Self-care is something most of us don’t pay much attention to. Most times people are preoccupied by work, motherhood or fatherhood roles, chores, business and many other things that deprive them of time to take care of themselves. Some people get lost in that and before they know it, their mental health is at stake. Depression, stress and burnout are the likely outcomes. Experts say it is important to take care of yourself by giving yourself the time and attention to enhance your physical and emotional health. Self-care can help you to handle better stress, anxiety, low self-esteem and immensely boost your mental health and generally your health. It helps you to rejuvenate in terms of energy and also to regain self-confidence. It is advised that regardless of how busy your life is, find a moment to engage in some quick self-care sessions, doing some things many would consider basic but in actual sense can make a huge difference. Even the most modest self-care practices can make a significant difference in your life and the people around you. It is the practice of taking an active role in preserving or improving your health. It is true that everyone's definition of self-care is unique and it is indeed critical to discover what you value and need to improve your life and be in charge. It is important to discover things that you do in your own space that make you feel better and feel yourself. If you do this very well, chances are your mental health will be maintained in good shape. These practices might not heal depression or mental conditions but they can help you manage those conditions by helping you to identify what triggers your mild symptoms and what coping mechanisms work best for you. Remember self-care means that only you know what makes you feel better and satisfied. Once you have zeroed down on those things, practice them regularly and integrate them into your daily life. According to psychologist and therapist Dr. Ketam Hamdan in a recent post, these practices don’t have to be time consuming and can be done anywhere. These actions are backed by science and have been proven to lift your mood and increase your feel-good hormones if you pay attention to them. Doing something childlike and fun Most times we become all too serious and block off possible opportunities to ease up and have fun. In recent activities conducted by Kina Rwanda, a movement driving the learning through play agenda in Rwanda, it was found that adults can have fun when they play with children. Beyond playing with children, you can do something silly with yourself, whether it is sticking out your tongue, giggling, dipping your bread in tea and generally being playful. This will not only uplift your spirit, it will also reawaken the child in you and it can be a good feeling. Remember some of the fun things you used to do as a child and revisit them. Looking at yourself in the mirror Do you realise that most times people don’t have time to look at themselves thoroughly in the mirror? Take a minute and stand in front of a mirror and say three things that you like about yourself. Look at yourself carefully and appreciate the person you are. This will go a long way in strengthening your will and self-confidence. Prayer and self-reflection While you are alone, take a minute and say a little prayer, depending on your beliefs. Prayer goes with self-reflection, which is taking a moment to assess your life, your goals, what you intend to achieve and also reflect on your health. You don’t have to be loud or long. Even one or two minutes is enough. Such moments come in the bathroom, a drive or trip or even in bed. Make sure it is all about you and whatever spiritual being you engage with in that moment. The outcomes, including resolve and commitment, will immensely impact your life and do away with all the fears and emptiness inside you. Smell nice scents There is something about a good scent. It can trigger feel-good hormones. After a good shower, apply your favourite perfume and lotion. Take time to apply it. Alternatively, you can go the natural way, smell flowers and leaves. You can also burn a scented candle in your room or private space. It can do magic to your mental wellness. Hug someone Hugs can be magical but they are even better when they are long and full. According to experts, an average hug lasts about six seconds or longer, depending on how you relate with that person. Hugging for long can help you to release feel-good hormones known as oxytocin. You can hug a partner, friend, family member, or even a pet for some. Take time to feel the effect of a tight hug and what it does to you after. Listen to your body Sometimes when we get too busy, we don’t pay much attention to our bodies, even if they are giving us signs. Take a few minutes to listen to your body and every signal it sends to you. What are you feeling? Is it painful? Do you feel heavy or notice some changes in your body? Listening and observing your body gives you full control of it. You will know when you need to slow down, exercise or even see a doctor.