Lifestyle & Parenting

A Beginner’s Guide To Self-Care

August 14, 2020

Self-care has become a bit of a buzzword in recent years. From fashion brands to fast-food chains, it seems most major corporations have tried to market their products under the guise of “self-care” at some point. But while treating yourself can be a form of self-care, it’s important not to overlook the easy, cheap and simple ways we can all look after ourselves every day.

So what exactly is self-care? Put simply, it’s any activity that boosts your well-being. For some people, this could be a relaxing hour spent on a site they found via—while for others, it’s setting a monthly budget to feel in control of their finances. This post will act as a beginner’s guide to self-care. Forget the glamorous images you see under #selfcare on Instagram—this is a realistic guide that will help you make small changes to prioritize your mental health.

make time for your hobbies. How often do you prioritize your obligations over your hobbies? Many of us don’t schedule our hobbies into our weeks because we think of them as something we do in our “free time”. If that time can be filled with work, chores or more mindless activities such as watching TV, it’s all too easy to let recreational activities slide. But you shouldn’t view your hobbies as unimportant. In fact, hobbies are vital for maintaining our mental health. Whether it’s knitting, playing games or doing DIY, make time for your favourite leisure activities—and don’t let other pressures take precedence over the commitment.

find a form of exercise you enjoy. We all know that exercise has a whole host of mental-health benefits, from releasing endorphins to helping us sleep at night. But if you’re not generally an active person, it can be difficult to think of exercise with anything other than dread. The key is to find a form of exercise you actually enjoy. From dancing to music in your room to following a beginner’s yoga routine on YouTube, there are countless activities that won’t bring back the horror of your high-school phys ed classes. Don’t feel discouraged by your Facebook friend’s 10k record—anything that moves your body and boosts your mood is great!

learn to meditate. You might think that meditation isn’t for you—but all of us can benefit from some of the practices associated with it, such as mindfulness. This is simply the process of focusing on your breathing and remaining in the present moment, rather than worrying about anything that might happen in the future. To get started, find a comfortable place to sit where you won’t be disturbed. Put on some relaxing instrumental music that doesn’t have any lyrics. Then, close your eyes and focus very carefully on your breathing. Some people find it helpful to picture a circle that grows and shrinks in time with their in-breaths and out-breaths. The idea is to clear your mind of negative thoughts and ground yourself in the here and now. If you find it too difficult to clear your mind, start off by watching a specialist meditation video on YouTube. This might be an underwater livestream from a coral reef, or a video of a woodland scene complete with relaxing birdsong.

Follow this beginner’s guide to start your self-care journey today. And remember—as long as you’ve found a routine that takes care of your physical and mental needs, there’s no right or wrong when it comes to self-care.


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