Many people think of self care as bubble baths, a hair mask, candles or a walk in the park. The truth is that there is so much more to it than that. As mental health becomes more of a social conversation, people are finding new ways to take care of themselves on a daily basis. The problem is, many people don’t realize that self care takes discipline and an active effort to maintain. It’s not something that happens on it’s own. 

Though it can be tough to push yourself into a more solid routine, the benefits will impact every aspect of your life. Taking things one step at a time can make self care less daunting, and ensure that you don’t end up giving up on the process altogether. Self care is a daily journey, not something that can be achieved overnight. 

Take Care Of Your Body

Though french fries and pizza are amazing and delicious, trying to eat nutrient-dense foods whenever possible can have a positive impact on your mood. If you struggle with any kind of mental health disorder when it comes to food – such as binge eating disorder, or anorexia, eating well can be a struggle. Taking baby steps to find foods that you enjoy, you can make yourself, and are nourishing can be a way to work on your mental health.

Exercise is also a great way to bring some oxygen into your body and get some endorphins pumping. Though we’ve all groaned while we’re putting on our leggings to go work out, it really is worth pushing yourself to do. The key is to find a kind of exercise that you like. This could be going for a walk in nature, roller blading, or doing something more high intensity. A little bit goes a long way, and there’s no need to push yourself past your limits. 

Take Care Of Your Mind

A huge part of self care is focusing on your mental health, and being able to recognize any unhelpful thought patterns as they come up. Taking time to journal, read or just generally get time for yourself is a crucial part of getting into a positive headspace. Ask yourself what kinds of things you like to do, and how they impact you. Then continuously choose to do things that make you feel better afterwards. 

If you struggle with mental health issues, finding a therapist that you connect with can be a huge benefit to your life long term. Though therapy isn’t always comfortable, it is very beneficial in understanding yourself on a deeper level. There may be aspects of yourself that you don’t even realize are impacting your mental state, and therapy can be an important step in recognizing that. 

Find What Works For You

Every person is different in their needs. Some people can spend some time listening to music and feel more relaxed, others want to watch their favorite comfort movie. The key is to push yourself to not procrastinate on what’s going to make you feel good. Sometimes that means answering an email you’ve been neglecting, other times it may be taking a moment to meditate. 

Knowing what helps you feel more relaxed and secure in your life is a skill that develops over time. There’s no need to put pressure on yourself to try and figure it out all at once. Start small and go from there. The beauty of having a solid relationship with yourself is that it’s one that lasts forever. Not having to rely on others for your happiness is priceless, and will naturally draw others to you.