Want to know the best smart strategies for self-care that everyone should try? These self-care ideas will guide you to look after yourself as we all deserve some self love.
Feeling confident, energetic and cheerful in life can be the most amazing feeling. As a counsellor, I see many clients who are feeling stressed and anxious. To ensure we feel the best we can it?s vital to include self-care into our daily routine.
You are going to learn the best self care ideas to help you de-stress and avoid hitting the stage of burnout.
After learning these strategies you will be able to put them in to practice and experience feeling on top of the world.
This post is all about the best self care ideas to de-stress and avoid burnout.
1. Remedial Massage
How often do you feel stressed and anxious with your body responding by feeling tense and in knots? Remedial massage is a gentle massage for relaxation that can improve our wellbeing.
Massage not only helps us relax but can reduce both emotional and physical stress and help the body recover and heal. Massage has been shown to reduce the major stress hormone Cortisol and so is a great choice for self-care.
If you don’t have access to a massage service there are other options that you can have at home. A massage chair can offer a full body massage with heat and assist with improving your circulation, ease muscle tension and pain and help overall relaxation.
Another option is a massage gun. Instead of an all over massage this tends to pin point those sore, tensed and tired muscles. A tremendous self-care idea after a long day on your feet.
The fresh air, the birds chirping, the sunshine there’s so much to love about the great outdoors. The physical exertion of hiking can help to calm the mind and body whilst using your senses and experiencing the sights, sounds and textures can reduce stress and help boost your mood.
Before going hiking though be sure to plan ahead. Think about suitable clothing for the weather, where you will hike, and consider inviting friends.
Be realistic about the level of difficulty of the hike. Remember that this is all about self-care and so something that is too challenging may have the opposite effect. Start scheduling in a few hikes and as you gain momentum you may find you are looking for a hike that is a little more challenging.
If you feel you need to escape the hustle and bustle of life and enjoy some quiet time then hiking may be for you. Connect with nature, enjoy the fresh air and reduce the stress of life. Hiking is a great tool for self-care.
When the stress and anxiety of life overwhelms you it can be problematic to calm yourself down and be able to focus. Meditation has science backed benefits that can help you concentrate on being mindful and present.
I have to admit that when I first attempted meditation I found the practice really difficult. I just could not stay present and certainly couldn’t sit still. But the more I practiced the more proficient I became.
Starting with a guided meditation may be the easiest introduction and can help you focus on your breathing and bring more awareness of yourself. You really start to look inwards whilst having the benefit of a narrator to walk you through the exercise.
After a while your thoughts quieten down, your body starts to relax and you feel a sense of calm. Meditation is an effective self-care tool to look after yourself and help you focus more on the present. Even just 10-20 minutes a day is a great place to start.
I believe the saying you are what you think to be so true. The more negative things we tell ourselves the more negative thinking patterns we tend to have. So let’s replace this with positive thoughts.
Affirmations can be statements or words that you create yourself or you can find many positive affirmations on youtube.
Repeatedly listening to positive affirmations can be useful to challenge those negative thoughts and reduce stress and worry. Think if there is any aspect of your life or of yourself that you desire to change. Maybe you would like to cease an unhealthy habit or maybe you would like to increase your confidence.
An example of affirmations are: My body is healthy, I’m so grateful for life, I feel so confident. What affirmations would you choose to bring more positivity to your life?
Once you have written your affirmations or have chosen something suitable online, start repeating them and visualising them so they can help manifest change.
If you’re finding you’re overthinking things that you have little or no control over try replacing those negative thoughts with positive ones. So try adding affirmations to your self-care routine to reduce your stress and anxiety.
Sleep is a vital component of self care. Good sleep can set you up for a productive day and give you the energy to navigate any obstacles or challenges that you may face.
Poor sleep can affect our mood and our cognitive function which can make the day feel more stressful and overwhelming. As can it affect our blood sugar levels and can make it difficult to manage our weight.
To help with good sleep hygiene try and have a routine that you can abide by and avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Instead try a nice warm bath, a herbal tea, meditation or reading a good book.
Most adults need around 7-9 hours sleep a night. Achieving this sleep cycle will help de-stress you, boost energy and will help you feel vibrant and happier so make this part of your self-care plan.
Journaling can become part of your self care routine. By keeping a journal you are able to release your thoughts, feelings and judgements that are racing around your head and off load them. Journaling enables you to do a brain dump of everything that is bothering you.
Utilising a journal means you are able to reflect on life. This leads to becoming self-aware and finding solutions to problems. It can guide us on what we need to do to improve our lives.
You can also record any goals that you are striving for and keep track of your progress. You can express your creativity by drawing your thoughts and to express your feelings. There are no rules and so the structure is completely up to you with whatever serves you best.
If you have never journaled before it can seem like a daunting task. But I suggest searching online for a few journal prompts to help you get started. For example: What do I think is these emotions I am feeling? When do I feel the most connected with myself? What do I feel grateful for today?
A journal is something that can be easy to incorporate into your self care routine.
7. Coffee Shop
I have to admit this is definitely on my self-care list! Whether it’s to meet a friend or enjoy a coffee on my own – I find it feels like such a treat. Meeting friends and spending quality time connecting with them is certainly something that can make you happy.
Investing in a good cup of coffee and being able to enjoy the ambience or read a good book is certainly something that can help recharge your batteries. Enjoying the quiet time with no responsibilities can feel like a breath of fresh air.
Sometimes when least expected you may strike up a conversation with a stranger, chat to the barista or observe the hustle and bustle of people coming and going. The change of scenery can feel nourishing and help connect your mind to body and filter out the demands of life.
8. Healthy Eating
The healthier we eat the more energy we tend to have and the better we feel. Whilst the occasional treat may satisfy a craving, long term not only is it bad for our health but it aggravates our gut health. Our gut health is closely related to our mental health.
When we feel more energetic and feel good inside we tend to feel happier and more pleasurable about life. If we?re feeling fantastic we tend to be more active and go for that walk at the beach or meet friends at the gym. Having a nourished meal will stablise blood sugar levels, increase energy and we?ll feel more balanced.
Try and incorporate plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits into your diet and make it a staple in your self-care plan.
Gardening can be a fantastic self care activity no matter what level of gardener you are. The sunshine helps us top up on Vitamin D which strengthens our bones, boosts our cognitive function and assists our immune system.
Gardening can also be a good opportunity for exercise with raking, digging and lifting using most of the muscles in our body. After all this strenuous exercise you are more likely to enjoy a good nights sleep.
Being out in the fresh air, listening to the birds chirping and working in the soil can help us feel more grounded as we delight all our senses. When we feel more grounded our stress levels decrease and we tend to feel more relaxed, happier and healthier.
So no matter what level of gardener you are it’s a great option to add to your self care routine.
Taking care of yourself with a daily self-care plan will help you feel less overwhelmed with life’s challenges. Just as a car needs to be maintained to work well so do we. So what will you be doing for you today?