Practising self-care is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle and to have good emotional health. Making time for yourself has never been more important. Participating in mindful activities is a powerful form of self-care that can help to improve your self-awareness. Mindfulness is the practice of purposely bringing one’s attention to the present moment, acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings and thoughts.
Allocating time to indulge in some mindful activity in order to care for yourself and your wellbeing is key. Making the time specifically on a Sunday for mindfulness, puts you in a calm and restful place, ready for your fast-paced Monday.
Here are 6 effective mindful activities that promote sound self-care and awareness:
Journaling is a hugely popular and highly recommended mindful activity to participate in regularly. You do not have to be an amazing writer to keep a journal; all you need is a notebook and pen!
There have been vast amounts or research about the positive benefits of engaging in mindful journaling. A study that was carried out by researchers Karen A. Balkie and Kay Wilhelm that journaling about emotions or daily events in your life for 20 minutes per day, on 3 – 5 occasions, saw a boost in immune function and stress reduction.
There are no rules when it comes to journaling; you can write about your day, about an event in your life or even just about your feelings or worries that day. You do not have to do it on a daily basis – it could be a weekly activity.
Other scientific benefits of journaling include:
- It can reduce depression and anxiety
- It can cultivate gratitude
- It can improve memory function
- It can help you recover from trauma
2. Meditation and Relaxation
Relaxation – ‘the state of being free from tension and anxiety’ is a powerful mindful activity that can be hard to master, but life-changing when you use it as part of your routine.
When I first thought about relaxation, or it was mentioned, I naively thought it meant that you watched your favourite TV show or read a book. However, relaxation is about your mind and body being free of stress and worries. Relaxation can be practised through a number of different techniques.
There are various relaxation techniques such as: breathing exercises, body scanning, Tai Chi and guided meditation for just a few examples. Meditation and relaxation techniques like body scanning at readily available on platforms such as Youtube and is a great place to start.
Positive benefits of meditation and relaxation include:
- Reduction in tension and chronic pain
- Improved digestion
- Reduction of stress hormones
- Lower blood pressure
- Enhanced self-awareness
- Better sleep
Mindful walking is a form of mindful movement. Using the everyday action of walking as a mindfulness practice, you can become aware of the sensations that are happening in your body. You can then be at one with your environment and how your body feels; this then helps you to focus on the present moment.
Walking is also a simple and effective form of exercise in order to live a healthy lifestyle. Whether it is a regular walk, or you decide o walk to the shops instead of taking the car, it all has positive changes to both physical and mental health.
Advantages of mindful walking can include:
- Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
- Increased muscle strength and endurance
- Improved mental health
- Reduced body fat
Sometimes walking isn’t always the most attractive mindful activity, but here are some ways that you can make walking more pleasurable:
- Walk the dog
- Join a walking club
- Walk with a loved one
- Vary where you walk, so that you can explore new nature spots
Exercise is important but so is what you are nourishing your body with. Mindful eating should also be important. A plant-based diet has so many positive health benefits and there are so many plant-based products on the market now. Complete shakes are a great way to get the best nutrients and vitamins into your system easily without any fuss.
4. Breathing Exercises
Mindful breathing involves being aware of your breath and focusing on it. It is not about changing the way you breathe. The act of focusing on your breath usually slows down your breathing patterns, which helps you to feel more relaxed. Turning your attention to how the air moves in an d out of your lungs, mouth and nose becomes a type of calming meditation. There are various types of breathing that can help you feel calm and relaxed.
Square breathing: As you inhale, visualise one side of the square. Then you visualise the next side of the square as you exhale. You repeat this process until you have imagined all sides of the square.
4, 7, 8 method: You inhale to count of 4, hold your breath for 7 and then exhale to the count of 7. Repeat as needed.
Belly breathing: Place one hand on your stomach ad inhale slowly through your nose (you will notice your abdomen rising). As you exhale, you contract your abdomen muscles and push the air out of your lungs.
