We all know self-care is essential, but what exactly does self-care mean?
When you take time out to focus on yourself and do things that make you feel good inside, it can help reduce stress and anxiety. There are many reasons why we may feel burned out; however, self-care can be a great thing to try for when feeling this way. Here are 24 self-care tips for when you feel like there is no other option than to give up!
What exactly does burnout mean?
When it was first coined as a technical term by Herbert Freudenberger in 1975, “burnout” was defined by three components:
1. emotional exhaustion—the fatigue that comes from caring too much for too long
2. depersonalisation—the depletion of empathy, caring, and compassion
3. decreased sense of accomplishment—an unconquerable sense of futility: feeling that nothing you do makes any difference.
Did you ever experience any of those? I did… and for too long.
Why do we feel burned out?
There are many reasons why people may feel burned out; common causes include:
- assignments due at work or school
- family responsibilities
- health issues (mental illness, physical disability)
- lack of sleep and restorative downtime.
Additionally, some people are more likely than others to experience stressors in their lives that lead to burnout. Some of these include a self-sacrificing personality, perfectionism and self-criticism, anxiety or depression, being in an abusive relationship, self-doubt, and a sense of isolation.
The best 24 self-care tips to take care of yourself
Even if it only lasts ten minutes, take some time to do something that makes you happy!
Do anything from watching your favourite TV show or listening to music at the top volume, so there’s no doubt in anyone else’s mind that you’re happy!
Take a self-care day where you don’t have to worry about anything. Do your favourite hobbies, eat comfort food or just relax in bed all day.
There is no space for guilt here; it’s not selfish; it’s love for yourself.
Since finding out about my PMDD, I have reconsidered the concept of self-care, particularly caring for myself and doing that by a simple and small act of kindness towards myself.
I want to share my favourite self-care tips with you that positively impact me and hopefully will do the same to you!
Tip #1: Find a self-care routine that works best for you and make time for it
The key to self-care is finding what makes YOU feel good inside. This could be as simple as having a cup of tea by yourself or going out with friends once per week.
Tip #2: Nourish your body with healthy foods
Eating a balanced diet can help reduce stress, fatigue, and anxiety symptoms while helping improve moods when feeling burned out from work or school demands. Maintaining a strong and healthy body is crucial to function at your best.
Tip #3: Get enough sleep and restorative downtime
It is crucial to get a good night’s sleep so you can recharge for the next day. Taking short breaks throughout the workday or school day can help reduce fatigue and stress levels.
Tip #4: Journal about your day and how you feel
If you write in a journal at night, it can help to clear your mind and give perspective on what happened during such a hard time. You could even ask friends or family to send any encouraging words they wrote for you in a journal.
This self-care tip can help because it allows you to let your thoughts and feelings out, which is something that might not happen when socialising or talking to family members about how you feel.
Tip #5: Take a nap
There’s nothing quite like a good nap to help rejuvenate the body and mind. Napping for just 20 minutes can be beneficial, so try to find time during the day when you can sneak in a quick snooze.
I know how impossible this may sound in your busy day, but give it a go when you have the chance. Let everything else go: laundry and emails, but your wellbeing can’t.
Tip #6: Have a hot bath or shower
The heat from a hot bath or shower can help relax the muscles and mind. Add some soothing scents, like lavender oil to make it even more relaxing.
This is a luxury time for mums, I know. Sometimes you have to shower in 2 mins, and sometimes you have an audience asking why the butterfly is purple and if you can have a purple dog while the bathroom door is open and people circulate freely inside and outside. But when you get a chance, maybe after everyone has gone to bed, and the house is silent or before the sun has risen, use your voucher for the best treatment of the day: a lonely long hot shower!
For me, it’s a moment to reflect on essential things, declutter my mind and focus on my goals. It’s when I get creative and have the best ideas. It’s also a moment to let go of all the negatives and re-energise my body and spirit.
Tip #7: Practice meditation or mindfulness
These practices can effectively reduce stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, try meditating for just a few minutes to calm the mind and body.
Tip #8: Exercise to help release endorphins
Exercising is a great way to improve moods and relieve stress. Try going for a walk, run, or bike ride outdoors. Not only will the fresh air do you some good, but the endorphins released during exercise will help improve your mood.
