Let’s begin this blog with a few simple questions and answers shall we?
Q: What is Self-Care?
Identifying your needs and making them a priority. It’s creating behaviors or healthy habits that you can do to nurture yourself. It’s about looking after yourself so you can give your absolute best
Q: What Self-Care isn’t?
- Adding more to your ‘to do list’
- Creating a plan for when your stress becomes overwhelming and you’re already burnt-out.
- Being selfish
Q: Why is Self-care so important?
Well, when you avoid things that make you feel physically and mentally well, you deplete your confidence and self-esteem. Self-care is important to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself, sometimes called self-love. It produces positive feelings, which improves confidence and self-esteem.
Self-care can take on many forms, depending on your interests – they key word being YOUR interests. In today's society, we are used to wearing so many hats – wife, mum, daughter, sister, friend, and colleague. We juggle work and home commitments and all the stresses they entail, and sometimes the balance skews towards what other people need...not what we, ourselves need.
An example of self-care could be making time for one (or more) of the following;
- Take 20 minutes to stretch and unwind
- Get 15-20 minutes of direct sunlight (taking the proper slip, slop, slap precautions of course)
- Unplug for an hour
- Get rid of negativity in your social feeds by muting or disconnecting from toxic pages and people
- Try new recipes you’ve been drooling over
- Enjoy half an hour of quiet alone time with coffee and a good book or magazine
- Spice up your exercise routine with a new class or workout
- Treat yo’ self to a spa date at home or an actual spa
- Take 10 slow and deep breaths at the end of every hour and/or when you notice you’re feeling stressed, anxious, angry or tense
- Try aromatherapy candles or essential oils
- Crank up your favourite music and dance like no one is watching
- Take a nap
- Get a massage
- Make your surroundings healthier and greener
- Try a gentle yoga class
- Write a positivity journal
- Snuggle or play with pets
- Do something artsy: draw, colour, paint, write, take photos, play an instrument
- Surround yourself with positivity: create a mood board full of funny pictures, beautiful things, uplifting words and sayings
- Develop a Self-Care plan! This will not only help you enhance your health and well-being, but help manage your stress levels (it’s a win, win situation really).
You simply just need to do the following;
- Make time for it! Set aside time each day to practice self-care – take as much time as you need (even if it’s a sneaky few minutes…it’s better than nothing at all). Do something that makes YOU feel good or relaxed.
- Say no! If a friend or colleague wants to see you during your self-care time, it’s ok to tell them you’re busy (well you are…busy looking after yourself after all)
- Take notice of yourself! Tune into how you’re feeling at that very moment and work out which activity would best suit your needs at the time.
- Learn to switch off! Easier said than done, given we live in such a fast moving world. But, if you switch off and just “be in the moment” (cliché? - possibly) it really does work.
- Look for quick solutions! If work is piling up in your “in-tray”, stop and take a few deep breaths or go for a brief walk – anything that will settle your mind for a minute or two. Sometimes just stepping away from it all provides the clarity you need to power through the rest of your day.
If we all started practicing self-care each day, just how much would our coping mechanisms and decision making benefit?
If we all started practicing self – care each day and were kinder to ourselves, just think about how much kinder we will be towards others?
To me, the answer seems fairly obvious and with a few tweaks to your daily routine, you’ll be managing and coping with life in a completely different way! Who knows, if we all started practicing a bit of self-care it might just make the world a much nicer place – what’s not to love about that!!
Download your This is Me self-care plan here