Physical and emotional benefits of breath meditation:
- Lower heart rate
- Reduce stress levels in your body
- Improve diabetic symptoms
- Helps you to manage chronic pain
- Lower blood pressure
Mindful colouring is about bringing your awareness into the present moment by you consciously focusing on the colours and the design. Similar to meditation, you are letting go of any thoughts about the past or future; you just bring the focus and awareness to the activity which you are doing.
A recent study conducted by the University of the West England looked into the benefits of colouring on the mind. Volunteers were asked to spend 20 minutes reading, or 20 minutes colouring in and then answer questions to indicate their mood and mindfulness. The research showed that compared to reading, colouring encouraged lower levels of anxiety and greater mindfulness.
Mindful colouring has been shown to:
- Improve your focus
- Improve sleep
- Improve vision and motor skills
- Reduce anxiety and stress
6. Skincare routine
The most important factor in a mindful skincare routine is the focus on caring for yourself in the here and now. Having a good skincare routine is a great form of self care and self love.
In regards to looking after your skin, mindfulness is commonly associated with factors such as:
- Skincare products that are cruelty free and/or vegan
- Taking the time to enjoy a slower-paced skincare routine rather than rushing through the process
- Incorporating tools or techniques into your routine such as face yoga or using a jade roller
- Noticing how your skin looks and changes, then adopting your routine with suitable products
Skincare should be hugely important and a priority in your self-care routine, including keeping your lips hydrated and moisturised especially during the colder weather. Ssnutra is a private label lip balm manufacturer which you should investigate for more information. Everyone can positively benefit from adding more mindfulness into their lives especially after the past year or so with the pandemic, there is no better time to provide some relief for our mind and skin! You can inhale the aromas, focus on the ingredients in the product which you are using, take notice of the texture and take your time.
How do you practise mindfulness in your life? I’d love to hear in the comments.
Some great tips here! I love working out, face masks and long, hot baths. I find sundays so relaxing.
Yeah Sunday’s are definitely for relaxing!
Farrah Aslam says
These are great, simple ways to relax! I have to say that Ted Baker notebook is so pretty, caught my eye straight away 😍
I have so many of them 🙈 I have a slight obsession! Haha! Thanks hun x
I also love listening to music and writing. It is so relaxing. Great post! It is important to treat yourself and have that me time at least once a week 🙂. Thanks for sharing these tips!
Thank you!! X
The diary of Ellie says
A regular skin care does wonders for my skin and my self esteem!
Great post! Just written something similar myself! Awesome tips, thanks for sharing! Happy Sunday x
Thank you! X
D I A R I E S OF A DRUG WORKER says
I love to go to the gym on a Sunday, it’s so much more enjoyable than going after work. Also a Sunday roast is my favourite with a film to finish the week perfectly! Lovely post.
Love a good roast dinner! Sunday funday! Thanks hun x
Great post, lots of good ideas, a face mask, bath & manicure/pedicure definitely top for me, I love my yoga, my bullet journal and curling up in fresh bedding & pyjamas with a chamomile tea & reading
Sounds like great ways to chill and look after yourself. I’ve just had a lovely bath with bubble bath, bath bombs and fresh pjs. X
Love the tips I think self care is the key component in living a healthy lifestyle ! Xx -Talia
A real skin care routine is what I really lack. Like I’ve been saying ima start one for months and have done nothing. This is such a great post and I love your suggestions! I also add yoga and doing my nails as a way for self care while waiting on my face mask to dry (face masks are my kryptonite) great post!
Yes I love going to get my nails done!! 😊.
Natasha Gabrielle says
These are all great tips!
I love listening to music…I totally relate to ending up doing more dancing than housework part HAHA! At one point I just had to stop myself from listening to music when I had chores to do.
And I do workouts as well.. 5 days a week 🙂
Wow, 5 days a week that is impressive!!