Tip #9: Take a break from social media
Social media can be a great way to stay connected with friends and family, but it can also be overwhelming. Try taking a break from social media for a day or two so you can focus on other things.
Tip #10: Set aside time each day to read
Whether you read self-help books, self-awareness books, self-love books, self-motivation ebooks and other self-love related books, your life perspective will have a positive shift. You can learn how to become more aware of the thoughts in your head so that you can change them into a more positive perspective. Reading can also provide a break from reality when it’s too overwhelming. Being mindful and reading a self-love book can provide solace from the daily drama while being tired or burned out.
Tip #11: Laugh more
Laughter is one of the best ways to improve moods. When you’re feeling burned out, try watching a funny movie or TV show to lift your spirits or meet a good friend with a tremendous sense of humour!
Tip #12: Establish a morning routine
One way to make self-care a priority is by establishing a morning routine. This could involve taking time for yourself each day before starting the busy workday or school day. Some things you could do in your morning routine include exercising, reading, and meditating.
Tip #13: Listen to music
Listening to your favourite tunes can help lift moods and reduce stress levels. When you’re low, see if there are any songs that make you feel better—you might be surprised at how much they help!
Tip #14: Use aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is fantastic because it involves using scents to promote relaxation. There are many different essential oils that can be used, so find one that you enjoy and make sure to use it daily.
Tip #15: Cook a new recipe
For me, cooking is therapeutic, especially when cooking a new recipe with no rush or expectations.
Cooking can help improve your mood because it’s a way to show self-love. When you take the time to cook a meal, you’re not only nourishing your body but also your soul. Cooking is a great way to relax and de-stress, so try cooking something new today!
Tip #16: Decorate something in the home to make it your own
Decorating is a great way to express yourself. Try hanging up some pictures or rearranging furniture for a fresh look. Adding a personal touch to your home can make you feel more at ease and relaxed.
Tip #17: Have a walk outside
When you’re feeling you can’t cope anymore, get up from your desk and go for a walk outside!
Taking the time to go outside and get some fresh air is always beneficial, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed or overworked at home or school. If possible, try going on a walk in nature, so you have plenty of space to relax! Going outdoors also gives us a chance to take in some Vitamin D from the sun.
Tip #18: Connect with nature
Spending time outdoors in nature is the most potent antidote to stress. Go for a walk or hike in the park or woods. The fresh air and natural surroundings can be very calming.
This is one of my favourite self-care tips and the most effective as well!
Tip #19: Stay hydrated
Drinking plenty of water is essential for overall health and wellbeing. Make sure to drink lots of water to help rehydrate the body and improve energy levels.
Tip #20: Practise yoga
Yoga is an excellent way of centring your mind and body, which can help you find your balance again.
Doing some stretches before bedtime might be helpful as well! Even something as simple as bending over to touch your toes can make a big difference when it comes to how you feel the next day.
Tip #21: Dance!
Another self-care activity that I enjoy is dancing. Listening to music and dancing around my home always makes me feel better whenever I feel low.
Dancing is a great way to let go of your worries and frustrations. It’s also a fun way to get moving and stay active! If you’re not feeling up to going for a walk outside, try dancing around your home instead.
Tip #22: Keep a gratitude diary
One way to keep your spirits high is to write down things you’re grateful for each day. This can be anything from your health and family to the food you eat and a roof over your head. Seeing all the good in your life can help combat negative thoughts.
Tip #23: Meet someone for coffee
When you’ve had a long day, schedule some time to meet up with someone over coffee. This can be your significant other, family or friends who understand what you’re going through. Or you can go solo: sometimes it’s nice to have time alone as well.
Tip #24: Talk to a friend or family member
Talking about your feelings to someone you trust can be very helpful in releasing any built-up stress or anxiety.
Burnout can be a real and serious thing for people, but self-care is integral to combating it. Self-care doesn’t always have to involve spending time with other people; in fact, doing things like cooking or going outside are great self-care tips on their own. However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your responsibilities and need someone else’s perspective or some reassurance that what you’re doing matters, meeting up with friends over coffee could do the trick! Taking breaks when needed and focusing on self-care activities will help keep burnout at bay.
If you’re feeling lost or unsure how to start incorporating self-care into your life, try some of the tips in this blog post! Taking care of yourself is vital for maintaining your wellbeing.
Thanks for reading!