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14 Simple Ways to Practice Self Care | Momental Nootropics

14 Simple Ways to Practice Self Care | Momental Nootropics

Self-care is having a moment, and for good reason. The stresses of the world today have almost everyone feeling more run down and overwhelmed than they have in the past. Conditions like depression are on the rise in the United States, and an overall sense of anxiety lingers. Thankfully, an increased emphasis on fitness and health has helped people deal with these hard times.

But, eating well and working out are not the only pieces of the puzzle. Though these things do wonders for mental health along with physical health, there are many more ways in which someone can improve their overall well being. One great way to do this is by establishing small but impactful practices of self-care.

Self-care is the practice of setting time aside to simply do things that feel good, are relaxing, or calm you down during stressful times. Self-care does not look the same for everyone; it is all about personal preference and what makes you feel good. Oftentimes self-care is portrayed as a weekend at an expensive spa or vacation to a remote island. Though these retreats can be a great way to practice self-care for those who can afford it, they are not accessible to most people.

You do not need to hop on a jet to a warm beach to get on board with self-care. Below are a few self-care practices that anyone can easily incorporate into their daily life.

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Meditation

Meditation is one of the best habits to get in to because you can practice it anytime, anywhere. Laying down, sitting, standing, and even walking are all options for practicing meditation.

Wherever you can squeeze some meditation into your day, it is worth the effort. The benefits of this calming practice are innumerable. Not only can meditation help reduce stress and anxiety, but it can also increase self-awareness and feelings of satisfaction about one’s self. Some practitioners claim that the time they spend reflecting on their inner self also inspires them to live a healthier lifestyle overall.

If you have never meditated before, it can seem daunting and difficult. Sitting in stillness reflecting on your thoughts can be strange or uncomfortable at first. But, remember that everyone starts somewhere. A great way to start is to simply sit in a comfortable position and focus on your breath, maybe counting them or repeating “inhale, exhale” in your head in tandem with the actions. Over time, you will realize that meditation becomes easier, and you can choose where you would like to go with your practice.

Yoga

Yoga tends to go hand-in-hand with meditation. While today’s yoga practice tends to be more physical, the ancient practice was established as a way to reflect on one’s self and to ultimately truly know oneself. The only physical goal was to prepare the body to sit comfortably in meditation, not to build toned triceps from countless chaturangas.

Yoga tends to go hand-in-hand with meditation. While today’s yoga practice tends to be more physical, the ancient practice was established as a way to reflect on one’s self and to ultimately truly know oneself. The only physical goal was to prepare the body to sit comfortably in meditation, not to build toned triceps from countless chaturangas.

If you enjoy practicing yoga for the physical benefits and endorphin rush of a sweaty, fast paced class, that is totally fine. Devoting time to physical activity that helps you feel your best is certainly an act of self-care. But, you do not have to practice a physically intense style of yoga in order to reap many benefits from the practice.

Yoga helps calm the mind by bringing it to the present moment, focusing solely on the position at hand and the breath. It gives you a break from thinking about any anxieties about what happened yesterday, or what you fear may happen tomorrow. In a way, a yoga practice can be considered a moving meditation, because many of the mental benefits are similar.

Again, some people use yoga as a form of exercise. But, you can develop a more relaxing, internally focused practice. Both options are available for free on many YouTube channels. Give those a try if you are nervous about trying yoga for the first time at a studio. Whatever your preferred style of yoga is, taking the time to stretch, tone, or simply breathe can be a great way to practice self-care.

 

Exercise

Everyone knows about the physical benefits of exercise: muscle strength, weight loss, a boosted metabolism, and cellular health are just a few. Exercise can be a hard habit to get in to, but once you do, you will not regret it. There is a reason so many people carve time out of their day to go to the gym or go for a run.

Exercise induces an endorphin rush which promotes feelings of positivity and happiness. Though the effects of endorphins are short lived, exercise has been proven to have longer lasting effects on mood and can be a great tool for people living with depression or anxiety.

Still, it can be hard to find time to exercise in an already busy schedule. People who do not currently have a workout routine tend to feel too exhausted in the mornings or after a long day of work to start incorporating exercise into their daily lives. If you are in this position, a healthy supplement like Momental MIND can help provide you with a boost of energy to keep you going throughout the day, including during a workout.

