Self-Care means different things to all of us. We all have activities or actions that lift our mind or body, give us space, improve our mood, give us a better night sleep or make us feel less stressed.
When it comes to self-care, there is no ‘one size fits all’ and although taking a long soak in a candle-lit bubble bath every evening is very relaxing, it’s not always attainable! So, when you’re thinking about your own self-care regime, ask yourself what you love doing, what lifts your mood, what makes you feel more energised, what makes you feel more in control of your wellbeing and plan in those things, however small they are.
My Favourite Self-Care Tips
I thought I’d share some of my favourite tips for self-care. They’re not all massive and time-consuming activities, rather small but frequent actions that allow us to focus on ourselves. Why not try some of them out?
After every hour or couple of hours in your busy day, take a couple of minutes in a quiet space to practice some 4/8 breathing.
Simply breathe in for a count of four and breathe out for a count of eight and repeat several times. This helps to regulate and deepen your breathing, cut through any anxiety that may have been gradually building up and helps your mind to focus on YOU.
Make sure your bedroom is an electronic device-free zone.
You deserve to relax at the end of a busy day, rather than keep your mind stimulated by scrolling through your phone or tablet. The following day will also be more manageable if you’ve had time to fully let your mind and body relax and get some quality sleep. Try reading a book (not a kindle), practicing some 4/8 breathing again or even trying journaling about your day and writing down three things you are proud of yourself for.
Look after your body as if you were looking after a plant
Water it well and feed it with things that you know will make it flourish and grow. Regular meals (eating little and often every three hours helps to balance your blood sugar levels and maintain your energy), lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, protein and some carbohydrates with everything in moderation is a good place to start.
In all the busyness of your day, ensure you get yourself off to the best start by making yourself a sustaining breakfast
This is really the most important meal of the day and gives us a good dose of energy to get going and feel positive. And if you’re always pushed for time in the mornings, try making some bircher muesli at night (just add natural yoghurt and /or apple juice), pop in the fridge overnight and its ready-made for you in the morning to just eat and go!
Think about the flight safety cards that we get on planes.
We have to put our own oxygen mask on before helping others to do the same and this should be the same in life. We won’t be able to help others if we don’t put ourselves first. Where do you go to give yourself time out, to be listened to, to be understood? Is it a cuppa and a catch up with your best friend? Time in a coffee shop with a magazine or a great book you want to read? Is it time chatting to your mum, a walk in nature? Whatever it is that makes you feel calm, centred or happy, identify it and do it.
Learn to say No!
Such a small word can be surprisingly difficult to say and when we’d love to say it but don’t feel like we can, it’s easy to tip over into feeling resentful and overwhelmed. And that’s not good for anyone, least of all you. So when you find yourself saying yes to something that isn’t absolutely vital and will only add to your workload/add to your stress levels/leave you no time for you/take you away from doing something that you really do want to do, stop! It’s okay to say no and put yourself first.
Shut down your working day at least an hour before you go to bed.
And use that hour for you. No emails, no daily chores, just time to have a bath, put some music on that you love, curl up on the sofa with a book or reflect on your day in a calm way.
Don’t forget the 80/20 rule!
If you’re trying to keep to a healthy eating regime, you don’t have to deny yourself everything you love. A treat is okay, will often make you feel happier and more in control too – you can look after yourself AND treat yourself too. It can also make it easier for you to stay on track. Be kind to yourself.
Have a monthly, or even 6 weekly treatment
You wouldn’t expect a car engine to run endlessly without a bit of fine-tuning or a regular service and we are no different. I know I wouldn’t be where I am without my monthly (or sometimes fortnightly!) treatments and they really do promote my own wellbeing. It is my gift to myself because I know I need it.
Is It Time To Take Some Small Steps?
I love this saying I heard recently – ‘Perfection is the enemy of good enough’ and think we could all do with being reminded of this sometimes.
We try so hard to be everything we need to be for everybody that we sometimes lose sight of the fact that with striving so hard, we don’t care enough for ourselves. Let’s take some small steps towards changing this and love ourselves a little more! You can’t pour from an empty cup so make sure you keep your cup topped up.
And, as always, we are here to help you focus on your self-care practices if you need any guidance or support. Just give us a call on 01242 227752 or drop us an email at email@example.com