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Beyond the Bubble Bath: Rethinking Self-Care for Mental Wellness

When we think of self-care, images of bubble baths, scented candles, and spa days often come to mind. While these activities can be soothing, true self-care goes far beyond these clichés. It’s about integrating meaningful practices into our daily lives that genuinely support our mental health, especially for those of us juggling busy schedules. Let’s dive into practical, everyday strategies to expand our concept of self-care and make it a vital part of our routine.

Prioritize Mindful Moments

You don’t need an hour of meditation to reap the benefits of mindfulness. Integrate small, mindful moments throughout your day. Whether it's a few deep breaths before a meeting, a short walk during lunch, or simply being present while you sip your morning coffee, these moments can help center your mind and reduce stress.

Quick Tip: Set a timer on your phone to remind you to take a one-minute mindfulness break every couple of hours.

Establish Boundaries

In our hyper-connected world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by constant demands. Setting clear boundaries is crucial for mental wellness. This might mean turning off email notifications after work hours, saying no to social obligations when you need downtime, or creating a designated workspace if you’re working from home.

Quick Tip: Use apps like “Forest” or “Focus@Will” to help you stay focused and limit distractions during work hours.

Practice Gratitude

Gratitude has a powerful impact on mental health. Start a simple gratitude journal where you jot down three things you’re thankful for each day. This practice shifts your focus from stressors to positive aspects of your life, fostering a more optimistic mindset.

Quick Tip: Keep your gratitude journal on your nightstand and make it a bedtime ritual to write in it every night.

Move Your Body

Exercise is a well-known stress buster, but you don’t need a gym membership or hours of free time to benefit. Find ways to move your body that fit into your day—whether it’s a quick 10-minute home workout, dancing to your favorite song, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

Quick Tip: Try apps like “7 Minute Workout” for quick, effective exercise routines you can do anywhere.

Connect with Others

Human connection is a cornerstone of mental wellness. Make time to connect with friends, family, or colleagues, even if it’s just a quick phone call or a coffee date. Social interactions can provide support, laughter, and a sense of belonging.

Quick Tip: Schedule regular virtual or in-person catch-ups with friends and stick to them like you would any important appointment.

Engage in Creative Activities

Creative pursuits can be incredibly therapeutic. Whether it’s painting, cooking, writing, or gardening, engaging in activities that allow you to express yourself can be a great way to unwind and de-stress.

Quick Tip: Dedicate a small corner of your home to your creative activities and keep your materials handy, so it’s easy to dive in whenever you have a spare moment.

Sleep Well

Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Quality sleep is foundational for mental and physical health. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine, keep a consistent sleep schedule, and create a restful environment.

Quick Tip: Avoid screens at least an hour before bed and consider using a white noise machine or blackout curtains to enhance your sleep quality.

Nourish Your Body

What you eat can significantly impact your mood and energy levels. Aim for a balanced diet rich in whole foods, and don’t forget to stay hydrated. Simple changes like reducing sugar intake and eating more fruits and vegetables can make a big difference.

Quick Tip: Plan and prep your meals ahead of time to ensure you have nutritious options ready, even on your busiest days.

Seek Professional Support

There’s no shame in seeking professional help. Therapists, counselors, and coaches can provide valuable guidance and support tailored to your needs. Whether you’re dealing with chronic stress, anxiety, or just need someone to talk to, professional support can be a crucial part of your self-care regimen.

Quick Tip: Many therapists offer virtual sessions, making it easier to fit therapy into your schedule.

Final Thoughts

Self-care is a personal journey, and what works for one person might not work for another. The key is to find practices that resonate with you and make them a non-negotiable part of your routine. By expanding our concept of self-care beyond the traditional bubble bath, we can create a holistic approach that genuinely supports our mental wellness, no matter how busy life gets. So, let’s rethink self-care and commit to practices that nurture our minds and souls every day.

If you’re interested in learning more about personal transformation, check out the FIT for Life tool kit available on Amazon here. Additionally, join Sheryl's free daily activation calls Monday through Thursday at 7am PST/10am EST for further guidance and support on your journey to wellness here."


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