I recently had a client come to me because it seemed to her that of late everything was going wrong and life was really difficult. She felt like she wasn’t in the flow with her work, her relationship, and her health.
Looking after ourselves is so important, yet incredibly; many people are so busy looking after everybody else’s need that we forget about ourselves. We get so caught up with the hustle and bustle of life and technology keeping us connected 24 hours a day, that we become stressed and burnt out – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Self-care is about stopping, even briefly, everyday to rest, recharge and pay special attention to our mind and body. It’s a simple check in process that helps us to recalibrate to maintain our health in homeostasis or in a state of equilibrium. It’s a balancing and restoring activity which, without regular self care, causes our body to become open to stress and illnesses like high blood pressure, headaches, and anxiety just to name a couple. We can even become overwhelmed if we take on other people’s energies and issues.
Ask yourself: How have I been neglecting myself? Stop and write down now, all the ways. This is a very therapeutic exercise to do as it often creates excellent insights into your habits as well as opening the release channel for emotions. Please spend a few minutes just writing down how you neglect yourself.
Self-care will help you to stay healthy, cope better with stresses of life and work, release mental fog, prevent exhaustion, and generally manage day-to-day issues as well as significant events if they should arise. Self-care helps your body to release happy hormones and chemicals that are so important in the rest and recovery phase. What are self-care activities you can easily do any time and any where?
Connection with Nature – this is probably the easiest activity you can do but often the most forgotten. Spending time in nature does amazing things for your body and mind that automatically causes the release of relaxation chemicals in the body. You don’t need to trek out into the forest to get connected with nature, just simply sit on the grass or under a tree somewhere (lunch break or when you get home), even if it is only for 10mins.
Creating Balance – creating that work/life balance is essential. Allocate the time for switching off from devices, social media, TV, and noise. I find the best time for that is when you first get home. Set a period of 1 hour for the whole household and you will be amazed at how much more peaceful and relaxed your lives will be.
Exercise – looking after yourself involves participation in some form of exercise, preferably on a daily basis. Any exercise that gets you sweaty and your heart rate elevated is best. Even a walk around the block is better than nothing, and lets you check out what’s happening in the neighbourhood
Relaxation techniques – there are plenty of different types of relaxation techniques you can try in your self care regime including meditation (5-20mins), slow deep breathing, getting a massage, foot rub, long bath or shower, and even just having a nap.
Social connection – close contact with positive people is a great component of self-care. The right people can be uplifting and grounding. It’s even better if you can get some hugs. Hugs induce amazing chemical releases that create calmness, relaxation, sense of belonging, and feeling of connectedness.
Essential Oils – the use of good quality essential oils for diffusing through your home or office and rubbing on your body are great ways for caring for your body. There are so many different blends for different actions, so choose a couple that feel right to you and enjoy the aromas.
Gratitude Journal – this is a great technique for self care. Thinking about and writing down what you are grateful for is an excellent way of attracting more gratitude into you life and helps you to appreciate all the wonderful things that are happening around you.
Self touch – if you can’t get a massage, self touch can give you a similar effect on your body. From when we are born, touch is an essential aspect of our development and feeling of safety and connection. Self touch is slow gentle stroking over your arms, legs and stomach, feeling the warmth of your hands.
Sunshine – getting out in the sunshine can be a great mood booster and well as providing some essential vitamins for the body. Aim for 15mins at a time when it is safest to do so, ideally sunrise or sunset. It’s a great opportunity to combine it with the nature connection technique.
Mental health day – I know your boss won’t be happy with this suggestion, however, sometimes we do need a mental health day where we stay home from work and rest and recharge. Your boss will be happy with your greater productivity on the days following.
Ask for help – if you can’t seem to be able to manage some self-care, ask for help. A life coach would be an excellent choice, or any other professional that can help you to identify areas in your life that require balancing.
Creating a plan for your self-care is a positive step towards balancing your life and truly looking after yourself. Being balanced allows you to do all the things you want and to look after the people you need to.
Self Care/Pamper Plan
In a notebook or journal, write down the following sentence: “If I could really love and care for myself, what would I be doing differently?” Now shut your eyes and take 5 long slow deep breaths, filling your belly and feeling yourself relax and sink down into your chair. Think about the question on your page and allow the thoughts, words, sounds and feelings to come through. What would you be doing to care for yourself? Write down your answers and keep writing for at least 20 minutes.
Review your list. It’s time to create an action plan. What are the first activities you need to do? When can you do them? Schedule a time in your diary right now and block out an appointment with yourself to do that activity. Regular activities create habits and routines and your body and mind will definitely love you for that. Be true to yourself and remember that you deserve to look after yourself and care for your wellbeing. You are so important and worth it.
You can also download my specially created self-care meditation audio to add to your self-care activities. The audio will help you to incorporate some of the self care activities into your daily life and to create balance and harmony. I promise you will love the audio track. It’s only short and you can listen to it every day. Click here: https://easycpe.lpages.co/self-care-meditation-audio/