I believe that self-love is the most important factor in a happy life. When you love yourself, anything is possible. Good self-care is a big part of a healthy self-love. There is a wide range of activities we can do to care for ourselves, from meeting our basic needs to working on self-improvement. Some activities may come so naturally to us that we don’t even think about the way in which we are caring for ourselves. For those of us who have suffered from depression, sometimes even the simplest acts of self-care seem hard. We may not even want to get out of bed in the morning, let alone shower and get dressed.
On those days we may not want to get out of bed, it’s important that we still try to take care of ourselves. On these days, just meeting our basic needs can be challenging. The following self-care activities can be easy to neglect when we are depressed. I suggest you commit to doing at least three things from this list every single day, no matter how you are feeling. Even a few small acts to care for ourselves can go a long way. Sometimes just getting up and getting a few things done will make us feel a little better and give us the motivation to do even more.
Wash your face and brush your teeth.
Take a shower.
Brush or comb your hair.
Eat something healthy. Even if you don’t have an appetite or if comfort foods are all that sound good, try to make some kind of healthy food choice.
Take a few minutes to do some stretching exercises.
Pick a positive affirmation and repeat it in the mirror 5 times.
Have a glass of water.
Spend a few moments thinking of something you are truly grateful for. Even on our worst days, there is always something to be grateful for.
Take 5 deep, cleansing breaths. Just focusing on our breath can be very healing.
If we are feeling well, then the fore mentioned activities should come naturally and relatively easy for us. We are in a position to do a bit more to care for ourselves. On these days, in addition to the activities already mentioned, try making a goal to some of the following activities. Choose a number of them that you feel comfortable committing to.
Set 1 or 2 goals for the week or work toward goals already set. Setting and accomplishing goals not only helps us get things done but can raise our sense of self-worth dramatically.
Go for a nature walk.
Watch a move of your choice.
Read a chapter of a book of your choice.
Exercise for at least 10 minutes.
Cook a healthy meal.
Make a list of 5 things you are grateful for. The more gratitude you feel, the more you will have to be grateful for.
Meditate for at least 5 minutes.
Take a relaxing bath.
Clean or organize a space in your home or workplace. You can pick as small or large a space as you would like to work on. Getting things cleaned and organized is a good way to keep our stress levels down.
When a healthy self-care routine is established and we are used to taking care of ourselves and taking a little time to relax and enjoy life, it becomes easier to think bigger in terms of self-care. The following are a some more ideas for self-care, ranging from activities that may take an hour or two, to ongoing actives.
Work on a hobby or project.
Start a journal. I think gratitude journals are great but choose any kind that resonates with you.
Take yourself out on a dream date. Don’t wait for someone to take you to do the things you always wanted. Do them yourself.
Join/participate in a class or social group.
Go shopping for something you enjoy.
Create a vision board or wish list.
Do something kind for others. Try volunteering or doing small random acts of kindness.
Do something that scares you. Push yourself just a bit out of your comfort zone.
Do some Spring cleaning. Get rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy.
Get a Reiki treatment or a massage.
Take care of yourself. Make yourself a priority. It’s not selfish to be the best version of you that you can be. You can only do that when you are taken care of. Take care of yourself, show up as your best self, and you will not only hold the key to your own true happiness you will also be in a position to spread that out into the world and share it with everyone else.