This month my focus is on self-care. I’m passionate about helping people to put themselves on their to-do list and start doing more things regularly to nurture and nourish themselves.
Self-care is often regarded as being selfish – looking after yourself first and not attending to the needs of others. Putting other people first is polite and appropriate at times. Pouring them the first drink, offering them a cupcake first, allowing them to enter the room first etc. Self-care is different to this, it’s about doing things for yourself that support YOUR mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. Self-care is not being selfish. We all get a buzz from helping others, but you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Why do you need to practice self-care?
The truth is, it’s good for supporting your mental, emotional and physical health and wellbeing. When you’re on a flight the cabin-crew instruct you to put your own oxygen mask on first. This allows you to be in a better position to help others. Putting yourself on your to-do list is no different to this and it will have a positive effect on how you help others. Allowing yourself some me-time promotes feelings of self-worth and self-confidence. We all get a boost from doing something we enjoy.
Being proactive in your self-care gives you a better understanding and relationship with yourself and helps you to identify what you do and don’t like. Self-care encourages a positive mental attitude, helping you to care for others from a place of personal fulfilment.
A lack of self-care can lead to turning your attentions to over caring for others which too can affect you physically and emotionally and could lead to: –
- Low self-esteem
- Resentment of others
- Feeling lethargic
Everyone is different
Many people would like to have time for self-care and have themselves on their to-do list, but they don’t know how to make this happen. I’m always sharing self-care tips with clients and help them to find things they can do that they enjoy and fits into their lifestyle. It takes effort and commitment to include yourself on your to-do list and at times I too struggle to make time to address my needs.
It’s important to remember that not everyone’s self-care activities will look the same. Finding what’s right for you and what fits into your lifestyle is vital if you’re going to make it part of your daily, weekly or monthly routine. Sure, a friend may enjoy having a regular treatment, a relaxing bath, reading a good book, a yoga class or breakfast in bed as part of their self-care activities, but these activities may not be right for you.
How to get started
If self-care is new to you or you’re out of practice, start by taking a personal approach and make a list of all the things you like doing or used to like doing when you had more time, energy and motivation. Take a look at the Action for Happiness Self-care September calendar. Set yourself some bold, realistic goals of what you want to do remembering that these may be determined by a variety of factors. Factors including, what time of day is best for you, how much time you have, what you enjoy doing, your finances and your fitness level. Don’t let these factors limit you, use then to challenge you as to how much you want to do something.
I feel having some time to yourself to attend to your needs is so important as it supports and your mental health but it’s not always easy to make it a priority.
Self-care is not about being self-absorbed, it’s about thinking of and treating yourself in the same way and with the same level of respect that you would your best friend.
Five simple actions to get you started
- Start by making your list of things you would like to do. If you are time poor, include one or two things that you can do within your current routine.
- Be prepared to make changes to your current routine to fit in time for your self-care. Wake up 5 minutes earlier and have your breakfast outside; prepare for bed earlier and read a few more minutes of your favourite book. If you want to learn to ice-skate, changes will need to be made! Write it in your diary and make it happen!
- Keep a diary to record what you plan to do and what you actually did. You’ll be able to see any patterns forming and it will help you to see what works best for you.
- Create some accountability by sharing your self-care activities with a trusted, supportive friend. If it helps, include someone who can join you on an activity – say a regular walk in the park.
- Every day have the intention to nurture your mind, body and spirit. To do this Include in your daily routine, drinking water, eating regular healthy meals, getting enough sleep and rest, going outside and moving your body. Treat yourself with kindness through thinking kind thoughts about yourself and start practicing being mindful in everything you do.
It’s time to start being your own BFF (best friend forever). When others see you respecting yourself enough to care for your mind, body and spirit they will have more respect for you too. But why should I practice self-care? I hear you ask.
Why?………. because you are so worth it!
There are many helpful guides and self-care lists available on the internet. Don’t struggle with your self-care on your own, download my FREE self-care guide. It will help you on your way to a successful self-care routine that works for you.
Sharon lives with her partner Geoff in Warwickshire and they have two adult children. She worked for over 25 years in an office environment, gaining qualifications to degree level in finance, business and management. While there Sharon witnessed and experienced many stressful situations and suffered illnesses which were stress related.
Sharon was advised to make some changes to her lifestyle which included trying complementary therapies. After experiencing the benefits of complementary treatments, Sharon decided to retrain and to share her knowledge and experiences to help others recognise and manage their own physical and emotional stress and anxiety levels.
Sharon has been working as a complementary therapist for over 12 years now, and she loves helping people manage and reduce their stress levels, to feel uplifted, focused, positive and empowered about their lives.
If you would like some help getting clarity on what’s causing your stress and to see how your stress and overwhelm can be managed more effectively, get in touch for a FREE 20-minute Discovery Call to see how I can help you.