Self care is extremely important. Not just because it is on your for you page or the latest trending topic, but because now more than ever we need to pay attention to and look after ourselves emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally. Being too busy for self care is an illusion. Our lives can become hectic, we can be busy but when you prioritise something there will always be time for it.
So, first off, well done. The fact that you have made it to this blog means you are starting to recognise your need for self care. Thank yourself for making that step. Something that will be so beneficial to do through your self care journey is to praise yourself and celebrate the small victories. It is unlikely that you will wake up every morning and win the lotto, be hired to your dream job or reach a substantial life goal. Therefore, to create happiness every day, celebrate your small achievements and recognise your victories. Maybe that means praising yourself for the delicious breakfast you cooked, maybe it is that you cooked at all or maybe it is remembering to even have breakfast. The point is that when you are kind to yourself, there is always something to celebrate.
Secondly, self care is not difficult. Everyday tasks can become self care if there is intent behind them. Cooking a meal, making your bed, having a shower or reading a book. These are all fantastic examples of self care that you may already be practising regularly but just don't view them as self care because at the time you are distracted, on your phone or trying to get the task finished as soon as possible. To turn these chores into self care, put intent and meaning behind them. Take making your bed for example, doing this every morning can be a fantastic act of self care. It means before you even get dressed you have achieved and completed something, and for those of you who like a lay in, it is a reason to get out of bed and start your day. Making your bed is also an act of kindness to your future self. There is something so inviting about a well made bed and when you walk back into your room that evening, ready for bed, that is what you'll be met by. That is self care, prioritising your needs and being kind to your past, present and future self.
Once you are celebrating your small victories and turning everyday tasks into forms of self care, you are ready to move onto intentionally planning time and actions for your self care. Again, this next step can be taken in many forms and should be moulded by your needs at the time. For some this will mean giving attention to yourself spiritually by starting meditation each day, taking time to be still, reflect and be present (see our other blog on meditation for beginners for tips) practising self discovery in the form of starting a journal, setting goals or asking yourself some difficult questions. Maybe you need emotional attention and time to work on stress management, verbalising emotions or practising forgiveness. Perhaps your needs are social, particularly during this pandemic our social needs can be neglected so self care may be calling a loved one, joining a team or having a family dinner. Another common need is physical needs which can be practised in the form of yoga, working out, walking or going to bed early. The hope is that you will begin to easily recognise the form of self care you require and be prioritising yourself on a consistent basis. That you will recognise in your needs and meet them, meaning proactive steps towards positive mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health.
I hope this gave you a brief idea of what self care is and how you can start practising now!