“Self-care is not self-indulgence,
it is self-preservation.”

~ Audre Lorde

Self-care Tips

Dealing with the loss of a loved one and the stress and grief associated with it can get in the way of taking care of yourself. But when you do take care of yourself and your needs, you’re best able to show up for all of the other people and responsibilities in your life. Below are several tips that can help you look after your Mind, Body and Spirit.

Healthy Mind Platter Activity

What is the Healthy Mind Platter?

The Healthy Mind Platter is based on the research of Dr. Daniel J. Siegel in collaboration with Dr. David Rock. Just as the Healthy Diet Platter is meant to outline what goes into a healthy diet, The Healthy Mind Platter was designed as a similar tool to help outline what goes into a healthy mind. For more complete information go to https://drdansiegel.com/healthy-mind-platter/.

The Healthy Mind Platter has seven daily essential mental activities necessary for optimum mental health. These seven daily activities make up the full set of “mental nutrients” that your brain and relationships need to function at their best. By engaging every day in each of these servings, you promote integration in your life and enable your brain to coordinate and balance its activities. These essential mental activities strengthen your brain’s internal connections and your connections with other people and the world around you.

  1. Focus Time
    When we closely focus on tasks in a goal-oriented way, we take on challenges that make deep connections in the brain.
  2. Playtime
    When we allow ourselves to be spontaneous or creative, playfully enjoying novel experiences, we help make new connections in the brain.
  3. Connecting Time
    When we connect with other people, ideally in person, and when we take time to appreciate our connection to the natural world around us, we activate and reinforce the brain’s relational circuitry.
  4. Physical Time
    When we move our bodies, aerobically if medically possible, we strengthen the brain in many ways.
  5. Time In
    When we quietly reflect internally, focusing on sensations, images, feelings and thoughts, we help to better integrate the brain.
  6. Downtime
    When we are non-focused, without any specific goal, and let our mind wander or simply relax, we help the brain recharge.
  7. Sleep Time
    When we give the brain the rest it needs, we consolidate learning and recover from the experiences of the day.

Try Writing Down your Healthy Mind Platter Daily

We’re not suggesting specific amounts of time for this recipe for a healthy mind, as each individual is different, and our needs change over time too. The point is to become aware of the full spectrum of essential mental activities, and as with essential nutrients, make sure that at least every day we are bringing the right ingredients into our mental diet, even if for just a bit of time. Just as you wouldn’t eat only pizza every day for days on end, we shouldn’t just live on focus time alone with little time for sleep. The key is balancing the day with each of these essential mental activities.

One way to use the platter idea is to map out an average day and see what amounts of time you spend in each essential mental activity. Like a balanced diet, there are many combinations that can work well.

Download a Healthy Mind Platter Chart to track your progress:

Self-care Ideas for Your Body

  • Go for a pedicure or a manicure or give yourself one if it’s more convenient
  • Get a massage or give yourself a massage if it’s more convenient
  • Try a face mask (store-bought or homemade)
  • Refresh your eyes with cucumber slices
  • Go for a short walk or a run if you are a runner
  • Take three deep breaths
  • Put on your favourite music and dance
  • Get up and stretch for a few minutes
  • Soak your feet
  • Have a nice bubble bath
  • Have an Epsom salts bath
  • Add some more healthy choices to your food menu
  • Moisturize your body with lotion
  • Drink more water (Try to drink 2 to 3 litres of water per day)
  • Find a quiet spot in nature and be still for a while
  • Try to get at least 15 minutes of sun each day
  • Smell an uplifting scent such as peppermint essential oil
  • Have a good belly laugh with someone
  • Take a twenty-minute nap
  • Have a cup of tea
  • Walk up and down the stairs three times
  • Play volleyball, badminton, or another sport with some friends
  • Decrease your sugar intake
  • Decrease your salt intake
  • Cleanse, tone, moisturize
  • Use sunscreen when you go outside
  • Take a multivitamin every day
  • Try taking Omega 3-6-9 supplements
  • Start a fitness routine
  • Sleep 7 to 8 hours per night
  • Wake up early and go to bed early
  • Be still for a few moments
  • Try a low-impact workout
  • Walk on a treadmill
  • Go to the gym
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Go for a swim

Self-care Ideas for Your Mind

  • Take a 24-hour break from social media
  • Take a 24-hour break from electronics
  • Start writing a journal
  • Read a short story
  • Listen to a motivational speech
  • Finish a few chapters in a book
  • Create a family tree
  • List your blessings on paper
  • Take an online class
  • Watch a documentary
  • Download a mindfulness app
  • Try a virtual counseling session
  • Remove and unfollow negativity on your timeline
  • Give up the news for a day
  • Take a cooking class
  • Create some art
  • Write a forgiveness letter, and then release it
  • Write and repeat some positive affirmations
  • Create a vision board
  • Read a self-help book
  • Write a poem or a haiku

Self-care Ideas for Your Happiness

  • Have a porch picnic
  • Go out for lunch with a friend
  • Colour in a colouring book
  • Make an uplifting music playlist
  • Make a gratitude jar
  • Try a new recipe
  • Cook a family recipe
  • Have a family cook-off
  • Plan a potluck dinner
  • Watch a re-run of your favourite show
  • Host a board game night
  • Do a home spa treatment
  • Do some painting
  • Buy an indoor plant
  • Make a TikTok video
  • Make a scrapbook
  • Organize family photos
  • Have a backyard BBQ
  • Do some gardening
  • Try some yoga
  • Go on a short road trip
  • Say a prayer
  • Plan a future vacation
  • Lay under a starry sky
  • Make some comfort food
  • Try a new hairstyle

Self-care Ideas for Your Spirit

  • Say a prayer
  • Cook a hearty breakfast
  • Make a healthy smoothie
  • Have a long conversation on the phone with a loved one
  • Meet a friend for lunch
  • Clean your house
  • Get some sunshine and fresh air
  • Listen to the sounds of nature
  • Take a nap
  • Brew a cup of tea
  • Pray with someone
  • Meditate, light a candle
  • Attend a church service
  • Fast for a day
  • Read a daily devotional
  • Laugh, watch a comedy show
  • Prepare a traditional family meal
  • Take a bubble bath
  • Listen to relaxing music
  • Declutter your wardrobe, donate some clothes
  • Try out some essential oils