Filling Your Cup: Self-Care Practices for 2021
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Over the past few months, Union County 4-H has incorporated lessons on mindfulness and mental health into their programming. In October, we lead a Family Mindfulness Day on Facebook and are currently going through a Mental Health & You Series with our Teen Council. As we enter into a new year, it is important to remember to practice self-care in order to make the best of 2021. It seems like the necessity for learning and practicing self-care and mindfulness techniques has come to the forefront of people’s minds recently during this pandemic. There are so many added stressors in families’ lives that it can be overwhelming for people to know where to turn. Well, here are a few suggestions on ways you can make your health and wellbeing a priority this year.
- Take some time out of your day to do something you enjoy. Whether it be 20 minutes or 2 hours, carve out time to be creative and do a hobby you love. Or start a new hobby that you have always wanted to try.
- Practice mindful breathing techniques daily to center yourself and tune into your mind and body. There are several ways to do this including belly breathing, imagining blowing up a balloon, or counting to 3, holding for 3 counts, and blowing out to the count of 4. The important thing is to adopt what works best for you.
- Exercise! This is something I personally want to improve in my own life this year. I have often heard and said that exercising can enhance your mind while your body gets the benefits. Exercise can improve your mood, sleep, ability to handle stress, resiliency, and more. Even a short walk outside in nature can boost creativity.
Make yourself a priority this year by taking time for yourself, practice mindful breathing, and exercising. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so why not fill up your cup with positive ways to improve your mental health and live your best life.
Read more about mindfulness, mental health, and self-care by visiting these resources:
- Deep Breathing Exercises for Kids. (n.d.).
- Robinson, L., Ph.D., & Smith, M., M.A. (2020, October). The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise.
- Oppezzo, M. (2017, April). Want to be more creative? Go for a walk.