Exercise is a great way to clear your mind, reduce anxieties, and promote restful sleep each night. But, if you do not enjoy it, it cannot be considered self-care. Self-care activities need to be something you look forward to and that add value to your life. Take the time to find a form of exercise that you genuinely enjoy in order to maximize the benefits and truly make it an act of self-care.

 

Move Throughout the Day

Most people today live a very sedentary lifestyle. Jobs require us to be sitting at a computer for eight hours a day or more, and commuting adds even more sitting time. The sedentary nature of our lifestyles today is largely unavoidable.

Still, there are things you can do to give your body a break from all of the sitting. First, take a short break to go for a walk. Even a quick stroll around the block can do wonders for your circulation and mindset upon returning to the desk.
Quick stretches throughout the day are also great for your body and help fight ailments associated with sitting in front of a computer all day. Some simple stretches include:
  • Neck rolls
  • Wrist Figure Eights: Clasp your hands, and keeping your elbows tucked to your sides move your hands in a figure-eight position, alternating the direction of the shape
  • Extend your legs out in front of you and alternate pointing and flexing your toes

While all of these stretches can be done at your desk, giving your eyes a short break from the screen is also beneficial.

It can be hard to get into the habit of adding these small breaks into your day, especially when you are used to powering through each work day without a moment wasted. But, stretches and walking are by no means a waste of time. Work is important, but you cannot be a good worker without your health. These short breaks will be well worth it in the long run when they help combat the negative side effects of sitting in front of a screen all day. 

Experiment in the Kitchen

Cooking is a great hobby for some, while others avoid it as much as possible. Whatever your feelings are on spending time in the kitchen, you likely know the benefits of cooking at home for your health (not to mention your wallet).

Beyond the nutrient content of home-cooked food, there are other benefits to spending some time creating in the kitchen. Taking the time to cook rather than picking up carry out is an act of kindness towards yourself.  When you cook dinner for a friend or romantic partner, it is a gesture of how much you care for them. So, why not dedicate the same time for yourself?

Cooking, especially preparing a new recipe, can also be a wonderful creative outlet. Creating something of your own and experimenting with different flavor combinations that pique your taste buds is a fun and rewarding endeavor.
While the act of cooking in itself is a way to practice self-care, you should still focus on preparing healthy, nutrient dense meals. Everyone knows how much better you feel after eating a vegetable rich dinner over something fried, overly processed, or otherwise unhealthy. Try following the principles of a nootropic diet in the kitchen, with ingredients like greens, lean protein, avocado and coconut oil, and many more nutrient dense foods. Not only will these foods fuel your body and promote physical health, but they provide brain boosting power to keep your mind clear and focused.

 

Use Your Hands

Cooking is not the only way to tap into your creativity. Activities like painting or drawing can give your mind a much needed break as you get lost in whatever it is you are creating. Plus, having a physical product to show for the time you spent working on it provides a great sense of accomplishment.

Not everyone enjoys artistic endeavors, and that is okay. Still, try your hand at an activity that results in a physical product, such as building a model or taking on a household project. Anything that gets you away from the computer for a bit and allows you to focus on a goal that provides a product to show for it is a great way to use your mind in a different way and give it a break from the screen. Having a physical item to show for your efforts is satisfying in a way that typing away at the computer can never compare.

Whether or not your project is creative and artistic or practical, the activity can be a great way to calm the mind. Focusing solely on the task at hand, and not on whatever other stresses are going on in your life, is a great way to practice self-care and work on your mental health. Plus, you’ll have fun while you do it.


Get Outside

We spend significantly less time outside than people did a century ago. Desk jobs, technological innovations, and other characteristics of the modern lifestyle have all had a major impact on our outdoors time.

It seems that people are finally starting to realize what they are missing by spending so much time indoors. People have started to crave outdoors time, and for good reason. Incorporating time in nature into your lifestyle is an important act of self-care.

Going for a hike through the woods is a wonderful way to calm anxiety. Surrounding yourself with nature like trees, mountains, or lakes tends to be humbling and can provide a sense of calm and relief from stress. Just a short break outside can leave you refreshed, with a new perspective on your problems.

