Self-care is defined as the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
This may take on many guises, as every individual might have their own preferred form of self-care. We are all individuals and we are all motivated by different stimuli and experiences. Finding things, and more importantly, making time for these things is imperative for maintaining good mental and physical health.
Here are some suggestions;
Punctuate your day with a mini-meditation with one minute of awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations; one minute of focused attention on breathing; and one minute of awareness of the body as a whole. There are a lot of great meditation apps available for smartphone users, we recommend Headspace if you find you need some guidance with meditation.
Create a deliberate habit, and routinize something small in your life by doing it, in the same way, each day—what you wear on Tuesdays, or picking up the dental floss before you brush.
Go cloud-watching. Lie on your back, relax, and watch the sky.
Unplug for an hour. Switch everything to airplane mode and free yourself from the constant bings of social media and email.
Edit your social media feeds, and take out any negative people. You can just “mute” them; you don’t have to delete them.
Get down and boogie. Put on your favorite upbeat record and bop around the room!
Make one small change to your diet for the week. Drink an extra glass of water each day, or have an extra portion of veggies each meal.
Help someone. Carry a bag, open a door, or pick up an extra carton of milk for a neighbor.
Stroke a pet. If you don’t have one, go to the park and find one. (Ask first!) Those with ADHD often find they enjoy the company of animals, so perhaps consider volunteering at a local rescue if you can’t have a pet of your own.
Have a self-date. Spend an hour alone doing something that nourishes you (reading, your hobby, visiting a museum or gallery, etc.)
Plan a two-day holiday for next weekend. Turn off your phone, tell people you’ll be away, and then do something new in your own town.
Ask for help—big or small, but reach out. This one is important. If you’re finding that your mental health is challenged, tell a friend or family member. Talking things through with someone you trust can really help. Your GP may also be able to recommend a local counsellor or therapist who can help you manage your thoughts.