SELF CARE - WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?
What does self care mean to you?
Self care means – taking care of your personal hygiene, eating well, getting enough sleep, getting some exercise, making time for social activities and paying attention to your thoughts and feelings
A women’s life can get busy and it can be easy to stop focusing on your health and wellbeing because of that.
Women are nurturers by nature and everyone turns to us for care, love attention, advice, affection etc.
Do you find that you don’t seem to have enough time to focus on you and your needs because you are so busy focusing on other people’s needs and wants?
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming, especially if you have a family member that is ill or you are going through a life crisis such as divorce or separation. Maybe your children are going through a hard time. A lot of women may have their grown up children come to live back with them because something has happened in their life.
It’s time to take a step back and see where you can change your priorities so that you can free up more time for your self care. What is your day to day life like at the moment and how can you change that to free up more time for you.
Self care is important because if you are not looking after your health and wellbeing, you will be no good to anybody else.
“Put your mask on first before helping others”
When you are giving yourself more self care, you will feel happier about yourself and a happier you equals a happier life and outlook on life. This will benefit your family and friends because they will pick up on you being a happier person to be around.
Here are a few tips to help bring more self care into your life:
Buy a journal or planner and a nice pen and get everything out on paper. This is a great way to offload everything in your head and begin to plan out how you can switch and change up your life to bring in more self care.
Are your family helping you around the house to free up more time for you? If not, have a meeting with family to work out a schedule and let them know that they have to help around the house too and that you need more free time. They have to take some responsibility for clearing the plates after dinner, washing the dishes, tidying up and helping with cooking and food shopping. They don’t get a free ride, they live in the house too and need to be taking some responsibility of how a house runs, there is no magic fairy that does the cleaning and the washing!
Have a schedule every week and put it on display for everyone to see what their job is and also what everyone is doing every day socially and put down your time out to exercise and do things you love to do.
Get more in touch with your spiritual side. What are the things you are passionate about and that light you up? Pay more attention to grounding and being in the present and stop your racing mind thinking about the next thing you need to be doing or putting too much focus on the next day or the next week. When you slow down and take in the day you will also be paying more attention to how you are feeling today and start to pay more attention to what your body needs and wants. When you pay more attention to what your body is telling you, you can focus on better health and wellbeing. Have you been ignoring the signs to eat better, drink more water or get more sleep?
When was the last time you stopped to pay attention to your surroundings, the smells, nature, your house, your family etc? When you can be more fully present in your day, you will start to notice more of these things so you can stop to take it all in. What are the smells around you, is your house as tidy as you would like, looking at the flowers, looking at the trees and the colours all around you. This can really make a difference in reducing stress and lifting your mood.
Essential oils can help to calm you and relax you. Young Living Essential Oils are the purest and Grade A therapeutic oils. Your sense of smell is the most powerful of the senses and can trigger memories. I love lavender, which is a multi use oil and can help to transport happy hormones into the brain. Bergamot is another good oil to enhance mood and uplift you. There are so many different oils to choose from, these are just a few that I have mentioned here.
Drink some green tea to help uplift your energy. It contains polyphenols to help boost your energy.
Look at ways to change your diet to help you feel healthier and have more energy. Start small even if it is just drinking more water throughout the day. Start to swap out some things in your cupboard for healthier versions.
What is your relationship with food, is food feeding your emotions and you are reaching for unhealthy options? Journal about your relationship with food and do your own research into how your eating habits are impacting your life. If you are emotional eating, this will really help you to find your why. I am not talking about denying yourself foods that you like, it is just so you can set boundaries around food and to heal your emotions so that you are better equipped to have more self control around food and to let go of the power that food has on you. Take your time and be kind to yourself. Take a few small steps every day and build on the changes.
Book in some exercise every week and stick to a schedule. Challenge yourself and set some goals to keep you motivated. Don’t compare yourself to others, you are you and women are all shapes and sizes, there is no one size to fit all. You are unique in your own special way. You will feel so much better with yourself and have more confidence. Think about how good your joints will feel, how clear your mind will be and be able to maintain your weight much more effectively. Build on muscle tone. You don’t have to have a “six pack” or have bulging muscles to have muscle tone and strength. Keep focused on your consistency and enjoy the process.
Do some stretching, yoga or pilates. These type of exercise are very beneficial to help with balance and strength. Sometimes we forget to stretch and this is so important to keep your ligaments and your muscles healthy. If you work at a computer every day, doing some simple neck and shoulder stretches during the day can help with stiffness.
When was the last time you treated yourself? It doesn’t have to be expensive, it could be a new book or reading a book, getting outside in nature, going for a walk. A treat doesn’t have to include money, do anything that makes you happy and helps you relax.
Choose your thoughts wisely. Are you self sabotaging with your thoughts? This can leave you feeling drained, sad with a lack of motivation and have an impact on everyone around you. You can also be betraying your own self worth.
How are you feeling? Don’t forget to pick up on your feelings and don’t ignore your feelings. They are telling you something. Ask yourself some questions around what you are feeling. Are you tired, lonely, anxious, fatigued, unhappy etc.
You could set yourself a morning ritual so that you can set the tone for the day and make the most out of your day. Here are a few things you could include in your daily ritual.
Check in with yourself and give yourself some love.
Think of 3 things to be grateful for today.
Say an affirmation such as “I am pain free and totally in sync with life”.
Here are a few more tips from the Tiny Buddha website for the body, mind and soul:
Here is a TedX talk from Andy Puddicombe about mindfulness.
Download my Self Care Tracker for more help to make changes.