Aside from those mental benefits, getting outside is essential for your health. Even if you do not have time for a hike or even a walk, stepping outside for a short time and getting fresh air can give you reprieve from any germs that collect in indoors spaces. Plus, everyone needs sunlight to get a healthy dose of vitamin D.

One of the best things about spending time in nature is that it is free. While there are certain parks or outdoors activities that do charge for entry, there are plenty of ways to get a dose of nature while spending zero money. Getting outside is a great way to practice self-care that anyone can get in on.

 

Cut Back on Social Media

Most people today have a very strong love-hate relationship with social media. In recent years, social media use has exploded, and its purpose has expanded from a fun way to share updates and connect with friends to a force that seeps into all areas of life. It has become such a huge part of life for most people that many spend hours each day simply scrolling through their social media feeds.

The pull to spend time on social media makes sense. It is a way to keep up with friends who live far away, or discover new workout tips or healthy products you’d like to try. But, it also opens the door for endless comparison. Even if you get some benefit from following a fitness guru on Instagram and trying their workout tips, it is also likely you are comparing their extremely fit body to your own, and feeling not-so-good about the skin you’re in. Though everyone knows that people tend to only post their best photos and moments online, it is hard to remember that as you scroll through. The result is that we oftentimes end up feeling bad about ourselves and our own lives by comparing them to what we see online.

There is a solution- cut down on the amount of time you spend on social media. After a certain amount of time per day, the applications have no added benefit. They only serve as a distraction from your real life, and make you feel bad about your own situations for no reason. Try filling the time with a creative outlet like cooking or painting, or use the time you would have been sitting on the couch staring at the screen to exercise or simply go for a walk. In addition to cutting down on overall time, consider “unfollowing” people who make you feel bad when you see their posts. It can feel strange to take this action, but it is an exercise in putting yourself and your feelings first- an essential part of self-care.

 

Get Lost in a Book

One thing you may be looking for if you cut down on social media is a new way to fill your time. You may choose to exercise or go for a walk outside instead. But, sometimes, you just want to relax. One of the appealing aspects of killing time with social media is that you can do it from your bed or couch. There is another, much better, alternative for when you just want to relax and be comfortable while still being entertained: reading.

Reading is a great way to spend any downtime when you simply want to be alone, recharge, and be comfortable. You may choose to read books about spirituality, books that teach you a new skill, or “self help” books. But, you do not necessarily need to “get something” out of reading in order for it to be considered self-care. Simply making the choice to let your body rest, and give your mind a break from a screen is an act of self-care. Plus, all types of reading improve your comprehension skills and often your writing skills, so you are bettering yourself even as you indulge in your favorite fiction stories.

 

Journaling

Many people barely write, other than work-related documents, once they reach adulthood. Oftentimes, the only writing experience people have throughout their lives is school and work related. Though it may seem strange if you have never tried it, journaling is a great way to express yourself and perform an act of self-care.

Journaling does not need to mean that you keep a diary, recording every aspect of your day. Many people use their journal as an emotional outlet. Sometimes there are emotions that you feel you cannot share with other people; but, when you push them down, they just grow over time. Putting your emotions and thoughts on paper is a great release and can help you let go of any emotional baggage you have been carrying. Plus, seeing your thoughts on paper can help you view situations from a new perspective, and may guide you towards a solution to any problems you have been dealing with.

But, journaling does not need to be reserved for times of stress or other negative emotions. Many people enjoy a journaling practice simply as a way to wind down. You do not need to put too much thought into what you write, or worry about the prose being perfect; simply let out whatever comes to mind, like a “free write.” This is a great way to relieve tension at the end of a long day, relax, and clear your mind.

Getting into the habit of journaling is a great way to manage your emotions and provides another emotional outlet so you can feel your best.

 

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy utilizes different scents, or aromas, to bring about change in someone’s mood or mindset. True aromatherapy is performed with essential oils, oftentimes dispensed with a diffuser, filling a room with the plant’s scent. Popular aromatherapy scents include lavender, jasmine, and peppermint. Depending on the oil, the scent can bring about different things, such as relaxation, energy, or focus.

