Self Care Practice
Self-Care is definitely a hot word of the moment, and whilst not all of us can afford to jet off to the Maldives or even a Spa Day every week, there are some really easy ways we can incorporate some self-care into our lives. But why is self-care so important and why should we all be looking at ways we can take some time out of our lives to look after ourselves?
There’s no denying that we are all BUSY. How many times a week do you read a text or email and forget to respond, or have an important appointment that you miss? We now have to juggle a career, earning a living, a social life, keeping healthy, food shopping, paying bills, possibly children, partners, family, and keeping sane and happy at the same time! Any many people on top of this also have added issues, such as mental health problems, or long term health conditions. There is no denying that more and more people are suffering with stress related illnesses and anxiety. So why should be make time amongst all of this for self care?
To show up in all these areas of our lives as the Superstars that we are, takes energy! Each aspect expects you to be 100% on point all the time, and that really does mean that you need your cup to be full. To maintain a full cup, and ultimately your own happiness, then doing things that keep you happy, relaxed, and enable you to unwind are important, and many would argue (including me) that self-care is vital. You might be the sort of person that gives, ALL THE TIME, or you may know someone like this, and you see how quickly they can burnout or suffer from exhaustion if they aren’t looking after themselves properly. Its very easy to suffer with burnout if you are not making time for your own self care practise.
Many people will say that self-care is selfish. It is often frowned upon in our culture to take care of ourselves and take time out of a busy schedule. We are led to believe that we need to be busy ALL the time. Honestly, this isn’t the case. You can work better and more efficiently if you are well rested, and full of energy. If you are working every hour under the sun then there’s every chance that you are not being productive in the way you work. Self care is not selfish! Self care means that you can show up for others, you can work hard at your job, you can be a great parent, and you can be the best version of yourself.
Now I have convinced you that you need self-care in your life, what can you do to best implement it? Self-care is totally unique to the person, and actually will probably change throughout your life and even with the seasons. Self care is about doing what makes you happy! This can be simple things like a walk along the beach, or dancing to your favourite song. In winter you might like to take a bath with your favourite candle and a book, in summer it might be half an hour sitting in the sunshine with a nice drink. Whatever self care looks like to you, I think its good to split it into 3 categories, so you can ensure you have all areas of your life covered! Most importantly its about knowing yourself properly and it’s a bit of a journey of self-discovery.
Emotional – what can you do to help yourself release the emotions that you are feeling? Do you have a good friend or a family member you can talk to, do you keep a journal that you can pour your heart into, do you go to a womens circle or a support group? How do you best relax? Would a monthly massage help? Does exercise help you to unwind?
Physical – What can you do to support your physical body? That could mean feeding your body with nutritious food, eliminating the foods that you know don’t agree with you, avoiding alcohol or refined sugar, or even an icecream on the beach (guilt-free!) if thats what you enjoy! Moving the body, going on a daily walk, swimming once a week, a yoga class or whatever activity you enjoy. This could also include seeing a osteopath, or an acupunturist, or another health professional.
Spiritual – Whatever your beliefs, you may find this area can help you to feel more content and grounded in this often crazy world. This could be from organised religion, or even a yoga practice, chanting, mindfulness, devotional singing, or even praying. Daily affirmations and positive thinking can also be part of your self-care practise.
Another important aspect is to have some fun – going out with some friends, dancing, laughing til you think your going to wet yourself, having fun is a really important and can make us feel alive.
As someone who lives with a chronic, life long health condition, and works as a Holistic Therapist which can often challenge me emotionally and physically, I can honestly say that without my self-care practice I wouldn’t be able to carry on and do what I do. I see first hand how this impacts my life, and I do not feel guilty about paying out for treatments for myself or buying good quality food. I build this in to my life in a way that means that I can afford to do it, and will prioritise this over other things.
My self-care for today was a walk along the beach with a Cornish Pasty! Which I totally enjoyed and it nourished my soul!
Everyones self-care practise is unique to them, and is so individual. I would recommend everyone takes some time to look at their life and see how they could incorporate some self care into their week. I promise you, you will thank me for it!