Self care is turning into quite the buzz word. Everyone talks about it. I’ve heard it been used in movies, characters making reference to “taking a self care day”. In my opinion, self care isn’t an easy fix or a quick plaster for your problems. It is an ongoing process and can make or break your mental health. When our mood is good, we naturally self care and treat ourselves well.
However when we are going through what we perceive as a rough patch, we may not treat ourselves as well and may be unhelpful to ourselves. Examples include: eating junk food (makes us feel terrible), not eating enough (makes us feel terrible), sitting around in our PJs and not exercising (makes us feel terrible) and/ or going on consecutive boozy/ binging nights out (makes us feel terrible). You get my gist.
One of my first posts on Instagram, and the banner to this site, shows a few things that I use to self care. It may not be to everyone’s taste but it keeps me afloat. Briefly and in no particular order, this is what the items mean to me:
- Beach: just imagining standing on the sand and watching the waves come in and out automatically relaxes me. In fact this is the imagery that I replayed over and over during my birth and it kept me calm throughout.
- Sunset: Something in this world that money cannot buy. All you have to do is look up. If you’re lucky, in the UK you might even see a few colours in the sky. The best sunset I have ever seen was driving back to my Mum’s on the M6.
- Things to Do notepad: I have a continually busy mind. Lists are imperative to my mental health as I can scribble all that is going on in my mind and it often feels like I don’t have to think about it again. It’s very cathartic to complete a to-do list.
- Sunflowers: seasonal flowers always have a place on my dining table. It makes me feel present in the moment.
- Globe: I love to visit new places and sometimes I just look up places to travel to for fun. My current place of interest is Sorrento. Apparently it isn’t very baby friendly so I will have to wait!
- Apple: Eating healthily is helpful to my state of mind. I feel that my body runs a little more like clockwork.
- I’m a Hot Mum heatbag: Pop it in the microwave and place over my shoulders. It releases any tightness I have in my muscles.
- Bollywood Movie: Ahhh I am a serious fan of anything related to Bollywood. I love the colour, the drama and oh the dancing. If I’m having a particularly bad day, I throw on some classic tunes and it distracts me for at least 4 minutes.
- Furry scarf: When I dress myself up, I like the way I feel. I particularly love this scarf, it makes me feel instantly glamourous.
This isn’t the complete list. Not even close. I haven’t got my running trainers in there, my smelly candles or Lush bath bombs.
Try thinking of what you would include on your self care schedule. How can you be helpful to yourself on a daily basis?
Self care for the mind: This is when we try to achieve stillness of the mind so it feels less clogged with the daily drain. Achieving this could help you get more mental (and in turn, physical) energy. Could you try mindfulness or meditation? Or attempt some mind engaging and sufficiently distracting activities. Try something new out of your routine. Write a to do list. Declutter your home.
Self care for the body: This is often the most noticeably hit when we fall out of our self care practice. Simply deepening your breathing for a few breaths can loosen tension in your shoulders and back. Going for a walk, jog or dancing in the kitchen. Eating a nutritious meal. Moisturise your body. Sit in the sun.
Self care for the soul: I talk a lot about self nourishment. I experience it as a warm fuzzy feeling in my body. You may experience it differently. I get it when I sing along (badly) to a favourite Bollywood track, or with a cuddle from my baby when he’s not feeling very well. Other activities could include doing an act of kindness e.g. opening a door for them or have a self date where you treat yourself to a dinner and enjoy your own company. The best dates I have ever had have been when I am sitting alone, people watching, eating pasta with a glass of wine. There is something very freeing about spending time alone and learning to be comfortable in your own company. Sorry Husband, the dates we have been on have been nice too!
I hope this post has given you a few ideas on how to self care. It is simply fitting in helpful activities on a daily basis, and being mindful that in times of stress, your goal should be to increase the self care activities, not decrease them.
If you have a few minutes to spare, why don’t you try a self care activity right now. I am going to turn my laptop off now and moisturise my hands. All this typing is causing havoc for my skin. 😉
Hope you have had a good weekend ladies and gents.
Lots of love