Whether you are struggling with a mental health issue or not, mental health is something we all have and owe it to ourselves to make a priority.
Our sense of well-being is body mind and soul. It takes the integration of practices that nourish and allow us to connect to all three parts. Over time, I've found a certain set of strategies to have a big impact on my level of happiness and fulfillment each day. When times are tough, I've found that having a few core effective strategies that we practice consistently is a very powerful way to feel supported and nourished. Although simple, small steps done consistently is best when we are feeling overwhelmed, we may discover more effective strategies to add to our toolbox along our journey or find ourselves replacing old coping strategies with new ones. This is all part of the process. The more we know about ourselves, the better we will know how to live.
So be patient with yourself.
Now before I give you my two cents, I do want to acknowledge the fact that self care, like any other, is a journey. It takes both courage and patience. We may feel frustrated at times and look for quick fixes, but the truth is that the real power comes into effect when we slow down and give ourselves permission to take one brave step at a time. So again, be patient with yourself.
Self care is really about self love. It's about saying to ourselves, "I matter and I am enough no matter what. I'm going to make time for myself. I'm going to make feeling good a priority."
1 Take Time to Rest
Taking time to rest, and get proper sleep is so important. This might mean we turn off tech two hours before bed and take time to slow down or it may mean that we take 20 mins in the day to just lay down. Too often, we tie our self worth to how much we are doing, to how busy we are. Realize that you are worthy, no matter how much you do, and you may find it easier to give yourself permission to rest.
2 Spend Time with Positive Friends
We all know how energizing it feels to be around good vibes. It's fucking contagious.
Make it a priority to be around people who bring out the best in you and support your personal growth. This practice alone is live-changing.
3 Eat Wholesomely
Eating for nourishment is all about balance. Most of the time I eat wholesome, unprocessed foods rich in nutrients. Small regular meals. However, some chocolate or a burger once in a while never hurt anyone. Just do what feels good.
I'm big on running and spend time regularly at the gym but when it's sunny out, I rollerblade, bike and hike as well. Sometimes I dance. The key is regular movement. It's what makes you sweat, whatever that is. Then make it regular.
5 Take In Inspiring Content
The music we listen to, books we read and blogs we follow all affect how we feel. Positive content makes us feel good mentally, just like wholesome, nourishing food makes our body feel good. Be picky about what you choose to read, watch or listen to.
6 Take a Break
It may be a day to yourself or a short getaway. If you can, take time to travel. Traveling nourishes our soul and opens up our mind to new things.
7 Hire A Coach or Therapist
We all need help. Talking to someone who empowers us to embrace our emotions or find greater clarity can be very powerful. Coaching and therapy are different so take some time to ask yourself what you are looking for and hire accordingly.
8 Cultivate Self-Compassion
Along my path of personal growth, I've come across the work of Dr. Kristin Neff multiple times. What she has to say about self-compassion is brilliant.
Do you talk to yourself the way you talk to someone you love? You can take the self compassion test here: copy and paste the link.
Oftentimes we are hardest on ourselves. On my path, I've found that cultivating a gentle and loving approach towards myself has transformed the way I live, love and lead. If you want some specific exercises, Neff has some great ones up on her website.