Self-care is often associated with face masks, bubble baths, and delicious meals from your favorite takeout spot.
But a deeper level of self-care requires a more holistic approach. Here are ten often overlooked ways to support your overall well-being.
Make necessary doctor’s appointments
No one really likes going to the doctor on a normal day, and it can be especially scary to seek help when you’re experiencing symptoms. But ultimately knowing what is going on with your health—whether good or bad—can bring you peace of mind. Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself and be persistent with your physician if something feels off. Now go schedule that appointment you’ve been putting off for the last six months!
Keep your kitchen stocked with accessible food you enjoy
This isn’t to say you should abandon eating a healthy diet, but having food on hand that satisfies your soul is important too. If you know you are going to have a busy week, stock up on foods that aren’t time-consuming to prepare so you can keep your body, and spirit, happily fueled without adding more stress to your schedule.
Buy clothes that fit, and clear out ones that don’t
It’s normal for your weight to fluctuate throughout the different phases of your life. Don’t keep clothing in your closet that makes you feel uncomfortable or bad about your current body. If a piece no longer fits, replace it with something you feel good in and that gives you confidence. Clothes are meant to fit you, not the other way around.
Take care of your car
You may rely on your vehicle to go to your job, run errands, and generally get around, which means you need to be able to count on it to function at its best. The best way to ensure this is to follow a consistent maintenance schedule and bring it into the shop when it makes weird noises. Washing your car regularly, and maybe even giving it an annual detail, can also boost your mood while driving and make you more comfortable inviting passengers to join you.
Clean and organize your house
There is often a parallel between the state of your home and the state of your mind. Having a clean and organized space can lower your overall feelings of stress and fatigue, whether you do it yourself or hire someone to help. And once everything has a home, it’ll be much easier to put items away and keep your place tidy.
Boost your brain
When it comes to your brain, you should be playing the long game. Due to the brain’s plasticity, more pathways can be formed and strengthened as you learn a new skill, such as speaking a foreign language, playing an instrument, or using a complicated cooking technique. This training is important to help maintain memory recall, concentration, attention to detail, and other cognitive functions as you age.
Take up a new hobby
Occasionally, the line between sticking to a daily routine and becoming stagnant can get blurry. If you are feeling less motivation to get up in the morning, it might be time to find a new hobby or interest. Try a dance lesson, an art workshop, or an auto mechanic course. There might even be local groups near you that do certain activities like going out to eat together. Stepping outside your comfort zone in this way can both reenergize you and expand your social circle.
As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. If you’re perpetually saying yes to every invitation or call for help, you likely aren’t leaving enough time for yourself and your own needs. This can lead to resentment and feelings of burnout. Setting and enforcing boundaries will help you make sure you aren’t pushing yourself beyond your limits, and it will signal to others that you can be counted on to show up if you are saying yes.
Ask for help
For some people, admitting they could use a hand is difficult, but receiving support is just as important as giving it. Whether it’s an emotional need or a physical one, don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and ask for help. Doing so might even make them more willing to seek support from you as it will show that your relationship is reciprocal. Knowing that you have people you can count on will give you reassurance that you can handle whatever life throws at you.
Practice random acts of kindness
Sometimes the best thing to do when you are feeling lonely or unsatisfied with life is to extend energy outward to others. And finding creative ways to practice kindness to strangers is an easy way to bring positivity and light into your world. Hide empowering notes in random places for people to find, tape small plastic bags of quarters to the washers in a laundromat, or buy a bunch of roses and leave one bloom each on a row of car windshields. Imagining how such acts might leave a smile on someone’s face will create a feedback loop of happiness that will last for days to come.