Self-care is all over the news these days. More people are discovering exactly what it means and what it can do for physical, mental and emotional health.

Taking care of yourself is imperative if you want to be the best version of yourself, but it’s also helpful for individuals who are battling depression, substance abuse, and physical health issues. Getting to a place where you feel healthy and strong is an important part of self-care, but there are different methods for everyone. The key is to try a few things to see what works best for you.

Fortunately, there are several ways to practice self-care, and some can be done no matter where you are. Some prefer to practice a favourite hobby, while others enjoy creating a workout routine that helps them feel stronger and healthier. No matter what type of activities you enjoy, find a way to work them into your daily schedule and learn how to use them to your benefit.

Here are a few tips on all the ways you can practice self-care:

Fit a workout in

Exercise can help you feel better both inside and out. Not only does it get you moving, it helps release oxygen to your blood cells and feel-good endorphins to your brain, keeping you feeling happy and motivated. Exercise is often utilized when it comes to boosting mental health because it can help raise self-confidence and promote mindfulness, which allows you to focus on the moment rather than think about the past or worry about the future. This eases stress and anxiety and is a wonderful tool for coping with those feelings in the moment.

Practice a hobby

Whether you love to sing, cook, paint, read or watch movies, take something you love and incorporate it into your day. Practising a hobby can help you feel relaxed and happy and is one of the best ways to reduce stress because you’re spending time doing something you enjoy. When your schedule gets crazy and it’s hard to find time to take a deep breath, stop what you’re doing and work your hobby into your day. Even if it’s only for 15 or 20 minutes on your lunch break, every little bit helps.

Spend time with an animal

Spending time with animals has been proven to help us relax and push stress away. It can even help sharpen our physical health, as the simple act of petting a dog can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. If you don’t have a pet, consider volunteering at a local animal shelter.

Make your home a stress-free environment

If your home doesn’t feel like a safe, comfortable place when you come home at the end of the day, you’ll be carrying stress with you to bed. Create a relaxing environment that will help you feel better no matter what is going on in your life by decluttering, getting organized and designating one room as a place to meditate and clear your mind. For tips on how to get started, click here.

Learn to say “no”

It can be difficult to learn how to say “no” when someone asks for your time or services, but when you’re feeling overworked and short on time, the best thing to do is keep your own needs in mind. It’s not selfish to put yourself first when you’re already feeling stressed; everyone needs a break now and then.

Self-care is an important part of feeling healthy and strong. It’s a wonderful way for parents, overworked professionals, or individuals who are battling depression, substance abuse or a physical ailment to take time out to focus on themselves. Learn how to incorporate self-care practices into your everyday life for the biggest benefits.

For tips on how to incorporate self-care into your morning routine, visit Shift’s Good Morning March blog.

Melissa Howard

Suicide prevention advocate for stop suicide

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