Where to Start with Self-Care

self-care, rest

We know what self-care is and why is is important. And we also know that there is a difference between self-care and zoning out. But if spending two hours scrolling through my Instagram feed doesn’t qualify as self-care, then what does?

The best place to start is with diet, sleep, and exercise.

It is impossible to understate how important these three things are to self-care and maintaining your mental health. For example, some research even suggests that diet, sleep, and exercise can help minimize the effects of depression and anxiety disorders. The connection may have to do with the fact that all three have an influence on regulating brain chemistry. Finally, when it comes to these “big three” it can be helpful to recognize that they all influence each other.

In other words, the more you exercise the better your sleep will be. And vice versa.

When working on self-care, it is important to start by assessing the big three. After that, the conversation can be much more creative and open-ended.

Think about this:

If you woke up tomorrow morning full of energy and you realized you had the entire day to yourself, how would you spend it?

The “full of energy” part is important. Something doesn’t have to be relaxing to be self-care. For example, you might described gardening as an act of self-care. It is exhausting, and hard work. Even though the activity is physically tiring, it may leave you feeling mentally and emotionally energized.

What makes you feel full of life?

Think about the last 6 months of your life. When did you feel most energized and alive? Was it when you were traveling? Practicing a hobby? Hanging out with a certain group of people? Volunteering with an organization? Whenever your find yourself getting short-tempered or stressed out, it is time to do somethings that makes you feel re-energized.

Written by: GROW Staff