How to practice self-care

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Self-care is about being a champion for your own mental and emotional well-being. Here are some ways you can practice self-care every day.

Taking care of your mental, emotional and physical health (known as self-care) is key to your overall well-being. Practicing good self-care can help you take life’s challenges in your stride, boost your self-esteem and work on your self-acceptance. If you’re looking for ways to balance your mind and body, here are some things you can do to practice self-care in your daily life:

  • Make self-care a priority: remember to put your well-being first. Set a goal to make self-care a part of your daily routine. This will help you stay centred and strong to support yourself (and others if you need to).
  • Be kind to yourself: it’s important to show yourself love, kindness and compassion. You can do this by giving yourself an encouraging word or doing something you enjoy. Take a break to watch TV, go for a walk, play a game, read a book or do anything else that makes you feel good.
  • Avoid self-critical thoughts: try not to get carried away with self-critical thoughts about your mind or body. Everyone has good days and bad days, so don’t be too hard on yourself. For every negative thought, try to think of something positive.
  • Think ahead: plan for how you’ll cope with things that cause you to feel sad, stressed or down. Doing things to soothe yourself like journaling, meditating, etc. can help you stay calm and collected.
  • Get involved: participating in things you enjoy (e.g. sports, music, volunteering, dance, art, etc.) can help you have fun and focus your attention on a passion. Try to concentrate on your strengths while accepting that you have room to grow.
  • Ground yourself: practicing deep breathing and doing tension/release exercises can help you process and connect your mind and body to your environment. Try to be present in the moment.
  • Focus on the positive: looking for the good in a situation can help you work through and learn from it. Try to focus on what you can control (your reaction, how you’ll cope, etc.) and less on what’s out of your hands.
  • Remember your body: your physical health plays an important role in your overall well-being. Don’t forget to get enough sleep, eat well and exercise to take care of your mind and body at the same time.
  • Stay connected: surround yourself with individuals you trust who love and appreciate you (e.g. friends, relatives, peers, etc.). The people you choose to spend time with should help you feel good about yourself.
  • Get support: if you’re struggling or feeling burnt out, it’s important to ask for help. You can try talking to a friend, family member, teacher, therapist or anyone else you trust. Kids Help Phone’s counsellors are always available to talk at 1-800-668-6868.

When you practice self-care in your daily life, you build resilience to be better prepared to cope with life’s challenges as you go. It’s important to find what works best for you to harness your inner strength and courage.

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