How one can brighten their day, become more joyful, and appreciate life more through gratitude, exercise, diet, mindfulness, and self-care routines. These are 5 self-care ideas to inspire you to become happier.
Why are self care routines important
Life is stressful for everyone sometimes, and when things go wrong, it’s best to have healthy ways to cope. All too often, people ignore their problems or turn to unhealthy coping methods like drugs and alcohol. However, there are many natural, safe ways to practice self-care which will brighten your day, relieve stress, and generally make you feel healthier and happier so you can live the best life possible.
This may seem obvious, but happier people smile, and we now know that it also works the other way around. Just the simple act of smiling can cause you to feel happy by fooling your brain into releasing dopamine and serotonin, both of which are brain chemicals responsible for making us feel better. So throughout the day, remember to smile more regardless of how you feel, and the joy will soon follow.
2. Caring for yourself by going out in nature more often
Modern urban life can be very hectic, and in that mess of noise, people, and concrete, it can be easy to forget that we evolved to live in nature. Interacting with natural places can help you feel relaxed and grounded, and there’s always some way to do it.
If you have a free day, plan a trip out into the woods or to the ocean where you can feel surrounded by the wilderness. If time is more of a concern, try a city park where you can at least get some sun and possibly see some wildlife, even if it’s just a squirrel or some birds. Getting a plant or two for your home can also brighten your day and remind you of nature in your planning of Self-Care Routines.
3. Mindful eating and drinking
It’s true what they say: you are what you eat. What food we decide to put into our body determines how we feel on a day-to-day basis. While junk food may seem appealing at the moment, in the long run, it will make you feel sluggish and weighed down. Of course, it’s ok to eat your favorite treats sometimes, but without moderation, you’ll feel worse and worse over time.
Try to eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies to get more nutrients and fiber into your diet. Many people find they feel better when they eat less processed foods. Drinking lots of water can also make you feel better and give you more energy to get through your busy day. Taking a multivitamin can help to fill any potential gaps in your vitamin intake.
Another aspect to consider is taking the time to really enjoy your food no matter what it is. It’s natural for many people to eat in front of the TV and barely pay attention to their food, or scarf it down while getting work done, but this can cause you to ignore the joy of eating and miss out on potential happiness. Occasionally, try to eat without any distractions and really savor every bite, and you might find that you enjoy the process a whole lot more.
4. Stretching and exercise
We now know that exercise not only improves your physical health but also can improve your mental well-being. The simple act of working out a little bit each day can make you feel happier and improve your energy levels so you can tackle all the challenges of your life.
You don’t need to set aside large blocks of time to accomplish this, either. Try stretching for a few minutes every morning after you wake up, or do some sit-ups or push-ups while you’re waiting for the shower to heat up. This simple self-care routine can help you to start your day off on a good foot, and from there, the whole day is better.
5. Gratitude lists to help you remember you are working on self care ideas
The human brain is an amazing mechanism especially when it comes to self care ideas when things are not right, but the brain still has some drawbacks. One is that the mind was mostly designed to address problems and sense danger, and as a result, we are hard-wired to think mostly about what could go wrong instead of what is good in our lives. Luckily, we can coerce our brain into seeing just how many wonderful things we have by consciously thinking about them.
Try writing down three things you’re grateful for every morning before you begin your day. By actually writing them out, you think about them in a different way and force your mind to recognize how fortunate you are. This doesn’t sound like such a big deal, but if you try it out, you might be amazed by how effective it is.
After just a week or so of doing this, you should notice that your brain is slowly adapting to notice more positive aspects of everything instead of just focusing on what’s going wrong, and your whole life will improve. Sometimes, optimism takes practice!
All these self-care routines really add up, and if you learn to incorporate them into your day, you’ll probably find that they form a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Every little practice contributes that much more happiness into your life, until one day you wake and realize just how great life can feel!