A Self-Care Toolbox
We all know by now how powerful self-care can be in maintaining our mental health & when we are recovering from a tough day or stressful year.
We also understand now that practising self-care has countless benefits. It not only ensures that we are healthier, but also keeps us happier. Caring for our self improves communication & quality of life, helps with higher confidence & self esteem, increases awareness of our strengths & limitations, and it also maintains productivity, helps prevent burnouts as well as reduces the harmful effects of long term stress.
Most of us feel guilty about spending this time on ourselves, instead choose to do other more ‘visibly productive’ things that probably also yield tangible results. It can be hard to accept that doing things that are relaxing & fun could be fruitful. This happens also because we’ve learnt over the years that obstacles & doing things that we don’t love are an important step in attaining our goals, but that’s not always true. Sometimes, to give our best, we need to do our best for ourselves.
And to do just that, there are so many kinds of self-care we can practise based on our needs & as promised here’s our go-to list of activities…
Goal/Focus: Improve physical Health
Exercise - run, swim, skate, or even have sex or masturbate... anything that gets your heart racing.
Catch up on your medical appointments, checkups & vaccinations.
Add more fresh fruit & vegetables to your diet; drink more water.
Have a proper sleep schedule & get enough rest.
Get a massage, do some Yoga.
Work on reducing bad habits like smoking, binge drinking, etc.
Goal/Focus: Engage in critical & creative thinking; stimulate your mind
Read a book
Learn about a topic you always found interesting but never got around to learning.
Do at-home science experiments.
Participate in workshops & in-person discussion groups.
Sign up for a course.
Listen to a podcast or watch a ted-talk.
Ask people questions about things you don’t understand.
Goal/Focus: Self-awareness, self love, compassion and acceptance of all things, stress management
Learn to say yes to your needs & no to others when needed
Talk to yourself & support yourself like you would a friend.
Learn to recognise & label your feelings, express them !
Identity toxic behaviours & individuals, try to let them go.
Practice self-forgiveness, make time for rest & recovery regularly.
List all of the things you love about yourself.
Goal/Focus: Create a supportive network for upliftment, guidance or just to talk, which further helps create a sense of belongingness & acceptance.
Call a friend/family member
Learn how much socialising you need to recharge & when it starts to drain you.
Spend time with those who inspire you.
Grab a coffee with a friend; Go on a date.
Take breaks from social media.
Host a small gathering, play board games.
Goal/Focus: Find & nurture a sense of connection to a Higher Power or find a deeper meaning in our lives.
Take time to reflect on what brings you joy & what may have negative influence.
Spend time giving back, like donating, or participating in a clean up or an animal shelter, etc.
Reassess beliefs, values, prejudices & stereotypes.
Take a walk outside to reset your inner peace, lie down in a quiet room with peaceful music.
Remove yourself from a heated conversation & take a few minutes to breath deeply, be honest with yourself about your life and relationships.
It is important to make time in order to replenish the energy inside us before we invest it in other things. Self care may take a back seat for most of us, but in those moments we need to remind ourselves that we work so hard so that we can afford these breaks & time outs.
Life isn’t easy anyway, give yourself some lovin’ every now & then?
Illustrations by Shreyaa Krritika Das