September is National Self-Care Awareness Month, and do you know what that means? It’s time to start concentrating on you! Regardless of how busy or chaotic life may be for you at the moment, it’s essential to set aside some time every day to give back to yourself and prioritize your well-being. Because whether you believe it or not, scheduling self-care into your day is equally as important as any other task or chore at hand since it plays a key role in both your health and overall happiness. So, in the remaining days left in September, be sure to spend a little extra time focusing on practicing self-love.
If you need some guidance, look no further! Here are four simple ways to celebrate National Self-Care Awareness Month:
Feel good with fashion
A quick, effective way to boost your mood is by wearing clothes representing your style and personality. As the saying goes, when you look good, you feel good, and that’s what this month is all about! Taking pride in your outfits can allow you to project confidence in both yourself and the way you exist in the world. Specifically, ‘feel-good’ fashion allows you to express yourself in the way you want to be seen, which can guide you on your self-love journey as it helps to trick your mind into viewing you in the same light that others do. Thus, supporting your self-esteem, attitude, interpersonal relationships, and overall well-being.
Even if you’re working from home or are unable to go out with your friends due to restrictions caused by COVID-19, you should still be making an effort to get dressed for the day. This doesn’t mean you have to dress to the nines to feel good about yourself. Although there are differences between stylish and comfortable clothing, you can still reap the same feel-good benefits from either fashion look.
The trick to ‘happy’ fashion is finding apparel that aligns with who you are, so if you want to stick with loungewear apparel— whether that be sweatpants, sweatshirts, leggings, sweaters, or slippers— you’re certainly entitled to! As long as you like what you’re wearing and feel good about the image you’re portraying yourself to others, then you’re using this self-care technique correctly. Well, what’re you waiting for? Start unveiling your inner fashionista and wow the world with your unique style!
Step up your skincare game
Similar to the ways the coronavirus has impacted our motivation to get dressed for the day, it’s also impacted our motivation to keep up with our beauty routines. And while you don’t need to wear makeup to practice self-care, you do need to keep up with your skincare routine. Dermatologists have long endorsed the benefits of establishing a skincare regimen. Aside from the very act of taking care of your skin, it’s also very soothing for the mind and body as it allows you time each day to solely focus on you and the needs of your skin.
During these unprecedented times, where stress levels have reached an all-time high, stepping up your skincare game is critically important. Stress can cause many unwarranted reactions from the body, and when it comes to your skin, this may take the form of irritation, inflammation, redness, an increase in oil production, breakouts, and more! If you’ve experienced any of the following changes on your complexion, chances are, stress is likely the root of your issue, which is why reviving your routine with the right steps and skincare products is necessary at this time.
If you’re not sure where to start, seek professional advice from an online dermatologist as their convenience makes it easy to get the guidance and products you need, without even having to leave your home! Especially if you’re noticing signs of stressed skin, such as the development of acne, for example, it’s best to speak with an expert about these concerns first and the potential acne treatment options available. This will prevent you from using any too harsh products for your skin and allow you to overcome the condition quicker.
Dance, dine, & unwind
It may sound silly, but learning when to say “no” is huge for practicing self-care. When you’re constantly saying “yes” to everything and everyone, it’s common to feel overwhelmed or overburdened, which can wreak havoc on your mental health. Plus, it takes away from your ability to have your “me-time” and relax after a long day, two necessary things for self-love. Rather than taking life so seriously and bending over backward to make the others around you happy, try taking a new perspective to life that’s more considerate of your feelings and the things that make you happy. “How?” you may be wondering? That’s easy; dance, dine, and unwind!
Following the approach to dance, dine, and unwind, is the fancy way of saying to get your body moving, treat yourself, and remember to schedule in time to unwind throughout the day. Implementing this practical self-care awareness method into your lifestyle will help to ensure you don’t spend every day doing things for other people, but instead, doing things for yourself as well. In doing so, you’ll be able to successfully balance your everyday obligations with your “me-time” in a way that’s healthier and self-supportive of both your well-being and external relationships. As a result, you’re more likely to enjoy all of what life has to offer and, ultimately, embody self-love in your day-to-day existence.
Try it out! From here on out, make a point to schedule time to dance, dine, and unwind throughout the week. While you can dance to get your body moving, you can also do other things like going on a walk, taking a hike, swimming, riding a bike, or joining a Zumba class! When you’re finished, proceed to treat yourself to a delicious meal! You can cook up a new recipe or dine-in at a delicious restaurant, whichever you’d prefer! Finally, end your day with time to unwind with a good book or another mindfulness activity to help you reflect and reconnect with yourself.
Reflect to reconnect
Bringing us to our last and final self-care awareness technique, reflect on reconnecting. When life gets too busy, and things become overwhelming, many of us tend to lose ourselves in the process. Some may become too invested in their tasks that they forget to make time for themselves, whereas others may become so stressed out they shut down completely. Whatever the case may be, the outcome usually remains the same— they disconnect from themselves.
That’s why reflecting and reconnecting with yourself is vital for practicing self-care awareness this September. It plays a huge part in the relationships we have with ourselves and others and our ability to create a life that we consider to be fulfilling and meaningful. As reported in an article written by PsychCentral, Jennifer Kogan, LICSW, a psychotherapist who provides individual and couples counseling in Washington, D.C., helps explain the process of reflecting and connecting. “This process entails recognizing your reactions and feelings so you can respond to your needs and take good care of yourself.”
As you take time to unwind, you can use this opportunity to strengthen your connection with yourself. From keeping track of your dreams in a notebook, listening to music, scrapbooking, or filling out self-love prompts in a gratitude journal, there are various ways to bond with yourself and better understand your thoughts and feelings. Get creative with this process and watch as it works to remove negative behaviors and feelings from your life! Good luck!
Feature Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay