 2 articles from some of my favorite bloggers!
Those are all of the types of self-care that I have to share with you today! I have even more kinds that I’m going to share in a future post.
But now I want to hear from you! What is your favorite type of self-care? Which of these do you do regularly? Are there any of these that you’ve never really thought about before that you’re going to implement into your life? Which one(s)? Are there any that I missed? Let me know in the comments below!
Soli Deo Gloria,
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