The importance of self care

Self care, spending a little time prioritising ourselves, is often the first thing that gets pushed aside in our busy, everyday lives.  It’s often when we’ve gone too far that we finally wake up and realise the importance of nourishing ourselves and putting ourselves first.  This is when we also understand that self-care benefits not just ourselves but those around us too.  It’s the old ‘put your own lifejacket on first’ scenario, which is really so true.

I think this pandemic has helped us all to see that the small things are the things that matter.  Dedicating some time to yourself is one of these very easy acts that makes an enormous difference to your emotional and physical wellbeing.

Benefits of self care

Making sure you make time each week to do a little something you enjoy is an amazing, simple way to boost your mood, help with stress and anxiety,as well as increase you energy and confidence levels.  We can avoid arriving at a state of total overwhelm by putting ourselves at the top of our to-do-list.

There are so many ways to do this and like so many of the topics we look at with Health Coaching, it’s just a matter of knowing the importance of what you want to do and then changing your habits to prioritise it.

Simple self-care ideas

The trick is to understand that taking care of yourself doesn’t have to take hours out of your day.  There are so many things you can do, you just need to think about what makes you happy and what helps you to relax.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Have a bath.

Sounds simple, but when was the last time you actually did it?  A nice soak for 20 minutes in a hot bath, in peace and quiet, can relieve tension, help you relax and also sleep better.  Even taking time for a foot bath, or to sit down and moisturize those poor, overly-sanitized hands can do the trick.

Enjoy a treat.

Actually sit down and savour something that you love to eat.  Think about what you’re having, instead of the mindless eating that we often end up doing.  Enjoy and appreciate a moment of indulgence.  Alternatively, make your morning coffee or tea a ritual.  Stop getting ready for the day and concentrate for a moment on what you’re drinking and enjoy this time for yourself.

Get outside.

This is so important.  Being outside in nature has many proven benefits.  Again, it doesn’t mean you have to go for a long walk each day, even 5 minutes can improve your mood.  If you can’t go out for long, look for inspiration in your immediate vicinity – the colour of the sky, the leaves on a tree, tiny green shoots or flowers growing in the gaps of a stone wall or the pavement. Stop, actually look at what you’re seeing and take a deep breath.

Write yourself a love note.

Sounds weird?  Think about how easy it is for you to compliment and express love for others and how often you do it.  When was the last time you did that for yourself?  Write something you love about yourself on a post-it and stick it on your  computer or next to your bed.  Writing in the third person can calm your anxiety and other intense emotions as well as giving you a confidence and creativity boost.  “Dear [your name], I’m really proud of you because…..”.

Dance!

Find one of your favourite songs, turn up the music and let yourself go!

Think about what you enjoy doing and make sure you take a little time to fit it in today!  You will thank yourself for it later.

 

Lindsay Guest

 

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Thanks to Alisa Anton on Unsplash for the photo