Have you been on a mission to become the best version of yourself you can possibly be? Do you want to know how self-care activities can encourage personal growth and change your mindset?
Like many others, I have been on the journey of self-improvement for a long time. I’m a firm believer that you can never run out of things to learn and that there are always new ways to challenge yourself. Time, I find, is usually my biggest challenge.
I constantly find myself wondering where time goes because it always seems like I’m never able to catch up. Always lagging behind and feeling like I’m being pulled along by a thread. It’s probably why I cherish my time alone so much because it gives me time alone with my thoughts to reflect and play catch-up on everything that I’ve missed.
Leaving time to take care of yourself is so important for your mental and physical wellbeing. It can be so easy to neglect yourself when you get swept up in the fast-paced nature of everyday life, which makes it crucial to slow down and give yourself the breaks that you need.
There are countless activities you can do to take care of yourself. These are just some of the self-care activities I’ve found to have encouraged personal growth and challenged me to become a better version of myself.
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What are some self-care activities that can actively encourage personal growth?
Curl up with a good book
I can’t think of a better thing to do when I’m home alone than to be curled up on the couch with a book. There’s just something so magical and at the same time, calming, about losing yourself in the worlds created within books.
There are countless benefits to reading, some of which include:
- Reducing stress
- Strengthening the brain
- Building vocabulary
- Encouraging imagination
- Improving sleep quality
Reading is perhaps one of the best things you can do at night before bed. You know, that period of time when you’re not supposed to be looking at a screen because blue light messes with your sleep cycle? And so begins the search to find something else to occupy your time.
Of course, many of us find it extremely difficult to avoid screens for the 2 to 3 hours before bedtime, but it doesn’t hurt to try, and reading is a great way to pass the time.
Take a bath
There’s no better way to de-stress and decompress after a stressful day than to take a long, hot bubble bath.
Not only is taking a bath calming for your mind, there are also many other health benefits to a long soak in the bath. Some of which include helping your breathing, moisturizing your skin and regulating your body temperature.
By destressing and controlling your breathing, you’ll be able to gain a clearer understanding of exactly what is causing you the most stress. And by recognising the main sources of your stress, you can learn to prioritise your tasks in order of importance and leave more time for yourself.
Have craft/journaling sessions
One of the best ways to let your creative energy flow and encourage your imagination to grow is to have a craft session. To allow your hands to create what your mind dreams.
Journaling is also a great way to connect with yourself. It can aid you in recognising the things that are important in your life and help you reflect on yourself.
It may also be a good idea to practice gratitude when journalling. This is a great self-care activity that will keep you grounded and encourage personal growth.
Pick up self-photography
I used to hate having photos taken of me. It just seemed like every photo of me would turn out horribly. Sometimes it would be a double chin, sometimes prominent acne and other times just plain bad angles. So, for the entirety of my teenage years, I either avoided having my photo taken or I made silly faces on purpose so that any ‘bad’ photos of me would have been intentional.
But then I got into photography. I educated myself on light, composition, angles and started using myself as the primary subject of my photography experiments. With each photo that I took, I realised that I was starting to enjoy being in front of the camera as well as behind it and I stopped nitpicking over flaws that I found. I was gaining self-confidence.
I realised that taking self-portraits helped me embrace myself, flaws and all.
Slowly, I became more comfortable with myself. I stopped noticing things about myself that would’ve bothered me before. I accepted that photos of me would have bad angles, that my acne scars would be on display, and I simply stopped caring as much.
It honestly felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. We all struggle with body confidence issues, and who would’ve guessed that repeatedly doing the one thing I used to hate the most would help me grow so much.
There is so much that you can learn about yourself from self-photography. If photography can teach you to see the beauty in the world around you, then it can help you recognise the beauty within yourself.
Pick up your phone, snap a few shots and document your growth. Watch yourself grow in self-confidence and self-awareness, learn to express your emotions through photography and most importantly, treasure the quality time that you get to spend with yourself.
Dance along to your favourite tunes
There’s nothing quite like letting loose and allowing yourself to just move with the rhythm.
Do you ever feel so constrained with the rules and expectations that society forces upon you? Do you ever feel like you can’t just be yourself, quirks and all?
It honestly feels so stifling at times when I’m expected to act a certain way out in public. So, I tend to randomly break out in song and dance at regular intervals when I’m at home. There’s just something so freeing about dancing like no one’s watching, which is definitely the case when I’m at home.
It’s also a great way to relieve stress, especially if I’ve been sitting at my desk for long periods of time. Not only do I get to exercise my muscles and get some stretches in, but I also get to jump around like a crazy lunatic, which of course, may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
If you’ve been finding yourself stressed lately, consider putting on your favourite tunes, loosening up your muscles and getting your jive on!
Have a solo karaoke session
Just like dancing, belting your favourite songs at the top of your lungs can be a great way to relieve stress. It can also help you grow in self-confidence if you’ve never been entirely confident in your singing abilities.
I’ve always believed in facing your fears head-on. And by that, I mean doing the things you’re afraid of over and over again until you’re comfortable with it.
I used to hate singing in public. Especially during karaoke. With close friends it was fine, but bring a not-so-close friend into the mix and I would clam up. It wasn’t so much that I was afraid of sounding bad, but rather that I was not comfortable enough with myself to allow myself to let loose.
So, I practised by singing constantly when I was at home. In the shower, while I was studying and whenever I was doing any chores. Over time, I got more comfortable with my voice and I was well aware that I was in no way cut out for a singing career. But, I was comfortable enough to sing when others were around without being afraid of what they would think. And that, was my goal all along.
So, if you’ve never been entirely comfortable singing around others, then perhaps some solo karaoke sessions at home may help you build up your self-confidence.
These are just some self-care activities that I’ve found have encouraged personal growth!
Are there any self-care activities that help you become a better version of yourself? Share them down below!
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