We often see self care as an indulgence. But it really isn't. It's a routine and necessary practice to ensure the safety of our body, mind, and soul. Here are 7 simple self care tips that you can start to build into your daily routine to self care.
I know I go on and on and on about boundaries. But they are so important. Like next to oxygen itself important. Otherwise you will end up used, abused and burnt out. Set. Your. Boundaries. What do I mean by this? Plan your time realistically, schedule regular breaks, input joy and pleasure into those breaks (even if it is just one Fortnum and Mason Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie), don't over promise and under-deliver - (it's a serious motivation killer), and learn to say NO.
Set time aside to check in with how you are feeling. You can use a simple form of restorative questions for this. What am I feeling? How is this affecting me? What do I need? How can I do this?
Plan it or Let it Go
If it is within your control - plan it. I use a simple frame to do this, (see below). If it is not within your control - Let it go!
Recognise that Fear is the Shadow of Gratitude
When we fear something it is most often because we have something of value that we don't want to lose. Turn it on it's head and shine a light on that shadow of fear by identifying what it is that you have that you fear losing. Then say thank you for being lucky enough to have that. The Gratitude Attitude.
This might mean getting up 30 minutes earlier to enjoy the first cup of tea of the day in peace and quiet. It might be a work out routine after work, or a 30 minute meditation before bed. It might even be to write a list of things you want to achieve the next day (but remember, don't over promise and under deliver - even to yourself!)
Pay Attention to Negative Self Talk
Monitor your self talk. We are prone to the negative self talk which is so subtle and insidious, but oh so dangerous at eroding our sense of value and worth. The "I can't", "I'll fail," "Who Do I think I am?" "What's the point?" language which over time translates into a sense of us not being enough. Don't do it. When you hear yourself saying negative things about yourself in your head, imagine you are saying it to your best friend. What would they say back to you? This is the advice you should listen to.
Hug it Out
This is a particular favourite of mine. I'm a hugger. And there is so much evidence out there that hugging calms the nervous system and helps us to co-regulate. Find someone to be your co-hugger, Covid bubbles permitting. (And always ask permission otherwise it's just not cool and quite possibly illegal).
LJ Sayers is a restorative practitioner, trainer, mum, partner, mediocre saxophonist and excellent chocolate quality controller.