Making lasting change to your mental wellbeing is a significant undertaking – requiring commitment to consistent action over time. This can be a big psychological hurdle when you’re just starting out.
However, you can get the wellbeing ball rolling easily and painlessly, by adding self-care to your daily routine.
The idea is to work out which self-care habits work best for you. Then implement them in your regular routine so you can boost your mental wellbeing, not only today but forever.
You’re bound to feel some resistance, so let’s make the process of setting up your new habits easier, by using these 4 strategies.
Tip #1: Don’t do things you hate
The self-care habits that will work best for you are those which you enjoy.
When you’re getting started with self-care habits focus on the care part of self-care. Choose self-care habits that make you feel like you’re caring for, not punishing, yourself. Once you have a new habit embedded you may want to push against your comfort zone and, for example, turn your morning walk into a run. But stay with the walking habit, if you hate running. You’ll just end up feeling bad if you drop it after a couple of days.
To get those new habits started now: Work out what you like by making lists of:
- healthy foods you enjoy
- positive books you want to read
- types of exercise that you enjoy
- your favorite people to phone, email, meet-up
Tip #2: Give yourself a pep-talk!
When your mood is low, it is common for you to feel you are not worth putting effort into. But you can drive away those feelings by creating a list of positive things to say to yourself. Here is your opportunity to fake it till you make it. Through reciting affirmations you will attract positive energy, and charge up your psychological batteries. Which will give you the oomph! you need to get started with self-care.
I have compiled a list below of a ten positive things to say to yourself.
To get those new habits started now: Try these out for size, and then create your own list of positive words which resonate with you.
- I love myself just the way I am.
- I am capable of achieving great things.
- I deserve to be happy.
- I am a success; I can make this day great.
- I can do anything I set my mind to.
- The world has a need for me.
- I love and accept myself no matter what.
- I keep going because I believe in myself.
- I deserve good things in my life.
- I allow peace to fill my soul.
Tip #3: Focus forward
Self-care means leaving the past behind, looking forward and moving ahead. Making goals for tomorrow or next week are the first step you can take toward the future. By setting specific goals you will break the cycle of negativity and depression. Making any type of checklist in the morning is a great way to feel rewarded, and stay motivated to continue setting and achieving goals.
To get those new habits started now: Make one or two small goals in each of the following wellbeing categories:
- Daily physical activity
- Good nutrition
- Adequate sleep
- Lower caffeine intake
- Daily physical relaxation
- Daily mental relaxation
- Daily pleasant activity
Tip #4: Start with small habits
If your mental wellbeing tank is low you won’t have the energy or motivation to do much of anything. This could lead you to take the easier path, and avoid things that seem difficult but are likely to be worthwhile – like eating healthily. The key to escaping avoidance trap is to take your goals, and break them down into small do-able habits.
To get those new habits started now: Try adding these small habits to your daily routine.
Want to make healthy changes to your diet?
Want to reduce your stress levels?