I have been talking about self care a lot. It’s become a staple phrase in my vocabulary.
If you would have told the Laurie of six months, a year ago that these words would be a staple in our vocabulary, she would have laughed at you. I’ve written about this topic before and I know I will continue to write about it some more.
Lately, I’ve been having a hard time with both my mental and physical health. On the days where getting out of bed is a struggle, I am working on the bare minimum. To be gentle with myself, I’m trying to balance the things I have to do and the things that I enjoy, along with both mental and physical activities. It’s kind of a like a fast-food combo boxes – pick your favourite treat and the best fit for you from each category. This practice is the brainchild of a conversation with my therapist. Hope it can work for you, too.
These have-to-do activities aren’t necessarily the fun ones (those come next, I promise!) These are the activities that you need to do to exist as a somewhat healthy individual. The basics of the basics. These include:
- Showering/bathing, washing your face, brushing your teeth
- Eating food and drinking water
- Doing the dishes and washing your laundry
- Taking your medication
- Cooking healthy meals for yourself
- Keeping your living quarters relatively clean
Yes, these seem basic. I’ll be honest, sometimes these basic things seem like a struggle. I’ll know I’m in a bad mental/physical state when I struggle to make food for myself, I don’t shower for days, and I leave all the house cleaning for my partner.
Once you’ve covered your basics, it’s now time to have some fun. Do some things you enjoy. What do you love to do?
- Reading a book or magazine
- Watching your fave show or binge watching some fun stuff on Netflix
- Spending time with your pet
- Creating and crafting (knitting, crocheting, painting, playing an instrument)
- Making a delicious tea or coffee
- Spending time with your support system (friends, family, your partner)
- Taking a nap
Do what makes you happy, what brings you joy. For me, these cup-filling activities also includes blogging, connecting with people on social media, and eating ice cream. This is the most important part of the self-care snack pack for me. Focusing on the negative is so easy for me, so it helps to let in a little positivity.
While I am not a religious person, mindfulness and meditation have recently come into my life. I attempted a 30 Day Meditation Streak – which I will embarrassingly admit that I did not complete. That being said, I did meditate quite a bit so I am being gentle with myself about it. These mindful activities can be whatever you connect with, like:
- Praying/connecting with your spiritual texts
- Eating, walking, exercising mindfully
- Reading meditative, spiritual, or religious works
- Focus on your breathing
Give it a try. I often find that even focusing on my breathing for five minutes can calm my monkey mind.
This is a no-brainer. Tons of studies have been done about the positive impact physical activity has on mental health (here’s an easy to digest summary) While the recommended amount is 30-minutes of moderate exercise five times a week, any little bit helps. This can include:
- Running, jogging
- Walking (with or without your pup)
- Yoga, pilates
- Work out videos (Jillian Michael’s ones are KILLLLLLLLER)
- Super fun exercise classes
I’ll admit that my physical activity level has been low (lots of walks around the block with my pupperoni), but I notice a huge difference in my mental state when I exercise regularly. I need to make this more of a priority in my life.
What fills your bucket? What is in your self-care snack pack? Let me know!