Embrace your inner zen: A journey into self-care and mental health first aid
In today’s fast-paced world, where we are always super busy and stress levels run high, taking care of our mental wellbeing often takes a back seat.
However, self-care is not just a trendy buzzword, it’s vital for allowing us to nurture our minds, bodies and spirits. But what does self-care really mean and how can we build our own wellness toolkit? Let’s dive in!
Self-care goes beyond bubble baths and scented candles (though those can be delightful too!). It’s about intentionally setting aside time to nurture ourselves, both physically and emotionally. It’s an act of self-love and compassion, reminding us that we are worthy of care and attention.
So, let’s explore some key components of self-care that can become part of our everyday routine.
Incorporating mindfulness into our everyday lives can work wonders for our mental health. It involves focusing on the present moment and accepting it without judgment. Whether it’s a short meditation session, a walk in nature or savouring a cup of tea, find an activity that allows you to tune in and be fully present.
Physical activity is not just about staying fit; it has a profound impact on our mental wellbeing too. Engage in activities that bring you joy, whether it’s dancing, yoga, swimming or even a brisk walk. Move your body and let those endorphins flow!
Tap into your inner artist and let creativity be your outlet. Engaging in creative pursuits like painting, writing or playing a musical instrument can be therapeutic. Allow yourself to express your emotions and explore your imagination without judgment. I took up crochet recently and I find it so calming (unless I’m following a pattern of course).
Nurturing relationships and fostering a sense of belonging is crucial for our mental health. Connect with loved ones, plan social activities or join a community that shares your interests. Meaningful connections can provide support, laughter and a shoulder to lean on.
Build a wellness toolkit
Now that we’ve covered the key components of self-care, let’s put together a wellness toolkit to keep ourselves mentally fit and resilient. Here are some examples to get you started:
Start a gratitude journal to jot down the things you’re grateful for each day. It can be as simple as a beautiful sunset, a kind word from a friend or a delicious meal. Cultivating gratitude shifts our focus to the positive aspects of life; promoting a more positive mindset.
Playlist for all moods:
Create a playlist with songs that lift your spirits or relates to your emotions. You can even have some playlists ready for different situations. Music has a powerful way of soothing our souls and can serve as a helpful tool when you need a pick-me-up or a good cry. A good old kitchen disco can put things right back into perspective.
Designate a cosy nook in your home where you can retreat when you need some alone time. Fill it with soft blankets, cushions, books or any items that bring you comfort and peace (it may also involve a cat and/or snacks).
Find some inspiring and motivational books. They can provide guidance, solace and new perspectives during challenging times. A classic, a biography or a rom com might be the one for you. Or a trusty ‘trashy mag’ to boost your wellbeing. (Don’t forget to use the library!)
Self-care and mental health first aid are like lifelines in a world that often leaves us feeling overwhelmed and disconnected. By intentionally making time for ourselves and building a wellness toolkit, we empower ourselves to navigate life’s ups and downs with grace and resilience. Remember, self-care is not selfish; it’s a necessary act of self-preservation and self-love.
So, go ahead and embark on your journey to embrace your inner zen and prioritise your mental wellbeing. You deserve it!