Madi Dearson says
I love your suggestions:) I have to say practicing a regular skin care routine, makes me feel like I am doing something for myself. I don’t have to much time to fiddle with my look so having these few moments for myself every morning makes me feel good. Lovely post Lauren.
Thank you hun x
New Life Fresh You says
This are simple and great ways to relax and also take care of yourself. Sundays I usually prefer to take a loooong bubble bath with a book and glass of wine. That is for me the supreme relaxation moment before another week in work.😍😍
I have already had a nice bubble bath and in fresh clean pjs! 😊 so chilled! Thanks hun x
Thank you for commenting hun!
Definitely a productive day! I always feel great when I have a productive day’ thank you for reading and commenting! Xx
Rachel's Beauty Talk says
Great tips! I love having a long bath and then having a bit of a pamper, so putting on a face mask, doing my nails and watching a film 🙂 x
Yeah definitely Sunday’s are for relaxing! X
Rachel's Beauty Talk says
I completely agree! 🙂 xx
Aww I love this! ❤ Self care is so important, and it’s something I’m trying to practice daily 🌸 I love that this is self-care Sunday. We often feel bogged down on Sundays, dreading the Monday blues and the week ahead (I know I do, anyway 😅) 💙❤
I don’t work Mondays so I get to avoid that. But I know what you mean. Glad you liked my post xx
Oh lucky! <3
Love a face mask x
This is such a great post Lauren! 💖 I love all these ideas! My favourites are having a bubbly bath, going for a long walk with music, and going for a massage (a massage from a brand is the dream, right? 😄) I also love your photography. I just wanna pick up those pencils and start colouring in. Fab post lovely and thanks for all the helpful suggestions 😘 xx
Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com
Yes a massage from a brand! Definitely a great thing! I have never had a massage in a spa or been to a spa before. So I definitely need to change that. Thank you babe. Bubble baths with a lush bath bomb are 😍😍xxx
Love it! Along with the above things, I do some mild exercise for my eyes too 🙂
I love that you added a good skincare routine!
Thanks lovely xx
Lisa's Notebook says
I think your first tip is one that my mother told me years ago. You only have one face so it’s worth spending time, attention, and (if necessary) money on it to maintain your skin. It’s something I try to live by too. And I’m with you on music and housework, anything to make that task go by quicker! I love your shoutout to the massage brands – fingers crossed one or more of them take you up on your offer 🙂 lovely post, Lauren, thank you for sharing your tips xx
Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com
It is very true! Thank you so much for reading 😘xx
Hayley Reviews says
Thank you for sharing. I really do need to practice being kinder to myself….
These are all my favourite things to do! I love Lush face masks but have never tried any of The Body Shop ones so I’ll have to treat myself some time. Love your blog 🙂 xxx
Thank you so much 💕
Collecting Glitter says
It took me some time too before realizing how important self care is. Sunday’s are the best for just a bit of me time.
I really like to drink tea on a self care day. I find it so relaxing.
I agree with every single one of these. I think it’s so important to take time for your mental health. What’s your favourite face mask to use? xx
My fav mask is mask of magnanimity from lush! How about yours? Xx
Never tried it. I never really do face masks to be honest and when I do it’s a green one from lush that I dont know the name of 😂 xx
Yeah that’s the one I am on about it’s the only one that’s a self preserving one that doesn’t need to be in the fridge x
Ah perfect! x
Definitely love reading a good book as well
I loved this post, just the reminder I needed to start doing a little more self-care. Thats a great idea to do it on a Sunday.
Thank you! D
It’s so good isn’t it, I love that range. Thank you for reading and commenting x
Such lovely self care tips! I always like to light some candles and snuggle up with a film in some blankets! x
Sounds very relaxing! X
Ms Via says
I totally relate to all your tips. I love using masks and doing some skincare bits. I love coloring too, listening to music sometimes, spending time with my kids, watching Netfix and reading, are my favorite way of relaxing and selfcare. 🙂
They sound like great things to do, thank you for reading and commenting xx
Lovely post! That face mask looks really good, I love the Rose scent 🙂
It is lovely! X
Great post, I agree, colouring is a wonder for anxiety. I also try and keep a list next to my bed of things I can do to look after myself. More people should make self-care a priority!
