One of the simplest ways to maintain good mental health is to commit to a regular practice of ‘Self-care’. If you follow our Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter accounts, you may already know how much we value the practice of Self-care here at the Strongest Families Institute.
As adults and/or parents, our lives can be chaotic as we try to balance priorities. We often don’t take time to look after ourselves. We can be hard on ourselves. Sometimes our expectations are too high or unrealistic. This pressure can cause increased symptoms of stress anxiety and depression, affecting our mental health.
Self-Love & Self-Care
Good mental health is important for everyone. Self-love or Self-care are important skills that we can use each day to improve mental health and well-being. Self-love means making an effort to be kind to ourselves. Praise the effort you put forward, no matter what the outcome. Say kind things to yourself. Talk positive about yourself and love you for who you are; ‘I am a nice person.’ ‘I am kind to others.’ ‘I tried my best and that’s all I can ask of myself.’
Self-care means taking time to reward your efforts because others may not. Make time every day to ‘Take 10’ for yourself. Small efforts can have big rewards.
We encourage you to try out at least one of these practices this week as a step towards maintaining a regular self-care practice.
1. Call a Good Friend or Loved One
During Covid-19, maintaining connections with friends and family became a very important part of our mental well-being. A simple check-in just to say that you’re thinking of the person you’re calling can do wonders for them and you. While it’s easy to keep up with friends via text messages and social media, dedicating some time to chat over the phone is a special way to show care for yourself and your loved ones.
2. Do Something Creative, Just for You!
Making time for something creative, (something just for you!) is a good way to show yourself some love. It can make a regular day more fun and exciting.
Some of our favourite (and simple) ways to get creative in a short amount of time are:
- Consider a paint-by-number kit if you need a simple introduction.
- Journaling or creative writing
- Testing out a dance tutorial video
- Singing or playing music. Have you ever tried Karaoke videos at home? They’re a great way to get out some energy in a creative way.
3. Make a Nutritious Snack
Feeding our body is like feeding our soul! Putting together a plate of nutritious and tasty food is one of the simpler ways to show ourselves love. Think about all the colours of the rainbow and try to include as many as you can for variety. Take an opportunity to share this tip with a family member while having a conversation about self-care.
Here are some easy healthy snacks that take only a few minutes to assemble and will serve as healthy fuel:
- Raw veggies and hummus
- Roasted, seasoned chickpeas
- Apple slices & nut butter or alternative
- Frozen chocolate dipped banana slices
4. Enjoy Nature
Head to a park, beach, the woods, or even just go around the block. Grab some fresh air and sunshine, get your exercise, and just let your mind wander.
This could be a great time to:
- Listen to some of your favourite music or podcasts,
- Have a friend join you and take the time to catch up.
- Just listen. The effectiveness of time spent in nature cannot be underestimated when it comes to the real impact it has on maintaining good mental health.
5. Do Something to ‘Treat’ Yourself
Sometimes, self-care means doing something to make yourself feel extra special. Treating yourself means that you’re giving yourself a little gift of an experience, moment, or material object that you wouldn’t typically indulge in daily.
Here are some thought starters:
- Bake or make a treat. Test out that recipe you’ve always wanted to, or make an old family favourite. Maybe you’ll try a special coffee, tea, or sweet. Whatever it is, you should feel excited about the treat!
- Mix up some relaxation. Essential oils have many healing properties that can be added to your self-care routine. Discover new ways to bring relaxation and healing into your life by exploring the vast uses of natural healing products.
- Get yourself a small gift. If it makes sense for your budget, maybe it’s time to treat yourself to something small. It could be a special chocolate bar, a new book, a magazine, or a game. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion!
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