Self care is one of the most important regimes you can apply into your schedule. It actually becomes relatively easy to forget about self care, especially when we all lead such busy and muddled lives. Of course when we become so wrapped up in our busy lives, we also risk often feeling ‘down in the dumps’, for lack of a better way of putting it.
But really, self care should not be such an easy task to abstain from, or to neglect. Self care can actually have amazing positive impacts on our mental health, physical wellbeing and our general perspectives on life. By implementing self care more autonomously throughout the week, you are able to release negative energies, stresses and anger in a more constructive way.
To put this into perspective, do you ever feel as though you’re not living your life to the fullest, you couldn’t make that vacation this year because of work, you couldn’t hang out with your friends on that weekend because you were just too stressed and tired from the week? Does this sound familiar? Well, don’t worry. You’re actually not alone in feeling this way, and it’s probably happening to you because you’re not taking that set aside time in your week or day to accompany yourself and tend to your feelings, stress and anxieties.
If you’re looking for easy ways to get out of those negative “feeling down in the dumps” mindsets, then these simple self care acts will be super beneficial to your mental health. These acts are so ridiculously simple that you’ll question how they’re even self care acts. But let me tell you, if you practice them properly, you can easily uplift your energy and mood.
Okay, I know I’m getting a little bit emotional and direct here, but I absolutely 100% guarantee that crying is super good for your mental health. Often, we think that suppressing our emotions, those feelings of unworthiness, not feeling like we’re enough and that we’re not doing things right will help us ignore the hurt and press on.
We may distract ourselves by keeping a jam-packed schedule, which actually does not allow for us to catch up with our emotions. When we do this, we run the risk of burning ourselves out. This means that we run ourselves to the ground with work, social interaction and exercise that disables us to get in touch with our emotions. However, if you take some time to allow ourselves to feel the hurt, let out the pain and release those negative feelings, you can actually feel much better afterward.
If you’re worried about how long you should cry for, schedule a time in your day, say 6pm, and call this ‘worry time’. Allow ten or fifteen minutes for this self care act and this will enable you to feel like you’re tending to your emotions in the most constructive way possible. By doing this you will not allow the stress to intervene during your day, knowing that you already have that time set to let out the emotions later in the day or week.
I told you these self care acts were super easy! Sleeping is often super neglected in today’s culture. Yes, we all joke about taking nana naps or going to bed at 2am after looking at endless amounts of memes on our phones in the dark. But, are these really good sleeping habits? Maybe you’re surprised, but no, they’re not.
Our bodies require at least 6-8 hours of sleep every night. And when we overcommit ourselves to too many things, we risk neglecting our required hours of sleep, therefore causing direct negative impacts to our moods – thus making us feeling ‘down in the dumps’.
If you have trouble falling sleep, now is a good time to figure out why that is. Take a look at your sleep and night time routine. If you usually go to sleep around 10 or 11, then you shouldn’t be eating dinner any less than four hours before that. Your body takes longer to digest your food at night time because you’re moving around less, so you need to allow for this.
Are you looking at your phone headlong into the night before you sleep? Studies say that focusing on screens less than an hour before we fall asleep has negative impacts on your body’s production of sleep patterns. This means it may take longer for you to fall asleep, which also means you’re not getting enough of it. So, practice good sleep hygiene. Take a shower to relax your muscles, turn your phone off before you hop into bed and begin to count sheep …
3. Interact with an animal
Yes, you did read that correctly. Interacting with animals immediately uplifts our moods, that is if you’re an animal person. If you have a pet, set some time aside in your day to play with them. Give them your full attention and even have a chat to them! Take them outside for a little play, take them on a walk, and resist the urge to look at your phone or distract yourself by other means when you interact with an animal.
This easy self care act will allow you to focus on this one being within your present. Animals, especially dogs, are great at uplifting our moods and making us feel better when we’re down in the dumps.
I know what you’re thinking. Cooking is considered a necessity, not a self care act. But hey, hear me out. If you cook just because you have to survive, maybe it’s time to try cooking for fun. Cooking can actually be quite relaxing and satisfying, you know, provided you don’t burn anything.
So when you’re feeling like you need a bit of mood booster, then why not try some recipes you’ve always wanted to make but have gotten around to doing so? This is the perfect time to do it. When you engage in an activity that requires full concentration, like cooking a new recipe, your mind doesn’t have a choice but to focus on the current task at hand, which can be great for when you want a positive release of negative energy.
5. Hug someone
In our digitally inclined society, our reliance on technology has made it difficult to develop non-sexual human contact. Often we just text our friends or call them when we want a chat, and while this can also be a great act of self care, receiving a hug from someone can be very emotionally uplifting.
When you receive a hug in a non-sexual way, your body releases stress and you’re able to feel a lot less negative emotions filling up your body. If you haven’t seen your mum or your sister in a while, take some time to see them and give them a great big hug. We’re sure you’ll feel much better afterward.
At the risk of sounding exactly like Snow White, what do you do when you’re feeling down in the dumps? Leave your favourite easy self care act as a tip in the comments down below!
Feature image source: pinterest.com
I am an aspiring writer, editor and photographer.I am passionate about old media, especially worn books, black-and-white films and scratchy records. I seek to make sense of my imagination through poetry, words and art.