Advertising

Published on April 22, 2021

23 Self-Care Ideas For Women To Rewind

Advertising
23 Self-Care Ideas For Women To Rewind

Self-care ideas abound everywhere, but do we know how to make the most of them? We all know how to care for ourselves, but we cannot create the perfect self-care routine to unwind. Believe it or not, self-care is a personal experience that you want to experience for yourself to the fullest.

Do you suffer from recurrent headaches, insomnia or inability to have a relaxing sleep, stomach upset, and lack of appetite, low energy, mental distress, emotional imbalance, and irritation? You need some self-care ASAP. If at any point in your life you are unable to create a balance, then you need self-care. For example, if you live with a bunch of crazies as roommates and are always unhappy or stressed, self-care is the answer.

Self-care is the act of deliberately indulging in activities that make us burst forth like a spring bloom. It means taking control of your emotional, physical, mental, financial, spiritual, and every other aspect of your life. Every step you take to cater to the well-being of yourself is self-care. After all, who would not want some minutes, hours, or day of self-love? There is the need to recharge, be refreshed, and ready for the road ahead, and having a self-care routine will help you achieve these.

Before forging ahead, remember that self-care is different for everyone. It is not a one-size-fits-all thing. The best part about self-care is to do what is good for you.

Self-care refers to different things for different people. For some, a day in bed without disturbance or watching their favorite movies is self-care. However, it is crucial to note that everyone approaches this seemingly simple activity differently. So, what are the benefits of self-care?

  • Self-Care Improves Your Physical Health – Self-care reminds you to critically look at yourself and improve on it. Simple activities like brushing, flossing, exercising, sleeping, or eating well are things we often forget to do as we pursue the good life, but they are beneficial to our personal well-being.
  • Self-Care Reduces Stress, Anxiety, and Depression – This idea is tied to the point above. Simple practices like running a bath, yoga, meditation, music, or indulging in a favorite hobby are self-care ideas. They also allow you to relax, calm your mood, and boost your mental health and consequently, your overall well-being. Did you know that clinical depression affects approximately 12 million women in the US?[1] While depression is a treatable condition, it is not a female weakness or part of being a woman. Additionally, depression is prevalent in women aged 25 to 44.[2] Although there are factors commonly linked to clinical depression, lack of self-love is definitely a contributing factor.
  • Self-Care Prevents the Onset of Mental Health Issues – Simple changes to your routine like eating well, sleeping longer, taking a day off to relax are ways to help restore and maintain your sanity. While self-care is not a substitute for professional help, it is a reliable way to prevent and manage mental health issues, especially in women.
  • Self-Care Increases Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence – Self-care allows you to concentrate on the things that make you happy. For example, by taking a longer bath, you become more relaxed and sure that your skin is refreshed, which also boosts your self-worth and confidence. You live in such a demanding and hectic world and sometimes, life can get so busy and overwhelming that you forget to care for yourself. These self-care ideas allow you to create a comfortable balance to the chaos around you.

Women all over the world are working themselves to death. Whether as career women, a mom, a wife, a friend, a confidant, or whatever, they are always in a hurry to satisfy everyone but themselves.

An African proverb says,

“no matter how much you solve people’s problems, it will never run out.”

However, you can run out if you do not slow down. So, go at your pace. Happiness starts with you. Here are 23 self-care ideas and routines for women.

1. Go for a Medical Check

Go for a medical check—and I do not mean over-the-counter chatting with the friendly pharmacist, but in a real hospital. A medical check is not necessary because something is wrong but to ensure nothing is going wrong. Many women, especially those in their early 40s, 50s, or even late 30s, never get a medical routine until something goes wrong. Do not wait to be a victim of life’s unbalances—go for a medical check today.

2. Be Kind to Yourself

For some funny reason, women are never kind to themselves. They live in this mental bubble that everyone’s kindness is ours. Hold it and take a couple of steps back.

No, your happiness is just as important as the next person. Sacrifice is a woman’s thing, but self-neglect and denial are not a part of it. If you can be kind to others, be kind to yourself, too.

