We have all heard the words ‘self-care’ and ‘self-love’ before and probably now more than ever, it seems to be top of everyone’s list. Regardless of being in the midst of a Global Pandemic, self-care / self-love is actually crucial for our bodies, our minds and our soul.
So what is self-care? Is it sitting reading a book? Doing a fun activity? or taking a walk in nature? – It is in fact all of these.
Some people hear the words self-care and assume you need to sit in meditation for an hour or go to a spa for an entire day – although both of these sound heavenly right?! And both are definitely going to benefit you, they’re not always feasible or even realistic for some, and actually isn’t what you need to do at all to achieve some mindfulness.
Do you feel overwhelmed?
Are you feeling zapped of energy?
Are your emotions a little unstable?
Have you gotten into a fixed mindset rather than a growth mindset?
Are you feeling burnt out?
Are you noticing disturbances in your sleep pattern?
These can all be signs that you need to just stop and take a breather. Incorporating just small changes to your daily routine to include a little break is the perfect way to begin living a more mindful, balanced and grounded life. If we are scattered in our minds, this will play out in our physical life too. Prioritising time for yourself is just as important as remembering to drink water.
An important self-care example (for me any way) is diet. When we truly look after our bodies on the inside, it shows on the outside. Healthier eating and exercising not only helps you to feel better physically but it also boosts you mentally and in the long run can prevent becoming unwell. You wouldn’t put petrol in a diesel car would you? So why fill your body with processed foods, junk, excess sugar etc that make your metabolism have to work harder and to end up feeling sluggish? We all know how better we feel when we eat healthily. It gives you more energy to do things, your skin will look better and your confidence will be boosted.
Being a holistic therapist, I can’t tell you the number of people who tell me they just don’t have time for any self care and it always makes me a little deflated. How often do you find yourself being consumed by social media scrolling? Before you know it you have lost 30 minutes or more, and gained nothing – why not be a little more mindful the next time you pick up your phone and swap it for a healthier, more mind benefiting activity?
Try creating a self-care plan at the beginning of each week so you can see exactly where you can fit time in for yourself?
Here are a few ideas of self-care / self-love activities:
10 minute meditation – There are so many platforms you can use which provide music as well as guided meditations.
Walk in nature
Reading a book or magazine
Going to bed earlier
Taking a relaxing bath
Sitting and allowing your emotions to be released
Sit quietly with a cuppa where you won’t be disturbed
Dance around the house to your favourite music
Paint, draw or engage in a creative project
De-clutter and have a spring clean in your home
Set some time away from your phone or switch it off for a while
Delete any old apps you don’t use and swap for some mindful ones
Take a nap
Do something that makes you belly laugh
Talk to a friend
Plan a mini getaway
Do some gardening
Enjoy a holistic or spa treatment
Diffusing essential oils
Do some colouring in
Write a gratitude list
Begin your day with positive affirmations
The list is endless, but it’s finding what feels right for you, what works for you and what lights you up. Start off with small changes so you don’t overwhelm yourself too much and build from there. You might only do 10 minutes each day and that is perfectly fine, really use those 10 minutes that you have.
If for example, if you decide to do a meditation, record how you feel before and then again after and compare the differences. See how it has benefitted you to how you feel.
We can all feel like we’re on a hamster wheel at times and the monotonous daily routine can feel like a real hard slog, so why not try mixing up your routine? Add something new or do things in a different way to break that cycle of repetition. Your body is always going to give you signs when something isn’t right or in need of examining / changing, so always listen to what it’s telling you.
There is a significant rise in people reaching out and trying holistic therapies to help with day to day stresses and mental health which in my eyes is great to see. Being a Reiki Master / Teacher I can highly recommend trying a holistic treatment. I see the benefits in my own clients and also in myself. We all need a little time out, to help each other out and offer support.
What self-care activity are you going to do today?