8 Self-Care Ideas for Mindfulness and Relaxation

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There’s no amount of yoga and running that can help you without taking care of yourself first. Self-care is an important aspect of life, and there’s no real substitute for even the simplest routines. Likewise, mindfulness won’t work if you don’t couple it with adequate sleep, a good diet, and everything else in-between, says Katherine Pierce.

You need to take care of your basic needs first to achieve a level of mindfulness and relaxation. Here are 8 self-care ideas that can help relieve your stress, give you peace of mind, and ensure that you have a healthy mind and body.

Take Care of Your Physiological Needs

Among the simplest self-care routines you can do is to make sure all your physiological needs are met. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, physiological needs are at the widest area of the pyramid for a reason: without food and drink, you’ll immediately die. First, however, you have to do this right.

Eat healthy foods with the right portions. Balance out your consumption of carbs, fats, proteins, sugars, fruits, and vegetables, making sure to eat right. Hydrate as much as you can, drinking up to 2 liters of water a day. It might be easy to think that over-indulgence is self-care, but you’re setting yourself up for failure with this mindset.

Work Towards Relieving Anxiety

If you have anxiety during your period, chances are you’re having some issues with your hormones. Thankfully, there are various ways to deal with stress, and most of them involve changing a few facets of your lifestyle. These changes aren’t too extreme either, so they shouldn’t be so hard to follow.

For starters, meditation should help reduce stress and anxiety by letting you get in tune with your mind. Next, if you’re coping with anxiety, eating some carbs can help flood your brains with serotonin, which has a calming effect. Finally, get a massage or do some yoga to improve your breathing and improve your blood circulation, regulating your hormones.

Sleep When You Feel Like It

It’s normal to have skin concerns, especially if your job needs you to look good at work. Bad skin can come from several sources, but the most common source is bad sleeping habits. Lack of sleep can put your hormones out of whack, as well as unbalance your body.

Sleep when your body asks for it. Set a routine schedule for sleeping to ensure that your sleep patterns are normal, especially if you’re trying to keep a day job. Go for power naps if you’re sleepy, which should last somewhere around 15 to 20 minutes. Then, take a breather and let go of your troubles before you go to sleep.

Socialize When You Can

Socialization is one of the keys to a longer life and better self-confidence. While you need to remember that you don’t have to please anyone, you also need to go out and talk to people. Make some acquaintances and talk to friends and family to let out any deep-seated emotions.

Call friends and family every now and then. Check up on their lives and show that you care. If you’re the type whose job makes it hard to socialize or you have crippling social anxiety, take it a step at a time. Talk to a professional and seek help. It’s vital to go beyond your distress and seek therapists to help you release your emotions.

Challenge Negative Thoughts

Mindfulness and relaxation only come out if you create an environment made of better, more positive thoughts. There’s a possibility that you’re limiting yourself with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. You need to start challenging negative thoughts and work overtime with realistic thinking.

Ask yourself about your worries and create realistic scenarios, answering yourself with well-balanced and truthful answers. While you don’t have to be overly positive, you need to keep cutting off your negative thoughts at the root. Offer empathy and compassion where you can.

Get Your Body Moving

Stress comes down when you start moving your body around. Not only can it keep your hormones in check and get your blood flowing, but it also gets your mind off things. You can get a boost in your mood and bring a runner’s high when you start moving around, which should relieve your anxiety.

You don’t have to do rigorous exercises to start enjoying the benefits of exercise. It’s best to start with some short walks around your home or do some household chores. Then, do some dancing, playing catch, hula hoop, or you can even walk your dog. Anything to keep the body moving should help keep you happier and more limber.

Practice Gratitude

One important area of mindfulness that you need to practice every day is gratitude. At times, we forget that it is important to be thankful for everything in our lives, especially the good things. While not everyone gets a lot of good things in life, you need to be grateful for those that come.

Be thankful for those who love you and listen to you. Be grateful for both the smallest and the biggest things, from your hot cup of coffee to your little pets. Enjoy what you have now and be happy with the good things to come – whether it’s a date, a girls’ night out, or bonding moments with your family.

Know Your Body’s State

An important way to relax and induce mindfulness is to know your body’s state. Notice if you’re body is feeling tense – if you’re experiencing tightness around your body. See if you can soften the area that feels too hard or tense, then do your best to adjust it.

Try to keep a consistent tension check around your body and soften your body if you can. Set some time throughout your day where you lie around, scan your body, and see which parts ache. Become aware of how you stand up, sit down, and engage in physical exercise. Understanding how your body moves can help you find more time to relax.

Final Thoughts

Self-care is not a simple one-size-fits-all strategy. Instead, it needs to be a customized set of care activities that will work with your needs and what you currently have in your life. You want a self-care plan that fits your current fitness level, mobility, and mental state, depending on what you do.

If you discover that you’re neglecting areas of your life, work towards a plan for change. Don’t tackle all your problems all at once. Instead, make self-care a priority and work towards slow, deliberate adjustments in your life.

Visit: self-care routines

Katie Pierce is a teacher-slash-writer who loves telling stories to an audience, whether it’s bored adults in front of a computer screen or a bunch of hyperactive 4-year-olds. Writing keeps her sane (most of the time) and allows her to enjoy some quiet time in the evening before she walks into a room of screaming kids (all of whom she loves dearly) the next morning. 

Contact Katie on: kasp.contentstudio@gmail.com

Images courtesy: www.pexels.com

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