3. Take a Spa Day

You deserve it, and it is a relaxing way to knock aches and pains away with a deep massage, pedicure, manicure, and facial. You will come out of it looking sexier, more confident, and more relaxed.

4. Do Something You Love

This can be anything you love but have not done in a long time. It can be reading a book, having a lunch date with your girlfriends, or glancing through your favorite magazine. Remember, it must be something that you love doing.

5. Define a Morning Routine

How are your mornings like? If it is like the regular, change it. Add some warm lemon water as a detox start, plank for 30 seconds to boost your strength, and eat breakfast. The goal is to do something that triggers your happy hormones and makes your day as bright as the sun.

6. Start a Self-Care Journal

Journaling has become a viral habit since the pandemic. Not only does it remind you of where you are, but it is also a technique to unwind emotionally and mentally. If you haven’t started a journal, this is the time to do just that. Overall, journaling is a great way to reflect on each day and its impact on you.

Advertising

7. Take Sleep Time Seriously

Women are the first to wake up and the last people to sleep every night. While it is a good habit to watch over those you love, you need to love yourself too, and sleep is a relaxing way to start. Create a sleep routine and stick to it.

For example, make it a priority to sleep by 9 pm and wake at 5 am. This gives you about eight hours of sleep, which is good. Never push your tiredness beyond the boundaries of your strength. Sleep.

8. Learn to Say No

Nobody ever died from saying or hearing the words “no,” so learn it. You cannot give what you do not possess and believe me, selfish love is never a good thing. If you cannot do a task, just say no.

9. Be Unapologetic About Your Actions

Aren’t you tired of explaining your life to everyone? Stop it! This is the time to throw caution to the wind and just live life. If you know in your heart that your actions are healthy, beneficial, and productive, never apologize.

10. Forgive Your Past

If there is one thing that is holding you back from enjoying your present, it is your past. We all have pasts, some of them we overlook, and others we cannot move past it. The only reason is our inability to forgive. Settle down, go through it and forgive. You do not have to understand it, you just have to move on.

11. Create Your Own Playlist

I personally love this one—it works absolutely divine. Your own private collection invokes happy memories and brings a smile from the corners of your lips.

12. Bask in the Silence

The world is too noisy, and we are constantly in the middle of chaos. If you have never tried this as a self-care idea, include it in your next day off. There is the need for stillness to enable us to appreciate our surroundings. Acts of silence could be watching the sunset or drinking your morning coffee without any interruptions.

13. Take Cooking and Baking Classes

Cooking and baking might look and feel stressful, but they are mindful techniques for self-care. When cooking or baking, you awaken your five senses in various ways, which is a perfect way to invest in self-care.

Advertising

If joining a class is not exactly your passion, create a day to go shopping and prepare a delicious meal for one. Remember to add the candles, a bottle of wine, and cool music in the background. You deserve it.

14. Practice Conscious Living

Conscious living is being aware of your every move, decision, and its effect on your life and others. Most times, we drift through life like a piece of log on an open ocean with no sense of direction. When you practice conscious living, you are aware of yourself and what your presence signifies in the world around you.

15. Be Unavailable

Unless you are planning a self-care routine with friends and family, take the day off. Women are easily consumed by the demands and needs of their loved ones. This is overwhelming and depressing. Call them up and let them be aware that you will not be available until a stated time.

16. Make Bath Time Longer and Cozier

If you are the type that dashes in and out of the shower like Flash, do it differently today. You should be running a complete beauty and skin routine. On this day, light scented candles, run your bath water a little longer, exfoliate your skin, and sink into the bathtub.

17. Stay Hydrated

Whether you want to improve your water consumption or include healthier options in your diet, staying hydrated is vital to proper functioning. Water is the most effective detox liquid and great for cells and skin. However, if you would like something sweeter, try smoothies or juicing. These are all great self-care ideas that boost your energy levels and make you beautiful.

