The Art of Self Care

What is self care? Well this is sort of a tricky one to answer as we all care for ourselves in different ways. But in correct terms it is taking care of yourself mentally, emotionally and physically without the need of others but also it maybe recognising you need help from others such as family, friends or your doctor.  Especially over the past few years we have often been carrying the burden of events, worrying about what is happening to you, your family and others. .If you are experiencing or feeling that you need to support yourself in any of the above areas you may need to make some changes from small to big as ignoring our needs can have serious physical, emotional and even spiritual ramifications. Here are a few simple steps for putting yourself first at some stage of the week.

  • Discover Your Own Self-Care Style – The first step involves defining what self-care means to you. For some it’s about solitude and silence, for some it’s catching up with like minded friends or trying out a new activity that brings you joy (like exercise!)
  • Make Some Changes – Once you know your self-care style, then take some action. This can be as simple as picking up the phone to meet for a coffee and then perhaps make it a weekly catch up to taking a mini retreat once a month – now that sounds good to me! 
  • Prioritising – You cannot give to yourself or others from an empty cup, so put it into your diary.
  • Freeing from Being Perfect – We can feel we need to be there for everyone but once you release that need for control and say close enough is good enough it can be life changing, so drop the laundry or answering that email or text immediately and chill a little
  • Listen to Your Emotions – We can own our emotions and how we react so listen to them and if being around a ‘Negative Nancy’ gets on your goat then don’t catch up with them or if you need a kind word find that friend who has a good ear.
  • Learn the Magic Word – “NO” The word no in my book is there for a reason, and that is to say it! When you have too much on or you simply don’t want to do something because it may be against your better judgement then if you find the flat our No I can’t try instead  phrases such as, ‘I need to look at my schedule and get back to you’ or ‘sorry that doesn’t work for me, maybe another time’
  • Self-Care Reconsidered – Wondering if you’re doing a decent job of taking care of yourself — or how your self-care strategies could be improved? Review the following questions they may give you some insights:
    • Healthy Eating
      • How often do you finish a meal feeling like it was both healthy and satisfying  and that you actually tasted it?
      • How often do you sit down with family or friends around the kitchen table and have a leisurely meal? 
      • How often do you get to use whole, healthy foods in your food preparation instead of prepackaged meals or snacks?
    • Healthy Body
      • Do you struggle to find time for exercise? Sleep? Outdoor time? How often do you stretch?
      • When was the last time you had a massage or took a long bath? 
      • What kind of movement makes you truly happy? How regularly do you do it?
    • Healthy Spirit
      • Do you often find yourself saying yes when you’d like to say no?
      • When was the last time you were alone for an extended period of time without being “productive” (catching up on work, cleaning the house, etc.)?
      • How often do you ask for support from friends, family, your partner or spouse?
      • How can you be there, doing that, more of the time?

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