10 WAYS TO PRACTICE SELF-CARE AND BUILD YOUR INNER STRENGTH
by Shaun P. Tubbs - MYX Coach
Most people understand and can agree with the importance of good physical health. And rightfully so. A strong healthy body is a crucial element in our overall capacity to lead an unhindered life. But as much as we work to create our ideal outward appearance, I believe it’s equally, if not more important, to build our inward image, that inner strength, as well.
Developing the muscles of our mind and spirit.
While being asked to stay indoors is probably not what we would like, we can use this as an opportunity to go inward, to explore, and to strengthen a deeper part of ourselves. In fact this could be a great chance for self-care and self-reflection.
You can take this time to relax, spend quality time with yourself, nourish, and explore. Here are 10 ways to practice self-care and build your inner strength that you can do at home.
DISCONNECT FROM THE NOISE
Whether it’s the news, social media, or emails, stop consuming excessive content that adds to your stress, and anxiety. There’s a fine line between staying informed and indulging in the buffet of craziness and drama.
It’s challenging as there is a part of us that finds pleasure in consuming these images and information, much like it’s a horror movie that you don’t want to look away from. We keep on scrolling to try to find the next shocking piece of content. But fear only fuels more fear.
So disconnect from the noise, put your phone away, and create a calm and peaceful headspace where you’re not pulled into the craze and panic.
PUT ON SOME TUNES
Create a soundtrack for how you want to feel. If you want to relax, put on some smooth jazz or chill R&B. If you need something a bit more upbeat try Pop or Hip-Hop. Hey, if you just want to Zen out, then put on some yoga or meditation music. The point is to find the music that makes you happy.
This is one of my favorite self-care habits. Journaling is an amazing tool for working through your thoughts and emotions, which can be incredibly helpful during chaotic times like this. Remember, all your feelings are valid and it’s okay to express them. Your journal is a safe space for you to do so.
Aside from journaling your thoughts and emotions, journaling your gratitude every day will help shift your mind from anxiety to appreciation and love. Why not start building this muscle of gratitude now by spending a few moments a day listing all the specific things you’re grateful for. Your mindset and life will change for the better in the present and well into the future.
LEARN SOMETHING NEW
Learn a new skill or language through online classes or tutorials. You’ll grow, add, and expand not just what you know but how you think. There really are endless resources for online learning including Skillshare, Masterclass, and YouTube. If you want to learn it, there is someone out there ready to teach it.
CLEAN AND ORGANIZE YOUR SPACE
When the world outside feels out of control, focus on the things that you can control. And you can control how your space feels. If your space feels more tidy and fresh your mind will feel more calm as well.
If you don’t feel like cleaning or have a hard time starting, you can try setting a timer for 10 minutes. I found that if I tell myself to clean or organize for only 10 minutes it feels completely doable. And then I almost always end up cleaning for much longer. This is because once you get started, you get the ball rolling, and you have momentum. Making a small change to a space can make it feel new and more purposeful.
I probably don’t have to sell you too hard on practicing meditation. But it’s simply the best thing you can do to calm your mind and anxiety. Even if the outside world is crazy, you can work to stay grounded and peaceful in your inner world. Start by simply closing your eyes and breathing for five minutes. You could also try deep breathing techniques, guided meditations, or playing calming music.
Meditation can help you become more aware of your repetitive thoughts, so you can work to alleviate any non productive ones. Tuning into yourself will bring you closer to your intuition, your center, and your compass. Meditation is one of those things that feels difficult at the beginning but with consistency and practice gets easier and will be more and more rewarding.
READ (OR LISTEN TO) A BOOK
Get lost in a good book. You can take your eyes off a flashing, glowing screen and brighten your imagination. You could choose something practical or something entirely impractical. It really doesn’t matter as long as you’re enjoying it.
Reading is a great way to “travel” to new worlds or explore new ideas in the comfort of your own home. If you’re feeling bored or stuck at home find something to read that you’re curious about, it could lead you somewhere totally unexpected. This includes Audiobooks - with Audiobooks you can multitask. Maybe listen to a book while cooking, cleaning, doing chores, or even exercising.
GET A HOBBY
Is there a new hobby that you always wanted to pick up but didn’t have time for? Or an old hobby that you want to rekindle? Hobbies are usually things that we push to the bottom of our priority list but they actually do so much for our happiness.
WRITE A LETTER (OR EMAIL)
Here’s an opportunity to write a message to someone you hold near and dear, yourself. Write a letter to your future self, giving yourself the words of encouragement, the kind thoughts or affirmations you might need or want now. Take the letter, seal it in an envelope, and address it to you. Now you can put a stamp on this and mail this to yourself or you can just put it somewhere to open in when you need it. You could also email this to yourself. Either way it’s good to remind yourself that you ultimately are the one who knows what you need. And that’s an idea worth exercising.
Which leads me to my final idea; maybe do nothing. Really you shouldn’t feel obligated to make a list or keep busy during your time at home. We often are far too busy for our own good, so practicing nothing might just be the something you need.
So simply or intentionally do nothing. Just listen. Listen to that inner voice, to your heart, and see what it wants. Remember this is “your time” to explore yourself, to find out what makes you happy, practice that, and you’ll be that much stronger for it.