18. Be a Tourist in Your City

How well do you know your city? This is a fascinating and educative experience to savor the nooks and crannies of the city. It is also a discovery process for you. To truly enjoy this tour, book a day stay at a hotel or resort as the guest for a day. Do not forget to capture the moments with a camera.

19. Watch Funny Videos Online

Whether YouTube, TikTok, or other funny sites, it is time to laugh out loud (like literary). There is nothing like a good laugh. It makes you feel renew and excited. If you cannot afford a comedy show, browse through several online platforms and give yourself a good laugh. Do not worry about the neighbors, and just enjoy yourself.

20. Take a Nature Trip

For no reason, strap a water bottle, a good pair of Nikes, and just walk. Do not think about it—walk until you feel content and satisfied. You can go with a friend just to keep the journey fun and conversational.

Advertising

21. Be a Kid Again

We are being too adult that we forget how to be a child. Children practice self-care. They always think about themselves than others. So, if you had a favorite childhood sport, go to the park and remind yourself that you still got it as an adult.

22. Get Your Groove On

You could start by watching “How Stella Got Her Groove Back.” And then, do all the fun stuff listed above in this article. At the end of it all, just have fun and have a story to tell about it.

23. Declutter Your Home

When your personal space is cluttered, you are mentally cluttered, too. It is hard to feel relaxed in a cluttered environment, so as part of starting a self-care routine, declutter your space.

How to Create a Self-Care Routine

In addition, here are some tips and ideas on how to create a self-care routine:

  • Do the things you loved or love.
  • Go back to the simple things of life.
  • Be aware of your current situation (do not do more than what you can handle).
  • Remember that it is about yourself first.
  • Do not wait until the weekend. Use every free time you have.
  • Start small and be consistent.
  • Focus on activities that build you physically, emotionally, and mentally.
  • Repeat the ideas that work well and add something new.
  • Use sticky notes to remind yourself.
  • It is not about perfection.
  • Go at your own pace.

Final Thoughts

Now, these are self-care ideas that anyone can add to or take away from, but make sure you choose practices that work for you. Remember to include activities that boost your mental and emotional health, too.

Self-care is not just about physical health and outward appearances. It is a complete method of transforming yourself by caring about your needs.

More Self-Care Ideas for Better Well-Being

Featured photo credit: freestocks via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Mental Health America: Depression in Women
[2] Mental Health America: Depression in Women

More by this author

Jacqueline T. Hill

Writing, Blogging, and Educating To Guide Others Into Happiness

20 Invaluable Things Money Can’t Buy 23 Self-Care Ideas For Women To Rewind 14 Reasons To Always Try New Things in Life How To Not Stress: 10 Stress Management Techniques How to Learn to Be Alone and Happy About It

Trending in Mental Wellness

1 Does Anxiety Make You Tired And Why? 2 Does Depression Make You Tired And How? 3 Overwhelmed at Work? 17 Ways to Manage Work Anxiety 4 Why Am I Depressed If My Life Is Fine? 5 How To Cope With Traumatic Events And Stress

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Published on October 15, 2021

Does Anxiety Make You Tired And Why?

Advertising
Does Anxiety Make You Tired And Why?

When you think of anxiety, several scenarios may come to mind: the endless tossing and turning of a restless night, dread over potential future events, pandemic-related overwhelm, or full-blown panic attacks. Even if you’re not diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you’ve likely experienced anxiety symptoms at some point in your life. In these situations, you might feel a queasiness in your stomach, racing heartbeat, excessive sweating, chest tightness, some tension in your jaw/neck/shoulders, or worrisome thoughts as you prepare for the worst possible scenario. But does anxiety also make you tired?

After experiencing these symptoms, you may indeed feel fatigued. The sensation could fall anywhere on the exhaustion spectrum, from feeling like you just ran a marathon and need to sleep for two days, to just a little worn down and wanting a quick nap to recover.

Below are 7 ways anxiety zaps your energy and how to restore it.

1. Stress Hormone Overload

Anxiety can make you tired via overloading your body with stress hormones. The “fight or flight” response is a key connection between anxiety and fatigue. In fact, this process is made up of three stages: Alarm, Resistance, and Exhaustion. Anxiety triggers our body systems to go into high alert. This is a natural, involuntary reaction that developed in the human brain for survival.

