Do you feel that you are constantly at the bottom of the list when it comes to self care? Perhaps you work long hours, have dependents or a relative who needs to be cared for? Maybe you are the one who others rely upon when a favour needs asking because they know you will always say yes.
It can be difficult to find “me time” in our busy lives but without it we run the risk of burn out, making ourselves ill, anxious, stressed or all of the above and when that happens we are no use to anyone.
So what does self care mean? It can vary from person to person. Some may find a bubble bath and a good book soothing whilst for others it could be a 10 mile run followed by a slab of cake (or just the cake for some :-)). Whatever your preference, listen to what your mind and body needs and give it to yourself, guilt free.
You may think you don’t have time for self care but even 10 minutes a day of taking some time out can make a big difference. Here are some areas of self care to think about adding or improving upon in your daily routine:
- Sleep – ensure you get enough sleep every night to help your body rest and recover so you feel re energised for the next day
- Nutrition – do you eat a nutritious, balanced diet or are you a grab and go kind of person? The more nutrient rich our diet the better we feel so cook fresh when you can and avoid too many processed foods.
- Exercise – 30 minutes of exercise every day will keep you fit, strong and energised, even if it’s just a brisk walk to get your heart rate up and your lungs filled with fresh air.
- Relaxation – find time to enjoy interests and hobbies, read a book or have a massage
- Make time with the ones you love – don’t let work rule your life and interfere with time that can be spent with family and friends
- Practice mindfulness – just take time out to sit and breathe and switch off. If you are outside don’t look at the ground when walking, take time to notice the clouds, the wind, the feeling of the sun on your face (when it’s out!) the trees, bird song etc
- Have a social media break – Facebook and Instagram are great for staying connected but don’t forget most people only show the best areas of their life so it can be discouraging when you compare your life against someone else’s reel of highlights.
- Be creative – whether it’s cooking, drawing or making music, being artistic allows us to feel mindful and productive.
- Learn to say no – you don’t have to agree to babysit your friends’ kids every other weekend or go out for drinks with colleagues after work. By saying no once in a while you can feel more in control of your life.
- Have a change of scenery – get out of town for a day or two if you can and soak up the atmosphere of a different environment whether that’s the country, beach or a city. Your senses will appreciate the change.
There are many other self care practices but these are just a few to get you started. By doing so you will feel more connected to yourself and the world around you, more rested and so able to give the best version of yourself to others.