On Sunday evening I spent a wonderful hour online with a group of ladies, talking about things self care and self love. You see, I believe one of the most important relationships, if not THE most important, is the one you have with yourself. Self care, self love, self belief, self confidence, self compassion etc There’s a reason they begin with self, only you can do it! This sets the tone for all your other relationships.
A few things became pretty apparent, very quickly. The first being that, even though everyone had different personal situations – some with babies, grown up kids, no kids, ageing parents, working from home, working in large corporations, self employed I could go on, many really struggled with the guilt of taking care of themselves. Words like indulgent and selfish came to mind for most people. Now I am here to tell you that thinking is the problem! You need to detox that thought! Even though I appreciate it is not always easy to find time for yourself in the melee of life, you must! It is essential, not a luxury. A self care plan is a healthcare plan, even if it is only 10mins in your day. So a suggested strategy to deal with this is to create a positive affirmation which is a powerful way of rewiring the brain to a new way of thinking and being.
“Taking care of myself is worth making time for and everyone benefits”
” I take care of the world when I take care of myself“
The other revealing thing for many was the curse of the “mindless scroll”. Yes, the mobile phone is like carrying life and work around in your hands, which is all great. You get instant access – whether it be banking, email, ordering goods, the news, getting directions. They are all there with the swipe of a screen. Many cannot imagine life without this. That said, it can also be a contributor to your stress. Like many things in life, it is not that it’s either good or bad but good and bad. Many things overused can turn into a liability or a problem. We discussed how easy it is to pick up the phone to “check something” and before you know it, you’ve been mindlessly scrolling for 30mins. So how to do a digital detox? There are 3 steps to any change of habit
Change begins first by becoming aware of how you are currently using it, what action you can take to improve – stop doing, start doing and then practise. It is about training yourself to pick up your phone only when you really need and mastering the meaningful scroll. So before you start scrolling think about what your intention is. Make sure it supports your goals, keeps the benefits and minimises any unnecessary drain on your attention, time and wellbeing. Here are some great suggestions to help reduce the urge:
Invest in an alarm clock instead of using the alarm on your phone
Put your phone on flight mode when working on another task
Keep screens out of the bedroom
(If this isn’t possible as you are an emergency contact, at least move it to the other side of the room to reduce any temptation to start scrolling just because you can get to sleep)
Set time limits and timers to keep you mindful
Take your phone off the table at dinner
Reduce notifications to a minimum
Leave your phone at home when you go out for a walk
I talked about a superpower that all of us as humans have, our power to consciously choose. It is said we operate anything from 75% – 95% of the time, unconsciously, in old beliefs, unhelpful habits and patterns. Get back in the driving seat! After all your brain pretty much does what it thinks you want it to do, so you need to direct it much more clearly .Take conscious control of how you choose to spend the time on the mobile phone. The upshot is self care is not all chocolates, candles and spa days which is important too. Self care is doing what you need to do to look after your total well being – mental, physical, emotional and spiritual and show up as your best self as much as possible
“Calm mind brings inner strength and self confidence so that’s very important for good health” Dalai lama