Top 5 Self-Care Practices to Implement
PART 1 | MIND
1. TO DO LISTS
To do lists are the best solution for me to keep my anxiety low and to collect my thoughts. It is really rewarding if you can tick off your tasks and prevent stress.
2. BE SELFISH
This is not an easy practice, but it is worth it. Throughout my mental health journey, I lost a lot of "friends" because now I need a lot more time to practice self-care. I also have learned that my body needs a minimum of 8 hours of sleep, so I am always the one that leaves the party early. After I learned that my body reacts really strongly to alcohol, I am the one that will stay sober throughout events, and will not meet for breakfast because of my morning run.
Take the time that you need. People who love you and respect you will respect your lifestyle and you will be worth more to them if you are balanced and grounded.
Before practicing self-care, I spent a lot of time pleasing my friends, pleasing my boss, pleasing my family. It is difficult as you love family and friends and you have a certain duty at work, but on top of everything is your well-being. I met with my family every weekend and went out with friends nearly every other day - it wasnt that I didn’t have a great time when spending time with them, but when I came home, I realised that I needed that time to relax and felt exhausted and overwhelmed.
SAY NO! MORE OFTEN.
Every month I clear out every single drawer in my apartment. It sounds like a lot of work, but the more regularly you do it, the easier it gets. I can’t tell you how anxious I feel when my apartment is a mess. I also try to declutter my wardrobe every other month. This way I see what I am really wearing and what I can donate or sell to find pieces that fit better into my wardrobe. The receipts and papers that I don’t want to throw away but don’t have time to order, I put into a box throughout the month and file them into an ordner when I have time. This way they don’t lie all over my apartment.
4. CHECK IN WITH YOUR EMOTIONS
My life is super hectic. I love having a tight schedule as I know that I get a lot done, but I try to check in with my emotions as often as possible. I use different techniques. When I don’t feel too tired I try to think about my day and be grateful while brushing my teeth in the evening. This helps me to finish my day in a positive way and to go to bed with a clear head. Another way to check in with my emotions is to share my thoughts with others on Instagram. While thinking about a caption under a picture or a text for my Instagram story, I immediately review the situation and the emotions that I had in that moment.
5. REMOVE NEGATIVE PEOPLE
Instagram and other social media platforms are a big part of my life, as I like to share my experiences and love to take photos. Throughout the years I have followed quite a lot of people and after a while I realised that some of them are not inspiring me, but stressing me and putting me into a self-doubting mindset. I always thought that I needed to stand above it all and that it will make me stronger if I am exposed to their content. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.
If it makes me feel guilty, anxious, weak
If it puts me in a self-doubting mindset
If it makes me want to look different
If it makes me want to be any other person than myself
About the Author
Macarena Torres is a hairdresser and stylist living in Vienna since 2004. Not only wanting to make her clients beautiful from the outside, she wants them to feel confident and happy from the inside. Having dealt with severe depression and panic attacks a few years ago, she is talking openly about finding a healthy work-life balance and a positive mind-body connection. You can follow her on Instagram @xmacarena