When humans lived with the real, imminent threat of being attacked by a predator, it made sense for our bodies to spring into action without much preparatory thought. Such dangers are rare in modern times, but our brains continue to respond in the same way they did thousands of years ago.

The hormones and chemicals that flood our bodies to prepare us for safety can both affect and be affected by several body systems, and this interaction itself contributes to exhaustion. Adrenaline and cortisol are the two most notable hormones to address here. First, adrenaline is sent out, tensing the muscles and increasing heart rate and blood pressure in preparation to run. Later in the stress response, cortisol is released, enhancing the brain’s use of glucose. This is one of our main fuel sources, so it’s no wonder this contributes to fatigue (see #2).

Advertising

You can regulate baseline levels of these stress hormones by regularly practicing yoga, breathwork, meditation, and/or engaging in aerobic exercise.[1] It’s easier to lean into these routines for relief during stress when you’ve already mastered using them during times when you feel calm.

2. Elevated Blood Sugar Levels

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), which is shown to be associated with anxiety in diabetic patients.[2] Many people who experience hyperglycemia report feeling tired all the time regardless of their quantity or quality of sleep, nutrition, or exercise.

Although this connection has shown more prevalent and prolonged effects in diabetics, it also occurs with nondiabetics exposed to psychiatric stress.[3] In fact, for all people, the natural stress response elevates blood pressure and heart rate as well as cortisol levels, all of which increase blood sugar levels.[4] This means that anxiety causes a double-hit of exhaustion related to blood sugar fluctuations.

Instead of reaching for comfort foods like chocolate during times of stress, take a calming walk around the block. Gentle movement alone is a great stress reliever that incidentally also helps to regulate blood sugars.[5]

3. Negative Mindset

Anxiety can also make you tired because of repetitive negative thinking (RNT), which is a common symptom of anxiety. RNT involves continuous thoughts via rumination (dwelling on sad or dark thoughts focused on the past) and worry (angst regarding the future). Some researchers argue that having a longtime habit of RNT can harm the brain’s capacity to think, reason, and form memories.[6] While the brain is busy using its energy stores to fuel negative thought patterns, the energy available for these other more productive endeavors is thereby reduced.

Negative thoughts can also disrupt or prevent healthy sleep patterns, keeping our minds racing at night and effectively wreaking havoc on daytime energy. (See #7)

Advertising

Reduce these patterns by reframing your feelings over anxious thoughts. Instead of staying stuck on “what if,” focus on what you can do in the here and now. What activity can you engage in for five minutes (or more) that brings you joy? What are you grateful for, no matter what’s going on around you?

4. Digestive Issues

It’s common for people to experience both intestinal and mental issues simultaneously. This suggests a strong connection between the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which is known as the gut-brain axis.[7] Simply put, what happens in our digestive tract (and as a result of what we eat) affects the brain and vice versa.

The gut microbiota is a complex population of GI tract microorganisms. When its balance is altered, the body can develop conditions that affect the gut-brain-endocrine relationship. The endocrine system produces and manages adrenaline, for starters. And the gut bacteria’s production of feel-good hormones (serotonin and dopamine—see #5) ties into this relationship as well.

GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors are also found in gut bacteria. GABA is a natural brain relaxant that makes us feel good by helping the body to unwind after a stress-induced neurotransmitter release (e.g., cortisol and adrenaline). When GABA activity is low, it leads to anxiety, depression, insomnia, and mood disorders. These are just a few of the manifestations that demonstrate how gut bacteria influences behavior. All of these contribute to feeling both physically and mentally tired.

You can minimize the symptoms of depression and anxiety by keeping your gut microbiota balanced with probiotic-rich fermented foods. Yogurt with live cultures, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, kimchi, miso soup, and tempeh are great foods to include in your diet.[8]

5. Depression

Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. Research continues to indicate a complex relationship between depression and decreased serotonin—a key neurotransmitter for regulating mood and feelings of wellbeing and happiness. Anxiety is also a direct symptom of serotonin deficiency. Serotonin helps with healthy sleep, mood, and digestion.

