I had a conversation with a mentee about self-care. She wasn’t sure how to start her self-care journey. With all of her responsibilities and the multiple roles she played in others’ lives, it’s hard for her to conceptualize what self-care is all about. Let alone what things she could do to care for herself.
Here are 5 Self-Care activities you can do this week to jumpstart your self-care journey that takes little to no effort.
Turn off the television
Television is a huge distraction! Simply detaching from television can help clear your mind and probably cleanse your heart of all the toxic news, information, and messages that are sent through it each day. Detaching from television also allows you to focus on personal goals, activities, and gives space to more quality time with family, friends, and self.
Write a gratitude statement
I have a gratitude journal. Every day, when I wake up, I write what I am grateful for. It literally takes me less than five minutes. Then, it truly sets the tone for my emotional, spiritual, and mental health for the day. In my opinion, expressing gratitude is one of the highest forms of self-care that can be done in the blink of an eye. The beauty of writing your gratitude statements is you can also reflect back on them when you feel yourself moving away from centeredness.
Sit in silence
Some people cringe at the thought of sitting in silence. We’re always on the go. The only time we are still is when we’re zonked out at night. With every cell phone ring, car honk, social media notification “bing” and blood-curdling “Ma!” scream from down the hallway, we are accustomed to the noise. It is hard to be intentional about our thoughts and actions when we are constantly bombarding ourselves with external visual and auditory stimuli. As my mom would say, “Sat-down somewhere!” No, really. Sit in silence. When I worked overnight at the hospital, I’d pull up to my driveway and sit for about 15 minutes before I went inside my home. It was my way of clearing my mind and body of the negative energy from a strenuous work night. That way when I went to sleep, I didn’t take the negativity with me in my dreams.
Turn off your phone
One Day, I was conducting a workshop on stress management. When I mentioned this, I was made out to be the laughing stock of the group. Not many people can envision their lives without their phones. But just like television, our cell phones can be a distraction, a huge source of stress and anxiety, and a huge self-care blockage.
Years ago, I attended a training on laughter and its impact on mental health. Long story short, I learned, when we laugh, our mood improves (we lose some calories too!). A healthy dose of laughter is a form of self-care that easily accessible and doesn’t cost a thing! Scroll YouTube clips of your favorite comedian. Call up a funny homegirl. Watch a funny movie. Get-to laughing!