What is self-care?
Self-care is basically any activity that helps recharge your battery. I think we often see self-care as simply pampering – a massage, a facial, retail therapy. And while these activities can be absolutely wonderful and are a form of self-care, self-care practices don’t actually have to look like this, or cost you any money.
Enjoying 5 minutes of silence while you sip on a hot cup of tea.
Diffusing some relaxing essential oils and taking a moment to stop and focus on breathing them in and enjoying them.
Catching up with a good friend over a cuppa.
Walking on soft grass barefoot in the practice of grounding.
Dancing around your living room to your favourite song.
Going for a dip in the ocean.
Closing your eyes to enjoy the sunshine on your face.
These are all fantastic forms of self-care that you can enjoy daily (well, some are weather dependant ;-p ) and are ways that we can refill our energy cups. Because let’s face it – being ALL the things we are (wives, girlfriends, mothers, daughters, employeers / employers, taxi drivers, referees, small children’s snack bitches…..you get the point!), can be completely exhausting.
Self-care helps us take care of not just the physical, but also the emotional and spitirual aspects of ourselves.
I know that myself, if I don’t set aside time for some self-care activities each day and make them a priority, I get to a point after a few weeks where I feel like I just can’t cope. Snappy mum rears her ugly head!
Self-care can also mean stepping away from the things that bring undue stress into your life – jobs, relationships, engagements. Learning when to say no is such an integral, and often overlooked aspect of self-care. We live in a society where busyness is worn like a badge of honour – when really we should be applauding those that put their own happiness first (after all – happy people are usually the ones we want to be around, as they bring happiness to our lives too!).
There are some fabulous physical benefits to self-care too:
Reduction in circulating stress hormones, which leads to:
Less holding on to fat around the abdomen
Increased mental clarity – thanks to a reduction of inflammation in the brain (the body’s stress response is completely inflammatory)
And best of all- being the kind of person that YOU like being around!
3 simple steps to practice self-care:
UNPLUG. Step away from that phone / iPad/ TV / Computer. Research has shown that increaseing anxiety rates in both adults and children are proportionate to technology use. Step away from it for set times each day. Leave it at home when you go for a walk. And always keep phones and othr devices out of the bedroom when you’re trying to sleep.
REST. This can be as simple as enjoying a hot cup of tea, sitting quietly for 5 minutes, meditating, sitting in the sun, say no to that social engagement you feel you should go to, rather than wanting to go to.
RECHARGE. Consciouly decide to do the things that make you feel either happy or calm. That can be chatting with a friend or sitting in nature in solitude.
And remember there is no right or wrong whe it comes to self-care – we’re all individuals that enjoy different things. The only ‘wrong’ is not practising ANY self-care at all!