My List of Self-Care Activities

For the past few months I’ve been learning about self-care. I’m learning that one of the many ways that I can honor God is by taking care of my full self: mind, spirit, and body. He has commanded us to be good stewards of all that He’s given us, and this includes ourselves.

I’m so thankful for the things that God has been teaching me about self-care, because I’ve been going through a lot of hardship recently. This week I have entered a new season of life, and it’s involving both good and painful transitions. To help me to cope in my difficult moments, and maintain overall good mental health, I’ve compiled a list of things that help me through moments of anxiety, depression, or grief. When I’m feeling especially anxious or depressed, my motivation tends to disappear. So for me, having a list of things like this is important, because reading it can inspire me to move from idleness and into an activity that will begin to bring me some healing. I’m sharing this here so that I can look back at it in the future for my own use, but also for anyone who may benefit from it as well. These are things that have helped me, but perhaps they’ll help you too. Perhaps reading this list will even inspire you find some new and helpful activities and self-care strategies for yourself. And remember, these are healthy things, but moderation is a good and wise thing. (Except for prayer. I don’t think you could do that too much. 😉 )

Activities for difficult moments:

  • Journaling
  • Drawing/painting/sculpting
  • Coloring books
  • Yoga
  • Reading a book (in these moments I prefer to pick something that isn’t super dense)
  • Walking/Jogging
  • Going to the gym
  • Watching a show or movie (once again, something that isn’t dense)
  • Drinking tea
  • Have a small snack and really focus on the flavor
  • Video games (non-violent)
  • Skyping/calling/hanging out with a friend
  • Listening to music
  • Playing an instrument or singing
  • Meditating on God’s word
  • Reading the Bible (Of course, the whole thing is good, but in these moments I really love the Psalms)
  • Writing a letter to a friend
  • Focusing on deep breaths
  • Watching/petting/caring for an animal
  • Tending to a plant
  • Cleaning/organizing
  • Writing a blog post
  • Aromatherapy (I like essential oils but there are many options)
  • Painting nails, using a facial mask, etc.
  • Taking a long shower
  • Taking a nap (I find that I can’t always fall asleep when I am anxious, so I might try something else to calm me down before I try this)
  • Prayer (this one is especially important, and can be incorporated into many of these other things as well. Honestly, I like to pray while I’m in the shower. And there are many ways to pray: out loud, silently, in a journal, etc. You can be creative with this. Just be honest and real with God, you can talk to Him like you would a good friend.)

Things for long term benefit:

  • Taking vitamins and supplements (vitamins B6 and D3 are known to help with depression, especially seasonal. Do research and be careful not to take too much though. Also, fish oil supplements can help with hormonal health.)
  • Regulating a sleep schedule
  • Regular workouts
  • Start out every day with a small but productive task (for example, the first thing I do most days is make my bed. This helps me to get in a mindset to take on larger tasks throughout the day)
  • Drinking enough water and eating healthily
  • Vitamin D lamp for seasonal depression (I haven’t tried this myself but I am strongly considering. Sitting near it for a small amount of time daily can help to mimic being out in the sun.)

Keep in mind, I have not mastered using these strategies, but that’s okay because it’s all a learning process. Every once in a while I have a day of really being down in the dumps, and it’s hard to get myself to do anything. But with a little bit of determination, even doing one small activity on these days can help. Be patient and loving with yourself. Start small, and things will become easier with time. And remember that even on the hardest of days, even when you can’t feel it, God’s love for you is no less. It is constant, and always greater than you know.

Love, grace, and peace to you all.

(Credit to my younger sister for many of these ideas. She has become so good at being creative about these things, and I am so proud. I love her and I am blessed by her existence.)

 

 

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