Daily self-care routines

How can self-care practices help us better cope with stress and prevent burnout and anxiety? And how can we practise self-care to boost our mental well-being?

by Emilie Glen Colsted

Self-care practices to boost mental wellbeing

According to American Psychology Association (APA), self-care can be defined as "activities required for personal care, such as eating, dressing, or grooming, that can be managed by an individual without the assistance of others".

Self-care practices can help us better cope with everyday stressors and act as a safety buffer in preventing and relieving burnout, anxiety and depression. Here are some of my favourite self-care practices you can try to implement in life to boost your mental well-being.

Self-talk for self-confidence 

When we think about it, almost every morning while we get ready for the day, many of us spend time in front of the mirror. Why not add a little effective confidence-building to our mirror routines with some positive self-talk? This technique is a great way to affirm our self-worth with just a few kind and positive words to ourselves.

How does it work? Well, let’s go through it together…

The mirror technique works by consciously using positive self-affirmations. These are statements about our core values, beliefs, looks or performance that affirm our self-worth. E.g.

  • “I am capable of achieving my goals”

  • “I am proud of myself” 

  • “I am a unique and kind person” 

Even though it may seem a bit silly to say these things out loud to ourselves in the mirror or we might not entirely believe in these statements, to begin with, positive self-talk can actually help train our minds to default to positive thoughts and decrease stress. Doing this practice on a regular basis can improve our ability to silence self-critical thoughts and our overall mental well-being (Cascio, 2016).

Feel free to give the positive self-talk in the mirror a try?

Keeping a thought journal

Another great tool is reframing negative self-talk. We sometimes tend to engage in self-defeating thought patterns. Thoughts where we blame ourselves and confimr negative beliefs or attitudes about ourselves.

When we notice thoughts that attack us - like “I’m so lazy” or “I can’t do it” - then we can reframe them by using the technique of cognitive restructuring. E.g.

  • “I’m not lazy, I simply don’t have that much energy for this specific task right now”

  • “I can do it? I just need to spend more time on it to succeed” 

It can be helpful to counteract negative self-talk with more supportive ways of talking to ourselves. We can do this in our own head or by keeping a thought journal where we record daily negative self-thoughts and the restructured, more helpful thoughts. Give it a try the next time you experience negative self-talk.

Breathing exercise before sleep

A lot of people think of bedtime as the time when we can let go of the day and reset for tomorrow. But, that can sometimes be disconnected from reality. We may replay and ruminate over the day's distressing experiences and worry about the ones to come tomorrow. Not only that, with more and more digital connectivity in our lives, we may find ourselves checking our phones at night and end up more unrelaxed and further away from sound sleep.

To help the mind and body calm down for sleep, we can implement a quick and simple breathing exercise every night when we get into bed.

This particulary technique is called box-breathing:

  1. Breathe in for 4 seconds

  2. Hold your breath for 4 seconds 

  3. Breathe out for 4 seconds 

  4. Repeat as many times as you need?

I hope that my daily self-care ideas will help you as they do me? As always, let me know your thoughts at hello@nuna.ai and feel free to give the app a try.

Check out other articles I've written:

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