How To Introduce Self-Care To Your Life
In this modern world we are caught up in a juggling act of trying to balance work life with home life. This sometimes means that we end up neglecting our own needs. That can lead to tiredness, stress, exhaustion and even complete burnout.
I’ve been guilty of that myself in the past; working so hard that I have neglected my own needs and not taken the best care of myself. It’s not a mistake that I allow myself to make any more. Now I always find a bit of time for some self-care.
So, what is self-care?
Essentially, self-care is simply looking after yourself in a healthy way. Even a simple task such as brushing your teeth can be considered self-care, but of course there is more to the concept than just brushing your teeth twice a day (you do brush your teeth twice each day, right?).
Taking some time out to look after your physical and mental well-being is key for a healthy, balanced, happy life. It’s important to do the things that you want to do; not just the things that you need to do.
When I was thinking about this blog, I considered the reasons why, as a society, we do not indulge in self-care enough. I think one of the biggest obstacles is not knowing how to indulge in self-care, almost as if there is a ‘right’ way to do it. The truth is that there is no right or wrong way, of course. It is about simply taking action. The rest is down to your own individual personal preference.
For some people, sitting down and relaxing is self-care. For others it is going to the gym or for a run. Even catching up with family or friends is a form of self-care as it’s conducive to your mental well-being.
Self-care is essentially doing whatever you want to do (and not feeling guilty about it!). It shouldn’t be a forced part of your routine, but something that naturally occurs. Otherwise it wouldn’t be fun, would it?
Personally, my forms of self-care are pounding the treadmill at the gym, walking my dogs, catching up with friends over lunch, and sitting down to binge watch a few episodes of the latest television show that I have been recording. They are all activities that I enjoy doing, and I feel they are positive for my physical and mental well-being.
I also reward myself with positive experiences when I have completed something that I have to do. For example, if I have some paperwork that I need to complete, I will tell myself that after finishing the paperwork I will take the dogs for a walk or go out to meet a friend for coffee. It not only serves as motivation to complete the task in hand, but it is also something to look forward to.
How can you introduce a bit more self-care into your life?
If you have a busy, full on lifestyle, just stop for a minute. Right now, stop what you are doing for sixty seconds. Close your eyes, breathe, and notice how good it feels to take some time out, however brief it may be. Do this several times each day, just so you can take a bit of time out, and it will soon become a natural part of your day.
Think about what you would like to do, and then do it. If you want to see a friend, pick up the phone and arrange to meet them. If you fancy having a nice, hot bubble bath when you get home, allow yourself the time to do that.
Eat healthily. This will improve your physical health, which in turn can positively impact on your mental well-being.
Get active, even just ten minutes of walking each day can be beneficial.
Reward yourself! Promise yourself rewards for completing some of the tasks that you have to do. Your rewards must be things that you want to do.
And of course… Brush your teeth twice each day. Your mind and body are temples and I believe they should be treated as such. Working hard, being able to pay the bills, focusing on your family, and all the other things that we have to do in life are of course essential, but don’t forget to add taking care of yourself to the equation.