Thank you for reading and commenting that sounds like a good idea!
Thanks for reading!
Della Driscoll says
I love this! You honestly can’t beat a good walk, especially somewhere quiet xx
Walking is so powerful for your physical and mental health. Thank you for reading and commenting.
My mum does colouring a lot and it really chills her out. Great article!
It is really helpful for your mental health. Thank you for reading and commenting Jamie.
These are some good tips – a few of which I’ve found really work for me especially breathing exercises.
Invisibly Me says
I know I need a little more mindfulness in my life. While I’ve done less since Covid, walking is a great way to slow things down, look around you and get some fresh air. Just being outside can work wonders. Some really great tips, Lauren!
Walking is really powerful. I hope you manage to get more time to do that. Thank you for reading and commenting.
Fadima Mooneira says
I like to draw illustrations and practice my arts on Sunday. I would like to try some of these ideas too. Thank you for sharing.
Drawing and doodling can be so therapeutic. Thank you for reading and commenting.
Thank you for the great ideas! I have just started learning about bullet journals. Great ways to relax!
Bullet journaling is a fabulous way to stay organised. Using a journal to share your thoughts and experiences is great! Thank you for reading and commenting.
Alicia Thompson says
Hello! I love all of these ideas and the idea of jouralling is a great idea as well for completing daily! Thanks for sharing a great post! Alicia
Thank you for reading and commenting!
Farah Kareem says
great tips for relaxing and having a peaceful mind, thanks for sharing!
Thank you for reading and commenting.
Tiffany McCullough - Metaphysical Mama says
These are amazing mindful activities! I try to meditate daily, but I’d like too go for more mindful walks. Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful suggestions!
Thank you for reading and commenting Tiffany. Good luck with introducing more mindful walks.
Molly @ Transatlantic Notes says
Walking in nature, for me, is one of the best things to do for my mental health and is a great self-care activity. I can’t explain how wonderful it is when I do it other than I feel emotionally lighter so I’m so glad you included walking in this fab list. I’m trying to add these kinds of moments into a Sunday routine more so this was super useful — thanks for sharing!
Walking in nature is such a simple activity but is super powerful isn’t it? Releasing endorphins and making you feel amazing! Thank you for reading and commenting.
Amazing ideas! I’d love to get more into journaling and colouring, they both sound like something I’d really enjoy! Being with nature is super calming too. Thanks for sharing x
Colouring and journaling are powerful activities on your mental health. You will see a huge difference in how you feel after. Thank you for reading and commenting.
Jaya Avendel says
For the first time since we got here, my dog is living inside for a couple of weeks after surgery. She is doing alright with it, and loves her morning walk the most! I have been using the forty minutes of strolling for mental decluttering, mindful thinking, and planning every morning.
Thanks for sharing some simple ways to integrate self-care into our everyday lives!
Lisa Jones says
These are amazing ideas! I’ve just discovered how much I love colouring. Journaling has been so incredible for my mental health. I’ve just started reading Angel cards and normally journal afterwards.
I’m completely with you about relaxation. I would normally watch a film but that’s not the same as meditation. I love doing body scan, that’s probably my favourite. I’ve not heard of square breathing, so I’m definitely going to try that.
The other form of self care I enjoy is gardening. I love being out in nature and tending to all my plants. It makes me so happy!
Thank you for your lovely comment and sharing your experience.
Kelly Diane says
These are great suggestions. I try to do some yoga on a Sunday to relax both my mind and muscles. I’m lucky that I have a dog who will always make sure I take her for a walk too.
Brilliant suggestions, Lauren! I really value having a consistent skincare and journalling. Both are a great form of self care and make me feel like I’m prioritising myself 🙂 x
That’s great it works well for you. Thank you for reading and commenting. X