As life seems to be ever more demanding and we seem to be constantly striving for more and trying to be more, self care seems to go to the bottom of the pile. But the reality is that we need to find a way to implement it in to our lives so we can continue moving forwards and growing, if we don’t then it is inevitable we are going to hit that wall at some point. We often have a road map for where we are going, but we can bet your bottom dollar that how you look after yourself is not in there. We hope to share with you some guidance, tips and information on self care for everyone, and hope that by the end of this you will view self care as a priority and not as a luxury.
What is it?
So all this talk about self care but what is it? Well we can all picture the burn-out scene can’t we, where we push and push and give as much to everybody and everything else as we can that eventually we fall flat and are forced to take a rest due to severe tiredness, illness or a struggle with our mental health. The consequences of a burn-out are huge on our health, both physically and mentally. In order to give your best to others you have to be feeling at your best yourself and you certainly can’t look after others if you aren’t taking care of yourself.
Ultimately self care is about stopping to make the good choices. It is about giving your mind, body and soul time to rest (ah we love this thought)
Examples of self care
- Exercise: In whatever capacity you enjoy
- Nutrition: Fuelling the body with the right nutrients to get the most out of it, not the instant feel-good kind of stuff
- Ability to say no: Something that we all struggle with (we can certainly hold our hands up to this one), but by saying no it means we do not hold resentment, we do not try to fit in too much and we find a balance.
- Good sleep: A minimum of 8 hours each evening is recommended
- Quality time with those we love: This could be as simple as a cuppa and a chat, or could mean going out somewhere. Just something to work on those key relationships in our life.
- Reading something we enjoy: This does not have to be a self-help book, any kind of fictional reading, or reading of a magazine can absolutely class as self care and give us that much-needed down time.
- Taking a bath: Just the physical act of having to stop and take the time out to relax in a bath is so good for us. So ditch the phone, grab a book if you wish, get out the candles and enjoy.
- Doing a hobby: This could be absolutely anything from sports, to crafts or anything in between. Just something that allows us time to switch off from work and the day to day of life.
- Meditation: You do not need to be a pro at meditation, this could be something as simple as a breathing meditation that we have shared before that just takes a few minutes that you could pop in to your daily life.
- Watch something motivational: Exposing yourself to positive material can really lift your mood and be a great pick me up. Check out this video from 90 second nugget: These videos are the perfect go to for something you can access quickly and easily on a daily basis.
How often should you do it?
Let’s keep this super short and simple:
It is not a guilty pleasure, think of it more as a preventative measure.
What are the benefits?
- You will end up feeling less stressed throughout daily life or when challenges arise.
- You will feel like you are living a more all-rounded way of life, as you include a bit of everything in: Work, you time, social time, hobbies etc.
- You will end up being able to give more: To your work, your friends and your family.
- There is much less chance of suffering burn-out
- You may feel happier, more content and settled in yourself
- It acts as a recharge. Just think about what happens when your phone battery is showing low? You plug it in right! Think of self care in the exact same way but for yourself.
The self care challenge
Sometimes we need that push to do something that we know we should do but often don’t get round to, and what better way to do this than with a 30-day self care challenge.
This challenge is not necessarily about what you achieve at the end of it. We are not saying that you are all of a sudden going to feel calmer, more mindful, more in tune with your body and that’s self care sorted for life now. This is a process, something you are bringing in as a way of life. Just think of this challenge as a kick up the bum to get that going.
How will it work? In whatever way you want it to. The idea is that you commit to 30 days of focusing on your self care. This could mean you set up a schedule and try something new each day (this would be great if you are just exploring this concept and want to know what works best for you). Or maybe you have dabbled in bit of self care before and you know what works, so you would like to set up something that you do without fail every day and complete that for the 30 days.
Our recommendation is that you journal it. This can be as flexible as you’d like it to be, from simply writing down what you plan to do/have done each day, to your thoughts and feelings as you go through, or research you pick up along the way about self care. Maybe you’d even like to do some reflection at the end of each day, if so we have listed some example questions that you could use:
- What have I implemented in to my day that was centered around self care?
- How did I feel after doing this?
- What am I pleased with about how today has gone?
- If I could change anything about my self care journey what would this be?
How to maximise your chance of success.
It is inevitable that life will end up getting busy and stressful at times, and self care is usually the first thing to go. But how are you going to manage during these stressful times if you neglect this area? Self care is not something that you do when everything is running smoothly, it is something that needs to be incorporated in to everyday life, designed especially for those challenging times. So creating a plan for this is important. Check out what could get in the way of doing your self care activities and work out what you can do to overcome this. This means it is important to be realistic with your self care plan. Whilst you may love to be able to do an hour of yoga, half hour of meditation, take a long hot bath for an hour and be in bed early every night this may require a lot of additional time that you don’t currently have, so perhaps start with one or two things, or work out what is important. So for example, maybe you feel you would like to do it all but you need to do a snippet of that to be able to fit it in to your daily life.
Once you have reviewed what potential barriers there may be along the way and having created a plan of action around that, your chance of success when it comes to self care will sky rocket.
Are you up for it?
The important thing to recognise is that this is an ongoing process that will evolve and change over time. It requires constant attention and the key, like with anything, is that you need to enjoy it to keep it going. But there is no formula, you need to experiment and find out what works for you.
But we can guarantee you one thing: If you can implement this in to your daily life, it will be something that you will never regret.
As always we would love to answer any questions you may have, or would love to hear your own ways that you bring self care in to your life, so please feel free to share these below.