Walking for just 30 minutes a day has been proven to have tons of physical and mental health benefits, including increasing your endorphins and reducing the stress hormone cortisol. Plus, we could all stand to get outside more. So put on your sneakers and get moving if you can. Your mind and body will thank you.
Whether it’s that Taylor Swift song that gets you in your feels or Kanye’s Christmas album, studies have shown that listening to music, especially classical music, can almost instantly boost your mood and help you deal with stress.
“This type of self-care does amazing [things] for your mental and emotional health,” says Cassandra D. Freeman, an accountability coach on journaling. “It helps you to release any negativity and it amplifies the positive.”
Try shifting the focus of your journal toward gratitude, and writing a few things down that you’re thankful for. You’d be surprised at how much it can change your perspective when things get overwhelming or stressful.
Ever wonder why you feel calmer when you’re near the ocean or a body of water? It’s called “blue mind” and it’s a sensation studied by a marine biologist named Wallace J. Nichols who says being in or near water makes our brains feel calmer, more peaceful, and generally happier.
Taking a hot or cold shower can also simulate this, which can ease both our minds and bodies. Plus, you can’t take your phone in the shower, so it’s an automatic designated “me” time away from electronics and social media.
Never underestimate the power of the human connection. Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be a solo task. That’s why organizations like Girls Night In are devoted to shifting the conversation around self-care to be more community-based. Put the obligations aside to take 20 minutes to hop on a call with a friend who always makes you feel good. It’s free and at your fingertips.
“An underrated way to practice self-care is to declutter your space,” says Adina Mahalli, a mental health expert at Maple Holistics. Whether that’s your wardrobe or any other part of your life, take a minute to tidy things up. This could be as simple as just making your bed.
“An excess of visual stimuli is correlated with an increased production of cortisol, which is your body’s stress hormone,” Mahalli explains. “This is backed by research that shows that cluttered homes cause people to feel stressed. With this in mind, decluttering can go a long way in helping you to feel relaxed and recharged.”
Breathe in. Breathe out. Meditation is a form of emotional self-care that provides a few moments a day to just be. If you’re not sure how to start, there are plenty of free meditation apps available to help ease you into shutting off your mind. Go ahead, take a few quiet moments, you deserve it.
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