Self-care is essentially doing the things that support your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being on a regular basis—getting enough sleep, eating the right foods, moving your body, spending time in nature, resting when needed, scheduling time to play, setting boundaries, finding ways to decompress and so forth.
While daily self-care routines are personal to each of us, it can be helpful to have some go-to self-care practices for when certain moods strike. Here are seven self-care strategies from 24Life to try the next time you need a little extra support.
From business meetings to big projects and making it home for dinner, there is no shortage of daily happenings affecting our mental state. The best thing you can do to take care of yourself in moments of high anxiety is to become centered with one of these four strategies. Learn how routine exercise, breathing techniques, fresh air and meditation can reduce stress and promote a healthy mind throughout the entire day.
Mood: Down/In a Funk
Shake off the funk and let the music play. Try a dance class, hit the dance floor with your friends or throw a private dance party in your bedroom to lift your spirits. Dancing and exercising—as well as playing and listening to music—promote positive emotions. They are pleasurable experiences, as well, energizing and enlivening us, renewing lost optimism while offering the opportunity to let go from the burden of everyday life.
Mood: Exhausted/Run Down
It’s time to allow yourself to rest and deeply reset with yoga nidra, a powerful 15- to 20-minute guided meditation systematically designed to calm the mind, relax the body, re-balance the nervous system and restore your connection within. The good news is that yoga nidra is an easy and accessible technique to do at home—no yoga or meditation experience is required. All you need is a recorded guide, a little bit of time and to get comfortable.
Life can be both daunting and tedious. As adults with busy schedules and seemingly never-ending responsibilities, it’s easy to lose some of that excitement for life. Ditch the seriousness and practice joy with a little help from yoga! Tap into your inner joy with these three suggestions from Energy Medicine Yoga founder Lauren Walker who explains that in the Chinese Five Element Theory, the emotions of anxiety (associated with the fire element) are balanced and transformed by inspiration and joy.
Expend some physical energy getting lost in flow—a state of effortless concentration, relaxation and enjoyment achieved when you are completely immersed in an experience. Athletes call it “being in the zone.” Flow happens when we get lost in the challenge and enjoyment of an activity and everything else (even time) falls away. According to positive psychologist and pioneer of research on flow state Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ph.D., it is the secret to happiness.
Channel your optimism for manifestation and bring your meditation closer to transformation with this powerful visualization technique from the greater yoga tradition. Bhavana meditations work with your emotions to cultivate certain characteristics and develop new ways of being to create positive change. They also happen to be a potent tool for manifesting what you want for yourself, not only mentally visualizing what you want your life to look like but also feeling it in your body.
A part of self-care is knowing and appreciating yourself more, so take advantage of the next time you find yourself with some alone time to discover what you love about yourself. Society tells us we have to blend in to be accepted, and we have been so busy trying to be what “they” said we should be that we’ve forgotten who we are. If you genuinely want to understand, accept and, yes, love yourself, get to know who you are as a person!
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