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40 Self-Care Ideas for a Healthy Mind and Body

40 Self-Care Ideas for a Healthy Mind and Body

Life sometimes can be exhausting.

We try to be nice to everyone around us, taking care of their needs but often forget about ours.

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You stay late in the office, offering an helping hand to your colleagues, but you seem to forget you need a rest too. Every time, you let your family decide where to go for a holiday, but you seem to forget there is a place you have been longing for.

But no one will realize your need when you don’t speak up. You will gradually find that no one, not even yourself, is taking care of your needs as you are so busy taking care of others.

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One day, you will eventually feel exhausted.

So, sometimes, you need to learn to care about yourself.

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Loving Others is Important, But Don’t Forget to Love Yourself

Self-care is a concept about maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself, in other words, self-love.

Sometimes we try to meet the needs of everyone around us but forget about ours. But what self-care means is to be conscious about our own needs, both physical and mental. Eating well, exercising regularly, meditating, journaling. These are all self-care actions.

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Self-care is so important in improving our well-beings and the quality of life. During the process, we do whatever is good to our body, to satisfy our needs and desires. This helps us avoid fatigue, stress, anxiety, and worry. To put it simply, self-care makes us feel satisfied and happy.

The ultimate goals of self-care is to maintain a good physical and mental health. With this, we will be more able to help and support others and therefore we will have more healthy relationships with others. Self-care also teaches us to give ourselves a break off from the tiring work. This might also help us to attain a work-life balance.

Here we have some ideas to help you practice self-care. Start right now!

10 Self-care Ideas for the Body

  1. Take a few deep breaths. Get yourself oxygenated. Breath into your abdomen and breath out the air from your stomach and chest.
  2. Go for a walk under sunshine. Especially when it’s cold. The warmth from the glowing sun often makes people feel better.
  3. Run for a few minutes. Let yourself sweat. It’s the easiest way to exercise.
  4. Take a quick nap. 10 to 20 minutes will do. Make up your sleep debt.
  5. Have a good laugh. Watch a comedy or have a nice chat with great friend.
  6. Look at the green and the blue. Grassland. Ocean. They do good to our eyes and clam our body.
  7. Wake up at 6. Enjoy the morning breeze and the slow pace.
  8. Make a small change to your diet. Drink an extra glass of water, or have a vegetarian meal. Do a body detox.
  9. Do a massage. Incorporate essential oils for your massage. Remove your tiredness and let your skin breathe.
  10. Be still for a few minute. Let your body rest. Stay still. Breathe slow. Move slow.

10 Self-care Ideas for the Mind

  1. Take another route to work. Breaking your routine in small ways makes your ordinary day special.
  2. Wander in the city. Discover the other side of the city. Look for its beauty you have never noticed.
  3. Unplug for an hour. Switch everything to airplane mode. Disconnect from the technology. Bring yourself back to basics.
  4. Get out of your comfort zone. Do something you have never done before. Like talking to a stranger.
  5. Keep an journal. Write down your thoughts and whatever you find interesting. Record your day with words.
  6. Have a self-date. Spend some time doing something you really like. Watch a movie, visit a museum, or enjoy the nature.
  7. Dine alone. Eat whatever you would like to eat. Forget about the calories for a moment. Enjoy the environment.
  8. Buy something new for the house. Refresh your home. Make it bright and new.
  9. Go cloud-watching. Relax and watch the sky. Perhaps with a bottle of fresh fruit juice.
  10. Do a mini-declutter. Recycle something from your house that you barely use.

10 Self-care Ideas for Work-life Balance

  1. Take a random day off. Have a day off without any planning or purpose. Just to be off from work.
  2. Plan for a weekend holiday. Go for a short trip. Escape from the routine.
  3. Get to work early. Avoid the rush hour. This also means you might be able to leave work early.
  4. Leave work early. Enjoy some free time when the sun is still there.
  5. Eat lunch away from your office. Take a little break. Breathe some fresh air.
  6. Have a small chat. Talk about something other than work. This makes your time at work less dull.
  7. Turn off work-related email notification. Make off-hour really off-hour.
  8. Wear your favorite outfit to work. Boost your happiness by a smart and refreshing appearance.
  9. Have some healthy snacks. Supply energy to your body.
  10. Listen to soft music. Relieve your stress with a soft background music.

10 Self-care Ideas for Healthy Relationships

  1. Speak out your thoughts. Don’t be afraid to say what you really think. No one will understand you unless you speak out.
  2. Tell others your expectations. People might fail you. But it’s fine to let them know so that both of you can adjust.
  3. Say NO sometimes. If saying yes makes you feel bad.
  4. Honor your emotions. Admit them and never try to hide them. They are gifts.
  5. Minimize people-pleasing. Unless that’s what you really want to do. You have no responsibility to please anyone.
  6. Free from restrictions imposed by others. Take them as advice instead of commands. You’re the only one who is in control of your body and mind.
  7. Be open to new things. Don’t be afraid that changes will make you into a different person. Perhaps they lead to a better you.
  8. Share your past. No matter it’s wonderful or awful. It’s your past which makes you who you are today.
  9. Be patient to others and yourself. Everything takes time. It takes time to quit a habit or to change something. Don’t rush.
  10. Leave some room for yourself. No matter what kind of relationship you are in, the most important one is the relationship with yourself. Work on it.

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Sheba Leung

Translator. Sport lover. Traveler.

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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