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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 September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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