Social media may have you thinking that some of the only ways to practice self-care are a spa day or retail therapy. While that may be the case for some, self-care isn’t always that glamorous. Somedays, it just means taking a simple break or reading your favorite book. There isn’t just one way to practice self-care. We are all different with various needs and preferences, so one activity that works for someone else doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. Self-care comes in many forms!
It can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to self-care. The goal is to feel recharged as a result. We spoke to four therapists who regularly counsel individuals on how to achieve mental wellness about self-care tips they recommend on a daily basis. Whether you choose to add them to your routine or practice them once in a while, here are four tips that will improve your mood and help you feel better.
Use Your Senses
Our senses help return us to the present moment, and it’s in the present – not the world of our mental ruminations – that we can experience more ease. Step outdoors and feel the texture of the bark of a tree, allow the wind to caress your skin, and smell the moist soil after a rain or the new spring blossoms. Pause and listen to birdsong; then, notice what you see around you. Your senses return you to a feeling of connection with the world and ease in the present moment.
–– Connie L. Habash, LMFT of Awakening Self
Get A Good Night’s Rest
Many people are struggling with sleep right now, and one of the best things you can do to help your sleep is to wake up at the same time every day, no matter what time you go to sleep at night. We often think we should “catch up” on sleep over the weekend or if we have a bad night of sleep. But in fact, sleeping more after a tough night can make sleeping problems worse, and it is important to keep your wake-up time consistent every day. Setting what time you wake up will also help create more routine and structure and help you feel more grounded during this difficult time.
–– Annie Miller, MSW of DC Metro Therapy
Lower The Bar
It’s critical to reduce if not eliminate our expectations of ourselves in these incredibly trying times. Allow yourself to “slip up” with your eating, stay in bed with Netflix all day, skip the workout, or let the house go messy and let the kids spend extra time on screens. This is an extraordinary hard time and if you need extra support, consider drastically lowering the bar, reducing or eliminating your expectations of yourself.
–– Annie Wright, LMFT of Annie Wright Therapy
Stay away from screens at least 20 minutes before going to bed. Take that time to meditate. If this is something new to you, look for a guided meditation routine to help guide you into a state of relaxation.
–– Celeste Viciere, LMHC, of Celeste The Therapist