Essential oils are the best way to practice aromatherapy, as they are derived from plants and contain no additives. Aromatherapy essential oils can be a bit pricey, but they do last a very long time- just a few drops in a diffuser is all it takes. Still, the price tag is enough to turn some people off from attempting aromatherapy.
Though it is not true aromatherapy, you can achieve the same effects using candles or incense sticks, for a fraction of the cost. Just be sure you choose candles made from soy, coconut, or another natural wax, as whatever is in the wax evaporates into the air of your space.

You can reap the benefits of aromatherapy or a relaxing candle by simply lighting it and going about your business. To get the most out of the tool, though, turn it into a ritual. Take the time to meditate or practice deep breathing while you take deep inhales of the scent. Or, light a stick of incense the next time you are getting ready for a long shower or bath. Choose your scents to align with whatever mindset you want to achieve in the moment. Whatever your needs are, aromatherapy can add a lot of value to your life and routines.

 

Home Spa Rituals

A day at the spa should be relaxing. What isn’t so relaxing is that treatments like a massage can cost hundreds of dollars, with a weekend at a spa costing thousands.

You do not need to pay a hefty fine in order to have the relaxing experience of being at a spa. You can create spa-like rituals in your own home. Try taking a warm bath after a long day or even taking a long shower and then relaxing in your bedroom with some candles or incense can be a wonderful retreat. Utilize aromatherapy and scents like lavender and jasmine in these to set the mood for relaxation.

The key to turning these actions into a spa-like experience is to stay away from the phone. Let these activities serve as a break for both your mind and body, and pamper yourself a bit.

Sleep Well

Sleep is essential for so many of the body’s functions. Without sleep, it is hard to focus, garner the energy to exercise or socialize, or stay on track with a diet plan. An adequate night’s sleep is essential to feel your best.

But, many people do not get enough as much sleep as they should. Things like caffeine and stress interfere with someone’s ability to fall asleep at night. There are things you can do to promote sleep as your day comes to an end, such as meditation, journaling, or taking a relaxing bath. A regular exercise routine also helps prepare your body to rest.

Many people turn to supplements to help them fall asleep at night. If you choose to do this, be aware that not all supplements are created equal. Look for something will all-natural ingredients like Momental MEND, which contains herbs such as valerian root. In addition to promoting restful sleep, MEND also helps reduce anxiety and optimize cellular health.

However you choose to get there, make getting a good night’s sleep a priority. It will help you feel better throughout the day so you can best handle whatever life throws at you. Making sleep a priority will give you the energy to stick with your healthy habits and self-care practices.

Don’t Be Afraid to Say “No”

One of the hardest things about beginning self-care practices is finding the time to do so. Between school, work, household errands, and social obligations, many people simply do not have extra time in their days to devote to themselves. While some of these things are non-negotiable, one area in which people could probably make more time in their lives is by cutting down on social obligations.

This is not to say you should stop socializing with friends and family you enjoy spending time with. Strong relationships are essential to mental health, and spending time with people you love is in no way something you should avoid in pursuit of health. But, everyone has those plans that they always dread, and spend the night wishing they were just at home. Those are the types of invitations you can, and should, start declining.

Time is valuable. You should not waste it doing things you do not enjoy, especially at the expense of giving up something that would bring you joy. Do not get caught up in seeming rude; it is perfectly okay to put yourself first.

In the event that you want to see the person but not do the activity they are suggesting, speak up. For example, if a beloved friend is suggesting you go out for drinks but you would rather abstain from alcohol, make another suggestion. Your good friends will understand and support your decision to take care of your health. If someone does not understand that, then they are not a good friend. It is not easy to say “no,” especially if you are used to accepting every invitation thrown your way, but it is essential to make time for yourself and the activities you actually want to expend your energy towards.

Though any self-care practice should never feel like a challenge, finding the time for it can be. Part of self-care is taking the step to put yourself first and clear time in your schedule for the things that add value to your life and make you feel good. A healthy, brain-boosting supplement like Momental can be a great addition to your diet to help you feel your best. Whatever recommendations from this list resonate with you, try adding at least one self-care practice to your daily or weekly routine and experience the change it can make in your life.

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