Featured Image: @Mikiash
Self-Care Sunday has become mainstream and popular in recent years. With good reason too, as Millennials report being an extremely stressed and anxious generation, more so than their older counterparts. We all lead very busy and full lives, chances are we have very little time for ourselves.
A lot of our stress, however, is self-induced and can be prevented. If you’re feeling like your mind is going a million miles a minute and you are constantly on edge or overworked, you need to unwind and take some me-time this weekend. Before you feel completely drained and burnt out, setting an afternoon for yourself will work wonders.
Say ‘no’ to others one Sunday a month and ‘yes’ to yourself so you can s-l-o-w down.
Why Self-Care Is Important?
We are overstressed, overworked, and overstretched. When we have one or two days of stress, our bodies can handle that. However, we live in a world where we are dealing with chronic stress. We never get relief, and if we don’t find a healthy and productive way to deal with our stressors, our mental health and wellbeing can quickly deteriorate.
Although I know the term ‘self-care’ is kind of fluffy and overused by companies trying to sell you sheet masks and moisturizers, it is very important to practice. Stress breaks down your mind and body, self-care helps combat those negative effects and keeps you functioning. On top of this, it helps you refocus and maintain a clear mind.
No one is going to take care of your wellbeing. We might have the worlds most loving parents, partners, and friends but none of them are responsible for our own emotional and physical wellbeing. Even if they wanted to, being happy and maintaining emotional wellbeing is an inside job that cannot be outsourced.
So here are 8 Self Care Activities to reset your mind, body, and soul for a new week.
Spend Time In Nature
I’m a big advocate of taking a walk or visiting a park. If you have a dog, take them out for a walk with you and just get lost in nature. We spend so much time indoors – at home, the office, gym, grocery store – always inside perfectly air-conditioned.
If you have hiking trails nearby you’re luckier than most. Try to disconnect and leave your phone behind. (Okay, if you’re scared of getting lost, take your phone but put it on Airplane mode!)
There are plenty of studies that show nature offers much health benefits such as decreasing stress, making you happier, and relieving attention fatigue. Also, nature helps you feel more ‘alive.’
If being alone in nature doesn’t entice you, why not move Sunday brunch to a Sunday picnic with friends? There are plenty of options, just get out of that artificial light for a while!
Take Yourself Out
Do you find yourself spending Sundays at home if you don’t have plans? Get dressed and take yourself out! Go to a coffee shop and read. Or go watch a movie by yourself.
Doing things alone is important for your wellbeing. It feels very empowering to take yourself out to dinner and just sit with your own company. You start liking yourself more and becoming more independent.
Be honest, how often have you wanted to go do something but haven’t simply because you didn’t have someone to go with? Although going out with friends is great, going out alone can be just as beneficial. Take yourself on a date and start appreciating your own company.
Make A Gratitude List
This shouldn’t be solely a Sunday activity. In fact, you should consider writing down what you’re grateful for on a regular basis. Practicing gratitude is one of the major pillars of happiness.
In the mornings, I normally fill an entire sheet of paper with things I’m grateful for. Once I’m done, I find myself spending the day feeling grateful and happy for the smallest of things. I become grateful for grass, sidewalks, the warm sun, everything! Going through life in this place of gratitude makes you much happier to be alive. When bad things happen to you, they rarely nudge you into a bad mood because you’re just so damn happy just to be alive.
Read a Book
Nothing helps you ‘get away’ like a good book. Reading has many benefits, beyond simply educating you on a new topic or a different perspective, it has been shown to make you more mentally flexible, improve rationality, and increase creativity.
It doesn’t matter what book you’re reading, simply by going into another world for a couple of minutes (or hours), you’re allowing yourself the opportunity to get away from your stress and worries of everyday life.
It’s not so much of a ‘distraction’ in the way t.v. and alcohol can be, it’s an exercise for the mind and imagination. A study shows that 38 percent of adults class reading as their ‘ultimate stress remedy.’ Do you mind and soul a favor and dive into a good novel.
Do Some Yoga
Another blogger telling you how life-changing yoga is. *sigh* Yes, I know it’s cliche! But yoga will change your life. The benefits of yoga are too many to name, but here are some:
- Helps you focus
- Make you happier
- Improves flexibility
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Helps you sleep better
- Increases self-esteem
And about a bazillion more! Pull out a yoga mat and start practicing. You don’t have to be good, just play around with it. Check out this post on awesome yoga poses for beginners to get you started.
Cook Yourself a Healthy Meal
Nothing is more self-loving than nourishing your body with healthy and nutritious food. What we eat is how we feel. When you spend your days eating fast food and chips all day, you tend to feel lethargic and slow. Every once in a while a burger might help soothe your soul, but when it’s the norm it doesn’t do you any favors.
Perhaps even meal-prep for the week. My meal-prep is a complete self-care ritual. I pump up the music, get a glass of wine, and make yummy food for my future self. It’s a complete act of self-love. If you need some inspiration for meal-prep recipes, click here.
Social Media and texting give us the false sense of being in contact with others when in reality, we’re not. You can’t truly bond with someone over text. Pick up the phone and make a call to a loved one. Chat about anything and everything. Sometimes talking on the phone and hearing someone’s voice put others in an instant good mood. It helps you feel more supported, social and loved.
Get into the habit of calling loved ones to form a positive human connection that doesn’t rely solely on memes and likes. Having meaningful relationships (both romantic and platonic) is an incredibly important factor in healthy adult life. Humans are social by nature and need to feel like they belong, are supported and loved. If you don’t feel like you have this support network in your life, you can be the one to start it. Everyone is always open to having new friends. Just pick up the phone and be the friend you wish you had.
Have A Spa Day At Home
Spas are expensive, however, there are many DIY options for spa days at home. Spend an afternoon spoiling yourself. Put some coconut oil in your hair, a moisturizing mask, even paint your nails. Open up a bottle of wine and just lay back in a warm bath and enjoy yourself.
At home spa’s are such a great way to unwind and relax, maybe even call a couple of girlfriends over and make a day of it. This is the perfect self-care activity for college students as well as it barely costs you anything and it’s a unique way to spend the afternoon.
What do you do on Sunday’s to prepare for the week ahead and reset? Tell us in the comments below!