When life gets busy and the work starts to pile up, it is important to have moments to yourself, away from the stress. It can be hard to do but always try and prioritise yourself and your own well-being over everything and everyone else. Today I would like to discuss the importance of relaxation and ways for you to take care of yourself and improve your well-being.
The importance of relaxation
Firstly, I would like to mention that it is impossible to avoid stress; however, it is possible to learn how to manage and deal with it. Relaxation is actually key to managing our stress. This is because when we relax and unwind, we calm our mind and clear it of negative thoughts. This boosts our concentration, memory, and decision making, allowing us to be much more productive. Relaxation also helps increase the flow of blood within our body, giving us more energy. Finally, relaxation helps with digestion as we absorb nutrients more efficiently when our body is relaxed – this in turns makes sure that our body is healthy and equipped to fight off disease.
Self-care can be split into six different categories: emotional, practical, physical, mental, social, and spiritual. I outline below some self-care ideas for each category:
Emotional: These activities will help you to connect, process, and understand your emotions. Emotional self-care will support you in reacting to your emotions in a healthy way.
- Lighting a scented candle
- Talking to someone, e.g. a family member or friend
- Starting a journal
- Listening to music
- Writing a list of things that you’re grateful for or a list of things that you love
Practical: These activities will help you to fulfil numerous aspects of life, allowing you to feel both healthier and happier.
- Exercising, e.g. walking, running, swimming
- Eating well
- Taking care of your body
- Cleaning and organising your room
- Budgeting and saving money where you can
Physical: These activities will help boost your physical health.
- Getting enough water (at least 6-8 glasses a day)
- Eating enough food
- Maintaining a healthy diet
- Getting enough sleep (at least 7-9 hours a day)
- Taking a break when you need one
- Taking a relaxing bath
- Having a spa day, e.g. getting a massage, hair cut, pedicure, manicure
- Wearing clothes that make you feel confident and good about yourself
Mental: These activities will clear your head and help you think more positively. Mental self-care will help you to work towards self growth and improvement.
- Reading, e.g. a book, article, magazine, blog
- Learning a new skill
- Making DIY crafts
- Drawing or colouring
- Solving a puzzle
- Turning your phone off and staying off social media
Social: Who you surround yourself with makes a huge impact on how you feel about yourself. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and remove anyone toxic in your life. These social activities are great ways to practice social self-care.
- Going out with your friends
- Going out on a date
- Spending time with your family
- Learning to say no
- Cuddling a pet
Spiritual: These activities focus on taking care of your soul, nurturing your spirit and doing things that make you feel good. They don’t necessarily have to involve religion.
- Practicing yoga
- Praying or going to your place of worship
- Being in nature
- Volunteering for a cause you are passionate about
I hope you have found the above ideas useful and inspiring for mapping out your very own self-care rituals.