In today’s largely independent world, it has almost become a necessity to take care of ourselves. We do not always have people around us who would readily take care of us. This is an extremely challenging task, especially for early adults who are moving to college or starting a job. We need to ensure not to get caught up in the productivity loop whether that be at work or school. Instead, we should aim to take out time to care for ourselves in all aspects – physically, socially, as well as mentally. In this article, let us explore a few ways to practice self-care easily in hopes of maintaining a healthy mind.
Acknowledging and accepting our strengths and weaknesses is a great tool which can heavily influence our mental well-being. Knowing our limitations and accepting them requires great courage and effort. By doing so, you allow yourself to take a breather and not push yourself to achieve something impossible. We must learn to value whatever we offer. Unless we realize our own value and worth, we cannot expect the same from others. Generally, people who overwork or continuously push their limits to unimaginable lengths, end up suffering the most in terms of exploitation or burnout. This is not to say that one must not have goals or aims. We must find a balance between our strengths and weaknesses and set goals according to those standards while striving for gradual and manageable improvement.
It involves treating oneself with kindness, understanding, and acceptance in times of difficulty, failure, or suffering. Just as compassion is the ability to empathize and show care for others, self-compassion is directed inwardly, toward ourselves. To put it simply, self-compassion refers to holding positive attitudes towards oneself. When situations do not turn out the way we wanted them to, we must relate to ourselves in ways that are forgiving, accepting, and loving.
3. Get Exercise
Whoever said that “a healthy body is a healthy mind” was not completely wrong. Exercising helps manage stress and anxiety which do often come up in one’s life through small issues, arguments or problems at work or school. While it works as catharsis for some, for others it helps get their minds off their profession or schoolwork. However, balance is key here as well. The aim of exercise here is to help ease your mind. If you start thinking of exercise as a task and set extreme weight loss or muscle gain goals, the purpose of the exercise will be completely different. For all you know, those extreme goals may become stressors for you.
Practising gratitude regularly is a great way to practise self-care. It is a deliberate way of remembering all the good things that have happened to you and thanking those who made it happen. This exercise helps us realize and quite literally count what some of us consider “blessings” of life. We could be thanking a person, a group, our pets or the weather. It can be anything! Once you do start regularly being grateful towards things or people that you think helped you, you will start noticing a more positive atmosphere within you. Some people maintain gratitude journals as well.
5. Staying Connected
How much ever we take care of ourselves, we are social beings. As a result, we should ensure that we maintain our social connections and relationships. These could be friends, family, workplace colleagues or some other community. Our mental well-being is extremely complicated and we cannot always look out for ourselves. However, we can ensure that we have people around us who genuinely care for us and would notice and come in to help when we are unable to do that for ourselves.