We’ve all heard about self-care and how important this is to our mental health and
physical wellbeing. Perhaps you practiced self-care before but have let it trickle away, forgetting
the importance of taking care of yourself (or haven’t even started yet). As the pandemic
continues to evolve it might be time to review your self-care plan to make sure you doing the
best you can to look after yourself.
Doing this, helps you identify what you value and require as part of your day-to-day
life and is a helpful reminder of what’s important to you.
Self-care refers to the kinds of things you might do regularly to reduce stress and maintain
and enhance your wellbeing (exercise, dancing, singing, being out in nature, being creative,
music, yoga, meditation, gardening, cycling....there are so many.....what's yours?)
For me, I love being outside in nature and each season brings its own joy. The plants and
trees budding into life in Spring, the warm summer evenings relaxing in the garden in the
Summer, walking through the woods in Autumn and catching red and orange leaves as they
fall and curling up by the fire on a cold winter's day. On a daily basis, yoga, meditation and
being mindful and in the moment helps me not to worry too much about the future.
Below are some different life areas where you might want to implement self-care activities:
Identify the areas of your life where you can implement self-care activities and write down what you currently do and what you can do to improve (or want to start) under each category.
Once you’ve listed the activities that you have identified as important to your well-being and that you can engage in daily or weekly to take care of yourself, put the plan somewhere you will see the it every day as a reminder of what to do, and just how important you are.
An example of these may be to:
Workplace/Professional - If you're working from home, keep set working hours so you don't get over tired and take regular breaks from your laptop, breath and stretch your body. Perhaps have some flowers or a plant on your desk. Have a ritual to close the working day and cleanse the area so that your work space keeps separate from home space. Light a scented candle, take a walk, open the window to let fresh air blow through. Close the working day and leave it there.
Physical - Drink lots of water and take regular exercise even if it's just 20 minutes a day with a brisk walk in the fresh air. Exercise releases happy endorphins into the body and can instantly boost your mood.
Mental - Reduce 'bad news' that can make you feel anxious - steer conversations away from the negative, only listen to the news occasionally, listen to uplifting music instead of the radio to avoid phone-ins and negative conversations, listen to positive Podcasts, limit social media - it's so easily to negatively compare yourself to others so regularly detox from the toxic,
Emotional - keep a diary and write down your thoughts, listen to your self talk and notice if this is negative. If so, practice swopping a negative thought with a positive thought, create a gratitude jar and put something in it every way, repeat positive affirmations or mantra's every day.
Spiritual - try grounding meditations, mindfulness and breathing exercises to connect into yourself.
Relationships - Practice kindness and thoughtfulness towards others. What we give we receive, so if we give out goodness we just might get it back.
If you take time to look after yourself, you'll start to notice that your batteries re-charge and not only can you look after others more satisfactorily, you'll see the mental and physical benefits with yourself too.