There are days when overwhelming negative feelings take the best of us, and we feel like nothing is going right. At times like this, it’s best to pause, take a step back, breathe, and spend some time taking care of yourself first. Remember, self-care isn’t being selfish. It’s crucial to your mental health. Listed in this article are some self-care ideas to help you get started.
But before we get to our list, let’s first talk about self-care and why it’s essential.
What Exactly is Self-Care?
We hear this term a lot, but what exactly does it mean? It’s the intentional act of taking care of ourselves physically, mentally, or emotionally. It comes in many different forms, but it encompasses doing anything that can help us relax and recharge to regain our best selves.
Why is It Important?
Whenever you’re feeling negative, try not to brush off your feelings or force yourself to go through the motions. Doing so will only make you feel worse, and if you do it often enough, you may eventually fall into depression. Feeling sad or overwhelmed and being depressed are entirely different, and the latter has a more profound impact on your life. So, whenever you’re having a bad day, make self-care a priority.
Self-Care Ideas When You’re Having a Bad Day
Make a “No” List
Protect your time and space and create healthy boundaries for yourself. Most of the time, people feel obligated or pressured to say yes whenever they’re asked to do something or go somewhere they’re not comfortable. But remember that it’s okay to say no if there’s something you don’t want to do.
Write a Mood Journal
It’s hard to sort through a jumbled mess of emotions, and sometimes it’s best to write down how you feel. Writing down why you feel anxious or sad can help you better understand and express your emotions freely. It can also help you analyse your thoughts from a better perspective.
Make a Self-Care Box
Next on our list of self-care activities is making a mental health first-aid kit. Put together some things that can help you calm down or feel better when you’re struggling and open it whenever you feel overwhelmed. For instance, you can put the following items in the box:
- Your favourite books
- A list of your favourite movies
- Comforting and memorable photos
- Notes of encouragement
- Mementos or souvenirs from your favourite places or events
- Anything that can comfort you
Try a New Workout
While exercising is a proven way to boost your mood, sticking to what you know can sometimes take the excitement out of working out. So, try hopping out of your comfort zone a little bit and try a new exercise routine that you find interesting. Try yoga, Zumba, or other fun workouts.
Take a Forest Bath
Walk in an area surrounded by trees and take deep breaths along the way. Trees are known to release terpenes, a chemical that is associated with activating the parasympathetic nervous system, triggering your body’s de-stressing mode. This practice is, in fact, a good way of mitigating depression.
Don’t Hop on the Scale
Do you make it a habit to step on the scale every day? For some, self-weighing is a source of stress that drives down their self-esteem. So, wait until you are more prepared to face the results before you look at the numbers on the scale. If you’re not feeling your best, skip it for today if you know the results will affect how you feel.
Practice Positive Self-Talk
Celebrate your daily successes and congratulate yourself. Although it may feel weird at first, it can positively affect how you view yourself and turn your feelings in a happier direction. Tell yourself “good job” – whether you managed to wake up on time, exercise, or complete other tasks. Soak up that self-care goodness and appreciate your small wins throughout the day.
Complete Your Beauty Routine
When you look good, you feel good about yourself. So, maybe it’s time to book an appointment at your favourite spa, or you can simply do your beauty routine at home to help you relax.
Play a Game
Anti-stress activities come in many forms, and sometimes playing a game can do the trick. You can play card games or board games with your friends and family. You can also try virtual options with strangers. Or play a video game online with friends. And since the goal is to release stress, choose games that are fun, engaging, and comfortable for you.
Identify Your Stress Signals
Your self-care activities won’t work if you don’t know when you’re getting stressed or overwhelmed. Know your signs of stress so you can respond accordingly to prevent all-out burnout. For instance, are you getting bouts of anger more often or distancing yourself from friends? Do you tend to get more headaches or stomach aches these days?
Stress can present itself in physical manifestations, so if you’re feeling pain with no underlying cause, stress might be the culprit.
If you also find yourself sending the overwhelmed emoji to everyone you know more and more, it’s time to ask yourself if you need a break. Build awareness of your limits so you know when to take a step back and recharge. Unknowingly pushing through your limit can result in severe physical and mental health consequences.
Get Help from a Personal Development Coach
Developing a self-care routine may not be as simple for everyone, especially if you can’t sort through your emotions well. Sometimes, what you need is professional help to help you dissect your thoughts and feelings. If you are looking for a personal development coach to help you establish a routine that works for you, contact Daftein today.
As your personal life coach, Daftein can help you map out your path to better living, from providing you with self-care ideas to helping you with other aspects of your life. Get in touch today.