Self-care is one of the most important things in my life. In anyone’s life, really. When it comes to mental health, it’s so important to regularly take time just for you; to relax, to pamper yourself, to simply do something you enjoy because it makes you happy. Since we’re stuck in this pandemic anyway, and I’m not working much this time of year, I’ve decided to really focus on self-care, what it means to me and how I’m including it in my life this year.
Self-care: “the act of attending to one’s physical or mental health, generally without medical or other professional consultation (often used attributively)”Dictionary.com
I always looked at self-care as a mental thing. Feeling good, being happy, relaxed… But over the past month, I’ve learned it’s physical as well, they’re intertwined. When I’m doing well mentally, taking care of my physical health is much easier. And my physical health takes a dive when I’m doing bad mentally. It’s never one without the other!
Taking Care of my Mental Health
There are a few simple things I do to take care of my mental health; I listen to music, read or listen to a book or watch a movie or tv show. They’re as easy as sitting down and surrendering yourself to the distraction. I don’t even have to think about it. It’s the most basic form of self-care to me. I especially love weekly shows,
like WandaVision right now, I’m obsessed! because it makes me sit down for a moment each week to enjoy something I love.
Pampering myself – taking a bath, putting on a face mask, etc. – or being creative; doing something artsy or just sitting down with a coloring book takes a little bit more effort for me, but once I’m actually doing the activity, I enjoy it so much, and it does wonders for my mental health! I bought a Bath Bucket for in my shower a few weeks ago and that might sound crazy silly, but it’s my best purchase of the year thus far.
The “hardest” kind of self-care would be meditation, yoga, and – in a way – working out. I took some meditation and yoga classes in college and even though It was years ago, I can’t describe how wonderful these classes were for my mental health! I always left feeling so zen and relaxed. I’ve tried meditating at home, but I struggle way too much sticking with it. I’ll do it for a day or two and then quit. For almost two months, I managed to do Pilates daily and I love it! Stretching and Yoga workouts make me feel so calm and happy, while Pilates, cardio, and PIIT kick my butt and make me feel so incredibly accomplished at the end of a good workout.
Since I’ve been eating healthy and I’m working out, I realize just how important physical self-care is – and how much it’s tied to my mental health. I love cooking healthy meals for my family and meal planning. I’ve also found joy in working out and getting stronger. I love it when I can’t do a certain pilates move at first and then a week later I’m getting the hang of it. It’s so motivating to keep going! I also really love to ride my (electric) bike to work when the weather allows it. My Apple Watch is my best friend; I use it to keep track of my movement, hours of standing, and exercise. I just love seeing how much I’ve walked during the day at work, or how much time I spend on my daily Pilates workout.
I’m definitely going to work on my physical self-care this year, as well as get better at taking care of my mental health. I’ve recently gotten out of a depression and I still have to live with anxiety, so it’s essential to me that I take care of myself!