Are You Feeling Down?
These 5 simple self-care practices will help!
When it’s done right, self-love can help to improve your mental wellbeing and stop mental health problems taking control. Practising self-love and self-care is an important part of my life. It helps me manage my anxiety, improves my mood and overal happiness. As a mum of young children we are often made to feel guilty about putting our own needs first, to be honest, it is imposable sometimes. For me, my children will always be my priority but it doesn’t mean to say I should stop taking care of myself. I was Christy before I was mum and she still deserves a break. To be the best mum I can be it’s important for me to take care of you myself too.
There can be a lot of confusion around self-love and what it really involves but it’s basically all about being kind to yourself. This can take a lot of different forms, some of which aren’t always obvious as self-love. Here are a few self-love practices that work for me and may work for you.
Eating Nourishing Foods
What you choose to nourish your body with is a form of self love. A “self love” diet helps you to feel better, gives you more energy and can even help you to avoid health problems.
Believing that you’re worthy of this kind of self care and nourishment is the first step to making a big commitment to your health and wellbeing. When you feel that you’re a truly worthy recipient of self love, you’ll automatically start putting your health at the center of everything, especially nutrition. This means choosing foods that are good for your body and that help you to feel fuller for longer and keep your blood sugar levels stable.
A self-love diet doesn’t mean totally depriving yourself though, just as long as you take the cues from your body and stop when you’re full. It is always about balance!
Being “In Your Zone”
Having “me” time is really important for getting in your zone, even if it’s just for short periods at a time. Even five minutes of quality time “in your zone” is an underrated way to practice self love. How you get there is a personal choice – some people use meditation, mindfulness or their favorite music, for example. Anything that helps you to be in the present and focus your mind counts for this one.
Being Grateful for What You Have
If you’re not showing yourself self love, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other people. This can be toxic for your mental health and is pretty much the opposite of self love. It can be a hard one to break if you’ve been in this mindset for a while but one way to do this involves gratitude.
Get into the habit of feeling grateful for all of the good things that you have in your life, whether that is health, a loving family or good friends. According to studies, writing in a gratitude diary at least once a week can help to make you feel happier, especially if you do it for around 15 minutes each time. Up it to three times per week and the results can be even better. The idea is that you list up to five things that you were grateful for on that particular day. This can be as simple as you like – in fact, being grateful for the simple things can work really well!
Having a Clear Out
Have a look around your home and see how many things you have that you don’t use anymore. For most of us, this is going to be more than you think! Clearing out anything you don’t need or use can be wonderfully therapeutic. A good rule of thumb is to throw out anything you haven’t used in the past year. Chances are, you’re not going to miss it too much if you’ve not used it for this long.
The theory behind this one is pretty simple and it’s all about getting rid of old things so that you can open the door to new alternatives. It can also help to cleanse your mind to this effect.
Walking in the Park
Getting closer to nature is a great way to practice mindfulness and a walk in the park is the perfect way to start doing this. Studies have shown that being in green spaces improves your mental health. If you live in a fairly built-up area, getting out to a park or other green space can be just what you need to clear your mind, especially if you combine it with mindfulness. Even poor mental health can potentially be improved with mindful walking.
Walks in the park also have the added bonus of bringing another self-care move into play – exercise! We all know about the “feel good” endorphins and other mental health benefits that exercise brings but walking in nature itself takes this up a notch. It helps to reduce anxiety and boost mood.
Getting out to your nearest park (or any green space if you don’t have one locally) can be a really underrated way to show yourself a bit more self love and help to keep your mental wellbeing in check.
What can you start doing today to help improve your own self-care? Share with me in the comments below or on my Facebook group NUTRITION MATTERS
Wishing you good health and happiness!