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My Top 8 Self-Care Tips
Previously, the article “Men: Why Bother With Self-Care” discussed why self-care was important. I want to follow-up with you all on some ways that I practice my own self-care. My goal is to provide all of my readers a list of self-care tips that could possibly help them in a time they are feeling stressed. This list doesn’t highlight every possible way someone can participate in their own self-care. There are many other healthy options available that can help. These options include but are not limited by the following tips:
1. Listening to Music
Firstly, I would like to say that listening to music is a great way to decompress. Often times, the music I listen to reflects the mood I am in. If I am in the mood to go to a party, I might listen to something that has a good beat and gets others to sing along. If I am feeling a bit more mellow, I might listen to some 90’s R&B.
When I am feeling mad or sad, I will put my headphones on and dive deep into the world of music. I tend to shut the world out and listen to everything a song has to offer. From the words the artists use to the instrumentation, I listen intently so I can take my focus away from what is causing me stress and clear my mind. I try to avoid making a rash decision when I am upset and listening to music helps calm my mind and body so I can think clearly. You can read more on the way your body responds to music here.
2. Look for a Change of Scenery
Next, on the list of self-care tips is to take a drive or walk. Taking a drive or walk can be a very important task when someone is mad, sad, or anxious. It removes you from the environment that is causing the trigger response inside of you. It is hard for many of us to make a rational decision when we are in the middle of a predicament. Removing yourself away from the situation and going someplace else gives you time to reflect and think rationally. You are likely to make a better informed decision once you have more time to think about the pros and cons to your situation.
In my previous self-care tips, I highlighted ways to help improve your mood when you are not feeling your best. I do want to share with everyone that self-care isn’t just about calming yourself down when you are not in a good mood. It is also about taking care of your body. One very important way to accomplish this is through exercising.
Some of the benefits include helping control weight, improving mental health and mood, strengthening bones and muscles, reduce risk of heart disease, improve sexual health, increase chances of living longer among a host of other benefits. Finding a workout routine that aligns with your lifestyle and goals is vital in maintaining a good self-care routine.
For myself, I find that my mood becomes more erratic and I am less motivated to accomplish tasks when I neglect to exercise. My suggestion for you all is to make exercise a priority.
For anyone that is interested in yoga, I have created a partnership with Melissa Borden through our love of self-care. Melissa is a a Mindset Specialist and Energy Healer. The result of her work is helping people become confident and gain strong communication skills. She focuses on deeper connections in relationships, as well as personal and spiritual growth. She helps countless people overcome overwhelm, depression, fear, and insecurities that were holding them back from living a truly happy life. You can also find resources for yoga, meditation, and energy work through her webpage and free yoga classes on her YouTube. Use code SupportiveFathers to receive 25% off a 1:1 session with Melissa. Here is the link to her website.
4. Take a Break
Taking a break is similar in a sense to my tips with finding a change of scenery. However, it is not always convenient to be able to relocate somewhere else. Taking a mini break even if you are in the situation can help someone relax and make a great choice or relieve themselves of any ill emotions. Ways to accomplish this going to get a drink of water, counting, meditate, and focusing on deep breaths. These types of actions help divert your focus away from any negative feelings you may have and bring yourself back to the present moment. Once you’re back in the present moment, you can attack the situation with a composed state of mind.
One product I would highly recommend to use for the times you need a break is Hone Oils. Their products are essential oil nasal diffusers that one can use anywhere. The diffusers are cheap ($2.99-3.59 for 1 diffuser or $15.99 for a 5 pack) and each diffuser can be used up to 30 times. They do not sell essential oils on their site but the diffusers come ready to use out of the package. You can get 20% off of their products using my discount CAMERON at checkout.
5. Practice a Hobby
Finding a hobby is a great way to invest in yourself. We often get caught up in the monotony of being in a routine of going to work, taking care of our homes, and fulfilling obligations such as raising a child. Breaking up that routine can pay dividends in how we feel about ourselves. Some of the perks of keeping up with a hobby includes offering new challenges, promoting eustress, uniting with others, providing an outlet for stress among other perks.
If anyone needs ideas for a hobby, I have found a great article that provides 100’s of ideas related to music, sports, food, outdoor, and many more.
6. Create Some Art
Creating art allows you to express yourself in different ways. A person can use art to express how they view a particular scenario. Art can be an outlet for sharing a person’s hopes and dreams. It can indicate what they hope to accomplish. There are even counseling fields such as music, art, and dance therapy that are dedicated to providing counseling for people through different art forms.
For myself, I utilized photography as a hobby for a period of time. I was constantly learning about different concepts and techniques to improve my photography skills. It allowed me to capture concepts that I found fascinating such as creating time lapses, light painting, and cinemagraphs. There are many different forms of art and I encourage everyone to explore one area they find interesting.
I have to admit, cleaning is not my favorite thing to do. However, I will say that having a clean environment can reduce anxiety tremendously. Being in a clean environment helps with improving safety, reducing allergy and asthma symptoms, lowering stress, lessening the spread of germs, and keeping pests away. These benefits not only provide improved mental health but also improved physical health. It is important that we take time to clean our surroundings.
For myself, I can recall going through a breakup years ago. I was sad during that time but then I started to neglect cleaning my apartment. Not keeping up with cleaning the apartment only exacerbated my negative feelings and I started to feel overwhelmed. I have the insight and maturity to recognize that I have to keep up with keeping an orderly environment to rid myself of additional negative emotions.
8. Talk With a Trusted Person
I cannot stress the importance of this self-care tip. Bottling up your emotions is never a good coping skill. I work as a school counselor and I share with my students that any emotion they possess will eventually show up in their lives which can often result in unhealthy coping skills. In my professional opinion, it is better to be proactive. I believe we all should find a trusted person to confide in rather than keeping everything to themselves.
Being vulnerable with someone else about your thoughts and feelings is a very scary thing to do. It can bring on anxiety and you are hoping that the person you disclose your situation to does not abandon you or use that information against you in any matter. However, it is a healthy outlet and that other person can provide a different perspective that you may not have considered. That person might have been in a similar position and have insight on what happened to them. That person may have resources to help you and provide a direction for you. Whatever your reasoning for choosing a person to talk to, it is often better to confide in them rather than keeping the issue to yourself.
In conclusion, this is a list of tasks that I do to help keep myself sane. I find that these types of activities help keep me in good spirits and promote good physical health as well. There are many other types of efforts that can be done to aid in providing good self-care. I urge everyone of you to create your own self-care plan. I encourage you to inspire your spouse and children to create their own self-care plan as well. It is our responsibility to take control of our happiness and taking care of your own self mentally, physically, and emotionally will go a long way to ensure that you do so.
One way to take on this responsibility is by checking out the Supportive Father’s self-care course and 30-Day challenge. These offerings will provide comprehensive self-care tips, enable you to reflect, journal, and apply what you learn to your life.
After reading this blog post, I want to engage with all of you. I want to find out what do you do for your own self-care. What self-care tips do you have for others? Please share and comment below any other self-care tips you use so we can all learn from each other.
Cameron is the creator of Supportive Fathers. He created Supportive Fathers as a way to help explore topics other dads encounter in everyday life. Cameron is very passionate about being a father to 2 year old daughter as well as being the husband possible to his wife. To read more of his story, please click here.