If you Google the term self-care, you’ll get about 3,750,000,000 results.
What you will also see is this definition “Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept in theory, it’s something we very often overlook. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety”
There are many more definitions, I know. I’d go even further and claim it is vital for the wellbeing and happiness of each and every one of us. How we all do it may be different, but nonetheless it is essential as we are all human beings; not human doings, not robots.
Let my experiences shine a light on self-care for you
I want to have a serious chat about this, it’s not going to go away. Yet some people are still struggling to find time to do what they need to do to take care of themselves, to give themselves a break, literally and/or metaphorically, so that they can show up with energy. We have to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of each other.
Did you know your energy is what introduces you when you enter a room? I’ve had the tough life lesson in self-care when I was diagnosed with cancer. I had to really reflect on what self-care was about for me, what I needed, not only to bring myself back to full health, but to be the happiest, healthiest, most fulfilled version of myself. What did I need to say yes to, no to, stop doing, start doing, prioritise, who and what drained me and how could I reduce toxicity in my life? I finally really got that it was my responsibility. Ineeded to prioritise my wellbeing and get it on my action list.
The fact was if I didn’t make it happen, there wasn’t going to be a knight in shining armour turn up. So, love or loathe the term, but you need to be finding ways to integrate this into your life. It doesn’t matter if you are a busy mum, a carer, teacher, business owner. Why? Because simply it is “The route of feeling whole, healthy, happy and your best you”
What can Covid teach us about self-care?
Now there is a lesson about this in COVID! Despite the downsides of COVID, some clients are telling me life has been better since lockdown. That is after they got over the guilt of thinking that was a bad thing to say! They had finallyrealised they were on the hamster wheel, waiting for some event to stop it so they could get off. This universal pause has certainly stopped the wheel! These clients realised they were running on empty. Saying yes all the time, eating on the go, always on email, office in hand all the time in the format of their mobile, long commutes, giving up what they knew they needed most i.e. a rest, a chance to breathe, in order to do another email, just get this thing done.
Doing, doing, doing!
There is always something to be done.
Now some clients are figuring out what they really need to be the best for themselves, their business, their job and their loved ones, their fulfilment. They have appreciated and gained from the value of reflecting on what is working and what is not and really appreciating that rest and recovery makes them more productive in the long run.
Having that morning routine where you exercise, meditate, take time for breakfast, whatever their thing is helps set people up for success and a truly productive day. And it is amazing the regular impact of merely five or ten minutes can have! Don’t underestimate the power of many tiny noticeable things like starting the day with setting your intention, moving away from your desk for 5 minutes, taking regular breaks, shutting the laptop down, eating lunch away from desk. The list goes on. My clients have told me that their challenge now is how to stop themselves jumping back on when we move on to our new norm, (we will talk about that in another blog.)
The fact is there is never the perfect time.
For some people COVID hasn’t meant less, just more. Self-care is just not something you can store up and fit in one day when your life miraculously changes to accommodate it! If you can’t fit it in now, it’s highly unlikely something will happen in 6 months from now that permits it. The more you ignore it the more likely you are to get a wakeup call you don’t necessarily want. So, what I want to tell you is that it is not an external event that you need, more an internal decision. And like everything, it begins in the mind and it starts with you knowing this:
YOU ARE WORTH LOOKING AFTER.
Repeat after me as many times as you need to hear it and then set the intention to become aware of the healthy, positive ways you can take care of yourself. Learn what nourishes you, revives you, helps you rest, replenishes your energy. It’s a priority not a luxury.
The 7 secrets to self-care
- Self-care isn’t selfish
2. We all need permission to take timeout
3. Make regular appointments with yourself
4. Plan your me time
5. Enjoy it
6. Observe the improvement
7. Repeat cycle
So, take one small step today and why not just give some thought to these questions:
- What nourishes me, what drains me, what things do I look forward to?
• How do I feel when I do these things?
• How can I increase my nourishers and reduce my drainers?
• What do I need more of or less of in my life?
Please get in touch if you would like a special self-care permission coaching session to help you get started. Get in touch [email protected] and we will figure out where you are, where you would like to be and identify some simple steps and habits to get you going. You know the answer, I am here to give you the permission slip. Let’s not forget, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.