The phrase self-care has taken on a lot of different connotations over the years. For a lot of people, when they think about self-care, they picture pampering experience at a high-class spa where people put cucumber slices on your eyes and serve you overpriced mineral water. But the world has learned a lot about mental health over the last few years, and the fact is that taking care of yourself is one of the most important things that you can do for both you and the people that you love. After all, if you’re not looking after yourself, how are you supposed to look after anyone else.
However, if you have never been given the tools to work on your own mental health before, or if it has been a long time since you had to find ways to relax and unwind that work for you, it might seem difficult to know where to start. Here are a few pointers for self-care activities that are practical and fun and won’t cost you a lot of money.
Routines Are Your Friend
If you are not sure where you want to start with self-care activities, but you know that you need to start taking better care of yourself, then one of the best places to start may be introducing a routine to your day. You do not necessarily need to map out everything from the very moment that you get up, but some people find that knowing exactly what they are doing through the day helps to give themselves a sense of control when things feel overwhelming. It also helps you to know where you have time to do things that are just for you, which brings us to our next point.
Make Time For Yourself
Anyone who has a family knows that finding time for yourself can be something of a struggle. Of course, you want to be there for whatever you partner, your kids or your parents might need, but it is important to find time in the day where you can step outside of everything else that is going on and just breathe. If you have found this difficult in the past, then it might help to put something in your schedule. Find a time slot, even if it’s just ten or fifteen minutes, that is your own. You can just step outside the house, go for a coffee, or listen to a podcast. The time is yours, and that’s the important thing.
Find Fun Activities That Are Nothing Like Work
It’s fair to say that most of us are ready to collapse after a long day at work. But it can be tough to fully disconnect yourself from your day job (or indeed your night job) because the reminders are all around us. If you are still working from home, then your office is just in the next room. One of the best ways to disconnect is by finding something that you enjoy which demands your total concentration. Gaming is a great option because you are going to need to pay close attention to what’s going on in front of you, and it’s great fun. Online gaming and online casino play have seen a huge boost in the last few years, and it could be what you are looking for. It’s worth doing your research if you have not played before. Look for good reviews and resources on the site such as guides to the free spins you get when you sign up. Play Live free spins are part of their promotions, and they have plenty of info to help you learn more. They are the biggest online casino in South Africa with games from over 20 unique providers.
Separate Your Work Life And Your Home Life
It can be tough to draw the line between your nine to five and the rest of your day, especially if you are working from home. But even if you are back at work out of the house, it can be very difficult to switch off. One of the main reasons for this is that there are so many ways that your boss can contact you if they need to. Emails, WhatsApp messages, social media DMs…the list goes on, and this can easily lead to burnout. One of the best self-care activities you can do is to make sure that when you finish work for the day, you sign off properly. Shut down your work computer, log out of your work email account, and if you are getting messages during your personal time, talk to your boss or your HR manager. Your rest is crucial to your health, so don’t be afraid to draw a hard line on this.
Exercise Is Self-Care
If you are someone who exercises regularly, you may not think about it in these terms. It’s something that you do to look after your physical health to make sure that you stay in shape. But you will almost certainly have noticed that you feel better after you finish a work-out or go for a run. And you will notice that if you stop doing it because you are too busy, then you will feel down. Exercise is great for mental health and if you are not getting enough of it, try to carve out some time every day to get outside and get that blood pumping. You can always get some friends involved if you need a little motivation, which brings us to our next point.
Keep Seeing Your Friends
Finally, here is an important one: don’t close yourself off. When you are overworked and overstressed, it can feel like you don’t have time for anyone else. But isolating yourself means that all those worries and stresses have nowhere to go but inwards. Loneliness is a real mental health issues, and even if you don’t feel lonely in yourself, it is important to keep getting out there and seeing the people closest to you. It can be easy to keep putting off catching up with your friends and family, but this is a crucial self-care activity, and it is one that everyone should be doing more of.