Self-Care 30th September 2019
Self-Care can be a bit of a taboo subject. When we talk about self-care and self-love it can sometimes be given the negative connotation of selfishness. This blog is here to tell you why self-care is definitely not that. It is 100% a positive attribute for your life and those around you.
But what is self-care?
If you look at the definition of Self-Care it is quite self-explanatory ‘the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health’. You would think that we would all be really good at looking after ourselves as well, but we are not. I don’t want to go into too much detail here but what I do want to do is highlight 4 daily activities that I do to practise self-care and protect my health and wellness.
My number one is exercise and I love to do it first thing in the morning (but that is just a personal preference). There are SO many ways that exercise positively impacts your health and wellbeing but to name a few:
- Improve your mood and decrease feelings of stress
- Increased energy levels
- Reduced risk of chronic disease
- Brain health and memory
- Relaxation and sleep quality
All of the above are not only going to impact you today, but they will impact you as you move through life. This is self-care, looking after yourself now, so you can have a healthy future.
Even if you do not like exercise, find ways to add it in to your life, going for a walk with friends, taking the stairs instead of the lift or combining it with a sport you love.
Make one change this week and add a new exercise into your regime. Write down how you felt before and how you felt after (a few hours after). I can 100% bet that you will feel good in some way shape or form.
I wouldn’t consider myself an overly spiritual person, however, I do believe in the law of attraction and what we give to the universe we get back out. When people think of meditation they usually link it with spirituality. What I want to say here is that you don’t have to be spiritual to partake in meditation. You just have to give it a go.
10 minutes of meditation first thing when you wake or just before you go to bed at night is an amazing way to clear your mind and shut off from the outside world, albeit just for a short period of time.
Meditation focuses more on your emotional health particularly in reducing depression and enhancing a positive mindset. With a more positive mindset you will take better care of yourself and as a result better care of others; the impact you can see from one small activity can have a huge impact on you and your world around you.
I like to use guided meditations on an app called ‘Calm’ because it allows me to choose what I want to focus on that day e.g. gratitude and I can then lie down and shut off.
We live in such a fast paced world, the art of being able to focus for even 10 minutes a day is something we should all try more to do and it WILL improve your self, whether you intend for it to or not.
Reading is important in the art of self-care, particularly when it comes into the world of self-development. It is really important that we take the time to develop ourselves as individuals because it allows us to understand who we are, understand how we like to be taken care of and then we can implement this into our daily self-care routine.
There are hundreds of self-development books out there so it can be really overwhelming when trying to decide what to read. I would just focus on one thing that you want to improve in your everyday life, e.g. your finances and then I would google books that have been written specifically in relation to that and read it.
‘You are a badass at making money’ by Jen Sincero is one I can recommend for you.
What I a trying to say here is that there is no point reading for the sake of it, so find something you want to improve on and read that. Challenge yourself to read a book a month, just 15 minutes a day. You may just surprise yourself (email me for book recommendations, I would love to share).
Something for you
When you look up daily methods for self-care, the three items I have mentioned above will be there every time. What I want to focus on now is something that isn’t necessarily always drawn out, but you could say it is achieved through a combination of self-care practices.
Life is something we should all be so grateful to get the opportunity to explore, but it is not easy and there are days when we do sit and think ‘what is the point?’. Well you have to make sure that you find what your purpose. It could be that you just really love watching EastEnders every night and if you were sat in your arm chair at 60 years old and looked back on your life and could say that you would be happy if that was all that you had done; then you have nailed your purpose. Some of us may find our purpose in a fulfilling career, in a family or in travel, but the key thing is you have to be the one to decide what it is for you.
So make sure that every day you do something that is for you. Some days, that will be as simple as buying myself a nice coffee or a smoothie from my local café because that makes me feel good, other days it might be building my next personal development coaching programme for clients, but I ALWAYS make sure I give myself something to look forward to, something to live for. This is self-care and you should not feel selfish doing something for you!
I didn’t want this piece to be too long, so I am going to leave it there. But other things that I do as part of my daily routine, and you should explore are:
- Journaling (my feelings, what I am grateful for, happy memories, ideas)
- Sleeping well (between 7-8 hours a night)
- Talking – I love to talk, but never suffer in silence, always speak to people about how you are feeling
- Visualising – I have a mood board as my screensaver on my phone as to what I want in my future
- Balance diet – I LOVE all food and my favourite food is probably chocolate and I eat it everyday, but I make sure that I eat a balanced diet. I do just tend to eat what I want when I want and honestly it works. After years of trying lots of different diets, I figured out it really is as simple as eating when you are hungry.
Even if you just try one of the activities I have mentioned above, I assure you, you will feel something different.
I will leave you with a quote (because I just love them);
‘An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly’.
By Emily Majury