We’ve all heard about the importance of maintaining a regular self-care practice. The long term benefits of a self-care routine are wide-ranging, including better sleep habits, improved mood and overall health, just to name a few positive results and overall health benefits.
But if self-care activities like yoga or meditation aren’t your thing, what options do you have if you’re looking to take better care of your mental health?
Self-Care Activities to Try Today
“There are so many ways to practice self-care,” writes Margarita Tartakovsky, MS. “One of my favorite ways is to connect to my creativity.”
What follows are just a few ideas for self-care activities that will help you express yourself and do your well-being some good.
Doodling is one of the easiest ways to get creative, and literally anyone can do it. While it seems trivial, the act of taking pen or pencil to paper and doodling does more good than you might realize, however. “Doodling increases your visual literacy,” writes Emily Potts, “and helps you process ideas, even when you are not trying! Experiment with different materials, and draw whatever comes to mind.”
Write it out
No need for the grammar police — take 30 minutes and just start writing. Fill up a few pages with whatever comes to mind and get your thoughts down on paper. Artist Julie Cameron takes time every day for her Morning Pages:
“There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages – they are not high art. They are not even ‘writing.’ They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.”
Make a List
Often we have so many ideas, tasks, and concepts swirling around in our minds that we lose track of what is actually a priority for us.
Take some time every evening to jot down a list of what’s floating around there in your head. Pick a general theme: what you need to do tomorrow, your short term goals, or activities that you’d like to participate in but haven’t gotten around to trying.
Getting these things out of your head and onto paper can help to clear your mind a bit, and provide some extra motivation to tackle some of those goals you’ve written out.
Brainstorm a Big Idea
Sometimes thinking through a concept can feel like untangling a stubborn knot. You can work through an idea or build out a plan that you haven’t fully thought through by first making sure you have a journal with you at all times, and, second, jotting down those ideas as they come to you.
You don’t necessarily have to write out an entire strategy or blueprint in one sitting. In fact, it’s best to just write out ideas – even if they’re not complete or fully fleshed out. Getting those thoughts on paper can help provide you with a different perspective when you see it in black and white, so that you can come back to them later and build on what you’ve come up with.
Tune Into Yourself Again
Self-care matters because we give so much of ourselves to our friends, families, jobs, and projects. Making more time and saving energy for yourself is crucial, so that you’re able to take care of the other important people in your life.
According to Kim Boivin, a registered clinical counselor with a Masters of Education in Counseling Psychology, “We are interdependent, so what I do to take care of myself has an impact on all who I interact with. When I care for myself, I care for others better too.”
Journaling and list-making are just a few ways to help sort through the jumble of all that our brains work through on a daily basis. Making the time to sit down, with pen and paper, and write out your thoughts can do wonders for anything that you might be worrying about.
And if you’re searching for the perfect journal, check out the Michael Roger notebooks that we’ve got in stock here at Soap Hope! They feature fun and quirky designs to fit your personal style, and use 100% post-consumer-recycled pages and soy ink printing,
What are some self-care activities you’ve started recently? Share in the comments below!