One of the most important lessons I learned in therapy was that there’s a difference between your physical self and your soul self. Most people nowadays only focus on taking care of their physical self, and as a result, their mental health can suffer. Here are 10 ways to take care of your soul self:
- Get a massage – Pamper yourself! Pro tip: You can find some cheap ones on Groupon.com!
- Listen to music – If you need some musical support, I’ll listen to a favorite artist, or YouTube some nature sounds, African drumming or pipe flute music.
- Meditate – I know the word sounds scary. Just focus on your breath; imagine it completely filling every corner of your body as you inhale and then withdrawing in wisps as you exhale.
- Take a bath – According to the “my story” feature of Snapchat, bath bombs are really in right now. You can pick from a huge variety of colors and smells.
- Volunteer at an animal shelter for a few hours – An excuse to play with puppies? Yes please!
- Art – I paint. I’m terrible at it, but I use the “it’s abstract” excuse and I literally paint my feelings. The last time I did this, I painted panic (see above).
- Read – Whether it’s a self-help book, a mystery, or re-reading the whole Harry Potter series (my best friend does this once a year), wanting to temporarily delve into someone else’s world is totally ok.
- Take a day trip – Go to the beach! Your senses of smell (ocean), hearing (waves), and touch (sand) will all be activated. No beach nearby? Go hiking/on a nature walk… it’ll have the same effect!
- Light incense – Sage (my favorite type) is a cleansing incense. Sometimes I’ll light a stick and imagine it clearing out any negative energy in my room (while also basking in the awesome smell).
- Yoga – You can do yoga at whatever intensity level you desire. Sometimes I just get onto my mat and chill in child’s pose for 10 minutes, and then call it a day.
And if all else fails, just go out and get froyo with a loved one!
These activities are not meant to be used as coping strategies in a crisis. They are to be used towards sustaining good mental-health over time. If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).