I never used to be one who thought self-care was important. I was also living a miserable life within the walls of my mind, so my thoughts and opinions probably didn’t matter all too much.
To be completely honest, I didn’t really enjoy my life for many years. It wasn’t until I actually started focusing on my overall well-being that I was able to find happiness and joy within my life.
Self-care is important for many reasons. For starters, it helps to reduce stress, anxiety, depressive thoughts, and simply brings joy back into life. At least that’s what it has done for me.
As somebody who stresses rather easily and rather often, self-care is important to me. I never knew how much of a role it played in my life, but since starting to implement various practices, I was able to take my life and my mindset from miserable and dark to joyful and bright.
The sad thing is, despite always feeling alone in my battles, the truth of the matter is that much of the world struggles with the very same thoughts I did… and sometimes still do.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Anxiety Association of America:
– 40 million adults in the US over the age of 18 are affected by anxiety disorders. That’s 18.1% of the adult population!
– Only 36.9% of those suffering from an anxiety disorder ever receive some type of treatment.
We all know how damaging stress and anxiety are to our overall health. Not just mentally, but physically as well.
For starters, I remember when I was scared to see a doctor for how I was feeling. In not knowing what else to do, I would literally just sit in my dorm room for hours staring at nothing but a blank wall. My mind was blank and my thoughts were empty.
When I did find the strength to make it out of my dorm room and to class, my chest often felt tight, my blood pressure would skyrocket, and my heart began to speed up at an alarming rate. All of this pain was caused by a feeling in which I didn’t recognize because I was too fearful of the negative stigma behind it.
News flash, this isn’t a good way to live your life.
How Often Do You Practice Self-Care?
If I were to ask you if you thought self-care was important, you would probably say, “Yes.” or “Of course self-care is important.” But do you actually mean that? Do you live the words in which you speak? Do you practice self-care, and if so, how much of a priority is it in your life?
I guess what I’m saying is that we all know self-care is important. I mean, come on, it’s pretty much common sense. But very rarely do we actually take the time out of our busy schedules to prioritize the most important person in our lives – us!
Life gets busy. Life gets crazy. Life gets chaotic. I think we have all realized over the course of the last few months that life is simply unpredictable. It’s always going to be that way. But no matter where you are at in life or what’s happening around you, you should always care for yourself.
Make Yourself Your First Priority
Caring for yourself doesn’t mean that you have to go out and spend a ton of money on the finest clothes, cosmetics, or anything else that we often attribute to self-care. Self-care means you make yourself your own number one priority and do anything that is going to benefit you.
Exercising would be considered as self-care. Meditation would be considered as self-care. Reading and relaxing would be considered as forms of self-care. Self-care doesn’t mean money, so if you are somebody who has allowed that to stop you in the past from caring for yourself, do yourself a favor and let go of that excuse.
What’s most important when it comes to self-care is that you take the time to recognize you and your needs. While some may think that’s selfish, you can’t be the best for others if you aren’t first the best that you can be.
21 Self-Care Tips and Self-Care Activities
So what are some self-care tips and self-care activities that you can start to implement into your life?
1. Make your bed right away in the morning and chalk it up as a victory. It’s a small and simple task that can help to get you in the winning mindset.
2. Spend 5 to 10 minutes every morning mapping out and planning your day. Having a plan is crucial in staying on task.
3. Improve your mindset by writing down 5 things you are grateful for. Whether you know it or not, life is full of blessings. Take a few moments to write down 5 of the things you are most grateful for in life and you will attract more good.
4. Get your body up and moving. Stretch your body. Grow your body. Just get out and move your body. Treat it like the masterpiece that it is.
5. Use positive affirmations in the morning to start your mind on the right note. You are the master of your thoughts. How you think about yourself and your life will determine your reality.
6. Journal your thoughts from the day before. As hard as it sometimes is to realize, the past is the past. Let it go and release all of the limiting thoughts that are holding you back.
7. Spend your time around those who bring out the best in you. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time around. If you want to improve your life, make better choices of who you are spending your time with.
8. Read at least 30 minutes per day. Knowledge is power.
10. Let go of perfection and stop comparing yourself. You are you and that will always be your greatest strength. While you are going to make mistakes in life, you will always be the perfect you.
11. Give yourself a compliment for all of your hard work. You have worked hard to get to where you are today. Give yourself some credit through compliments.
12. Spend a few moments mid-day to slow down and be aware of your thoughts. Don’t let life pass you by. Take a moment to slow down and regain clarity.
13. Focus on your strengths instead of your weaknesses. Don’t let your weaknesses overshadow how awesome and amazing you already are. Prioritize your strengths and develop your weaknesses in your spare time.
14. Ditch the scale. It will be the best choice you have ever made. Always remember that the scale can and never will be able to measure your beauty and your individual worth.
15. Try to eat clean and healthy. Just like you should consume positive content to fuel your mind, consume healthy foods to fuel your body. Your body is your engine, take good care of it.
16. Move on from your past and forgive yourself for your mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. Those who achieve success learn from their mistakes, grow from their mistakes, and forgive themselves for their many mistakes. Do the same.
17. Do more of the things that make you happy. If you aren’t happy, what are you doing? This is your one life to live. Be happy, enjoy every moment of your life, and live life to your fullest potential.
18. Consume uplifting, inspirational, and/or happy content. You are the thoughts in which you consume and repeatedly think about. Make sure those are good thoughts if you want to live a better life.
19. Treat yourself to your favorite coffee drink or dessert. Again, you work hard. Learn from my mistakes and treat yourself for all of your hard work. You deserve it.
20. Learn to ask for help when you need it. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. It shows you care and that you are wanting to grow into the best version of you that you can be. Vulnerability shows tremendous amounts of strength and courage.
21. Smile as much as you can. There is a lot we should all be happy and grateful for in life.
Before You Go
One of the best things I ever did for myself was to make myself my own number one priority in life. Some may think it’s selfish, but if you want to be your best for others, you first need to be your best for you.
Whether it’s one, ten, twenty of these strategies, or many more, the point is to just take care of yourself. Be your own best friend. Love yourself for the amazing individual you are. Care for yourself in ways nobody else can. Self-care is an important part of everybody’s life, so start caring for yourself and do what you can to better your life.