Normalizing Self Care: 7 Self Care Tips to Be Your Best Self

Grant Ausbury 
Yoga
, All Parks, Blog Page, COVID-19, Featured Top LPs, Parks, Yoga

Over the last year, we've done our part to keep each other safe by sheltering in place, wearing a mask and much more as we adjusted to a new normal. Now more than ever, it’s important that we take care of ourselves as well! Let's work on normalizing self care and doing what we can to promote a healthy mind and body.

Because May is Mental Health Awareness month, we’ve gathered these 7 Self Care Tips to help you stay healthy, get active, and focus on your mental wellbeing:

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1. Online Fitness Classes

Break out the yoga mats and lace up those tennis shoes, it’s time for some online fitness! Due to the pandemic, many health and wellness professionals are hosting online sessions including yoga, cardio and much more. This is a great way to support someone in our community and get in a great workout. Reach out to your friends, family or even your gym to see what kind of digital or outdoor experiences they’re offering!

We're bringing back Fitness in the Park!

In May 2021, the beloved Fitness in the Park series returns with a brand new twist! We're hosting bi-weekly virtual fitness classes from parks across Austin on our YouTube channel beginning Saturday, May 29th. We've got some amazing local instructors and musicians lined up for these approachable online fitness classes. We're so excited to share them with you!

Not to mention Austin's own DJ Mel, creator of the Living Room Dance Party, will be our host! Good news: you can enjoy these free fitness classes at any time after the premier. Learn more about the Fitness in the Parks series here!

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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2. Bring in the Nature Sounds

One of the best parts about being out on the trail or a picnic in the park is the sound of nature! Bring a little bit of relaxation into the room with a creek running, leaves rustling or ocean waves crashing. These are super easy to find on your phone, computer or your smart speaker. Of course you can go old school and crack those windows open for a more local experience

Have an Alexa device? Try the Nature Sounds skill for everything from a babbling brook to a distant thunderstorm.

Have a Google Home device? Enable Digital Wellbeing and ask for river or forest sounds to get started.

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3. Plants: Your New Best Friend

Plants are friends that you’re allowed to have over to your house! As always, we don’t encourage making any unnecessary trips away from home, but there’s good news. Most grocery stores have a solid collection of outdoor and indoor plants for you to choose from! This is a great way to bring nature indoors and maybe even start a new hobby.

Check out our recent how-to guides for beginners! Show the trees in your life some love with Tree Care 101 or learn a fun, easy way to plant flowers with Seed Balls 101.

Photo by Dose Media on Unsplash

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4. A Few Minutes for Mindfulness

Cabin fever is real, and your mental health is important. Taking a few minutes to reset is an important step to successfully sheltering in place. Whether it’s for 5 minutes or an hour, make yourself comfortable and take a moment to focus on your breathing. Try inhaling through the nose out through the mouth (we’re sure you’ve heard this before). 

Prefer something guided? You’re in luck! There are many phone applications and services focused on mindfulness and relaxation. They feature everything from helping you fall asleep to lowering anxiety. Headspace and Calm are a couple of the most popular.

Photo by Victor Garcia on Unsplash

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5. Expand Your Music Library

There’s nothing better than discovering a new song, artist or even a new genre that you really dig. Now is the perfect time to dive into those vinyl records you never got around to or ask a friend what they’re listening to right now. We want to help you find something new, so be sure to check out our Spotify playlists! Here's a few examples of what we curated for y'all:

Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

Outside Vibes
Crossing decades and genres to bring the outside inside with everything from Bon Iver to Childish Gambino to Foo Fighters.

Listen Local 
Many Austin musicians are struggling as venues have closed and events are postponed or canceled. Support local musicians by jamming out to this playlist!

Train Tracks

Celebrate the new Zilker Eagle, the new mini train at Zilker Park, with a playlist dedicated to all things trains. The Eagle is landing Fall 2021!

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6. Picnic in the Yard or Local Park

Grab a blanket and some delicious food, it’s time to enjoy a meal outside! This is a great way to mix things up from the monotony of eating in the same place every day. If you're able, have a social distanced picnic at a park in your neighborhood.

Prepare a meal yourself or place a pickup or delivery order at one of your favorite restaurants! We have many sponsors and partners that are local restaurants. They are an essential part of helping us help parks across our city, so let’s return the favor! Please support these Austin businesses who support Austin Parks Foundation.

Photo by britt gaiser on Unsplash

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7. Meet Your Neighborhood Park(s)

We’re fortunate to live in Austin which is considered by many to be a city within a park. However, popular outdoor spaces like Zilker Park, Barton Creek Greenbelt, Barkin Springs and many more have been seeing high foot traffic since the pandemic began.

We LOVE these places too, but we want to encourage y’all to explore the parks in your neighborhood! Living in Austin, we’re fortunate to have nearly 300 parks. What parks and trails are walk-able from your home? Find a new one here!