Amanda Ann Gregory, LCPC, EMDR Certified

Self-care has become a phenomenon. We hear about the importance of self-care everywhere we turn. You might know the self-care methods of your loved ones or of your favorite celebrity. But do you know what self-care practices work best for you? Self-care isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Something that works well for your friend may not be beneficial for you. It’s important to know which self-care practices work the best for you.

On your road to discovering your distinctive methods of self-care, consider these simple practices:

1. Trim Your To-Do List

  • Take one item that’s been on your To-Do List for a while and either do it now or delete it.
  • Prioritize your To-Do List by identifying what needs to get done now, in the next 2 hours, today, tonight, next week, etc. Then, focus only on those items which are a priority.

2. Ask For Help

  • Delegate items on your To-Do List to others who can complete them.
  • Tell someone that you trust what you specifically need from them. For example, “I need you to listen,” “I need a ride,” “I need a hug,” and “I need your honest opinion.”

3. Weed Out Your Social Media Feeds

  • Unfollow, delete, or block people who are abusive, negative, or who simply do not add value to your social media experience.
  • Review the content that you are exposed to and consider removing unproductive or cluttered content and/or including more positive and productive content.

4. Declutter

  • Choose one environment that you can declutter, such as your workspace, a drawer, a closet, or a room. Choosing one space at a time can limit the stress that might arise when you focus on decluttering.
  • Try reorganizing or redecorating while decluttering in order to make your environment seem new or refreshed.

5. Keep Track of Compliments

  • Write down compliments that you receive. We tend to remember critiques that we receive and forget compliments.
  • Reread these compliments often.

6. Decrease Your Daily Choices

  • Choose your meals, clothes, or activities for the week in advance so that you’re required to make fewer daily choices.
  • Rotate your selections, such as choosing three dinners for the week and eating them on different days, as opposed to planning seven different dinners for the week.

7. Give and Receive Physical Touch

  • Touch can do wonders for your emotional health. A few examples of touch are hugs, handshakes, fist bumps, and cuddles.
  • If you feel uncomfortable with touch provided by humans, try engaging in touch with an animal.

8. Take a Mental Health Day

  • Take a day to focus on your mental health needs just as you would if you were physically ill and needed a day to focus on your physical needs.
  • Use this day to regenerate.

9. Aromatherapy

  • Treat your nose to scents that you love /or that relax you. Use these fragrances in multiple areas such as your home, your workspace, and on your body.
  • It’s important to be choosy about your fragrances. Don’t choose a scent because someone else likes it, including the experts. Choose fragrances that work for you.

10. Free Write or Draw

  • Write without having a goal or purpose in mind. Don’t edit your thoughts, just write. This exercise can help you to express and process your thoughts and emotions.
  • If you’re not a writer, try drawing without having a goal or purpose in mind. Again, don’t edit your drawing, just draw.

When identifying your distinctive self-care practices it’s important to consider the simple ways to implement self-care. Give these simple methods a try!

If you need help in implementing self-care you may benefit from counseling. Symmetry Counseling provides individual, family and couples counseling, contact Symmetry Counseling at (312) 578-9990 to schedule an appointment.