Advertising

Serotonin is produced in the gut, almost exclusively, at an estimated 90 percent. However, a small quantity is also produced in the hypothalamus, an area of the brain that is pivotal for transmitting energy balance signals. This small cone-shaped structure receives and relays signals transmitted via the vagus nerve from the gastrointestinal tract. It has a central role in mediating stress responses, regulating sleep, and establishing circadian rhythms. It senses and responds to a myriad of circulating hormones and nutrients, directly affecting our mood and energy.[9]

Dopamine is another mood-boosting neurochemical that is depleted in depression. It creates feelings of alertness and wakefulness and, when the body is operating normally, is released in higher amounts in the morning (allowing for daytime energy) and lower at night (preparing for healthy sleep). Stress is one factor that can deplete dopamine, thereby leading to depression, sleep disorders, and fatigue.

Studies show that dopamine levels in the brain can be elevated by increasing dietary intake of tyrosine and phenylalanine.[10] Both of these amino acids are naturally found in protein-rich foods like turkey, beef, eggs, dairy, soy, peas, lentils, and beans.

6. Breathing Problems

Breathlessness and anxiety are closely linked, and this is one of the ways anxiety can make you feel tired. Anxiety can lead to shallow breathing, which can cause shortness of breath while feeling breathless can exacerbate anxiety.[11] It’s a vicious cycle that often leads people to take rapid and shallow breaths, breathing into their upper chest and shoulders.

This type of breathing minimizes oxygen intake and usability. Despite comprising only two percent of the body, our brains consume 20 percent of the body’s oxygen supply. Oxygen is fuel for both mental and physical tasks. When breathing patterns compromise healthy oxygen levels, this can cause considerable fatigue.[12]

End the anxiety-fatigue cycle with focused breathing exercises. It’s important to practice this regularly while you’re not experiencing anxiety or stress, as this will help you to be prepared should a moment of breathless anxiety hit unexpectedly.

Advertising

There are several different styles of breathing exercises. There’s an easy one to try, called “Resonant Breathing.” Simply breathe in slowly through your nose as you count to five, then exhale for a count of five. Repeat this for a few minutes. It’s helpful to bring your awareness to any tension, deliberately relaxing your neck, shoulders, and jaw in particular.

7. Sleep Issues

Most of the elements we’ve already discussed inherently tie into sleep issues, which is often the reason why anxiety can make you feel tired. But it’s important to note that this is not always a directly linear cause-and-effect process. Much of it is cyclic. If we don’t get enough quality sleep, we increase our risk of excessive cortisol production, elevated blood pressure and blood sugar levels, depressed mood and mindset disorders, and dysregulation of appetite/craving hormones that affect our digestive health.

Sleep is obviously the number one antidote to feeling tired as a result of anxiety. But at the same time, many of these elements—including anxiety itself—lead to less-than-restorative sleep. We can improve our energy levels by addressing each element discussed here, as well as taking a proactive approach to our sleep health.

One simple habit to help recalibrate your circadian rhythm for healthy sleep patterns is to get outside in the morning. Sunlight exposure in the early hours of the day regulates melatonin production, helping us to feel sleepy at night.

You Don’t Have to Live Your Life Anxious and Exhausted

Times of extreme stress, like driving in heavy traffic or nerve-wracking situations like public speaking, can easily induce an anxiety response. Even “normal” everyday stressors, like feeling overwhelmed with work and home responsibilities, can build up to anxious feelings over time.

Our bodies’ response to stress and anxiety affects many of its functions in complex ways. When we unravel the interconnections of these processes, we can see how each part plays an intrinsic role in contributing to fatigue. By addressing each element individually, we can make simple lifestyle changes that resolve anxiety and diminish the ways it makes us tired as a result.

Advertising

More Tips on Coping With Anxiety

Featured photo credit: Joice Kelly via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next