Most of us spend so much time nurturing and taking care of others that we forget to take care of ourselves. Although it's great to know that others can rely on you for help, advice and support, if we don't take care of ourselves, eventually we’ll have nothing left to give.
As a business owner, IT manager, degree student, mum and daughter to an elderly parent I used to rush around on empty feeling very anxious and overwhelmed by everything I had to do. I soon realised that my Self-Care and happiness should always come first. If I wasn’t 100% I couldn’t give 100%. I noticed that when my spiritual energy was high and I was feeling good, this state of well-being rippled outwards and positively affected everyone around me so I understood that my own Self-Care had to be my number one priority.
Below I share the seven essential things that not only help me to cope with the every demands of my life but leave me feeling physically, mentally and spiritually good for most of the time.
Tip One - MEDITATION & RELAXATION
As well as reducing stress levels, meditation is ‘me time’. It’s a small period of time, just a few minutes, out of your 24 hour day when nothing else matters and there’s nothing you have to deal with. You just have to breathe, relax and be.
I’ve talked about meditation many times in previous posts because I can’t stress enough how essential it is to helping you feel good, helping you cope with your day-to-day life, as well as coping with life’s unexpected ups and downs. Meditation prepares you to deal with everything in a calm, balanced way from a place of clarity and understanding. Who wouldn’t want that?!
There are many ways to meditate and I've discussed a few of them in my post 'How to Start a Daily Meditation Practice'. Simply find a meditation practice that suits you and incorporate it into your daily routine either in the morning or evening, starting slowly at 5 minutes and gradually increasing to 15-30 minutes.
Tip Two - BE YOUR OWN COACH
Many of us are great at giving our friends and family good advice. We’re great at supporting and encouraging others when they’re feeling low but we hardly ever talk to ourselves in this same supportive way when we’re feeling down or if something hasn’t worked out for us.
More often than not, we verbally berate and chastise ourselves. A major part of Self-Care is being our own best friend; our own coach, by ceasing the negative thoughts and labels we give ourselves. Rather than feeding feelings of failure and unworthiness we should be talking to ourselves in a positive and uplifting way just as we would do if we were talking to a good friend.
Be easy with yourself. Soothe and encourage yourself. Trust your intuition more, watch negative self-talk and replace them with the opposite positive thought.
If you find this hard to do start by writing down 10 positive things about yourself and read them daily.
Tip 3 - DRINK WATER
Water not only keeps you hydrated, it nourishes your organs, improves your skin, brightens your eyes, gives you energy and helps you think more clearly. There are so many benefits to drinking water. I try to drink 2 litres a day and find that when I don’t I feel sluggish and foggy brained. It’s definitely an essential if you want to feel energised and alert.
If you’re not a fan of plain water there are many flavoured water recipes out there that involve adding your favourite fruit, herbs or spices to your water. This way you’re not only adding flavour but you’re also gaining additional health benefits!
Tip 4 - MOVE YOUR BODY
Doing some form of exercise daily will give you energy and keep away sickness as it keeps all your internal systems running efficiently. ‘Boooo!’ I hear you say but exercise doesn’t have to involve going to the gym although if you like doing that it’s great! However, for me, so long as you’re moving your body in ways you don’t normally do for at least 10 minutes a day then that’s a good start.
You can do a quick 10 minute yoga video from Youtube, go for long walks. You can cycle, stretch or do Tai Chi. Anything! Just move your body. Try to incorporate some big movements with your arms and legs (without knocking anyone out). I love to dance like a mad woman in my kitchen to my favourite song of the day. My daughter thinks I’m nuts but it’s fun and keeps me moving.
Tip 5 - DO SOMETHING FUN!
It’s important to instill joy and laughter into your daily life. It gets endorphins going which relieves stress, produces anti-bodies and generally helps us to live longer. The best way to do this is to write down all the things you enjoy doing and try to do one of these things every day.
It could be petting your cat or dog, watching a funny movie, reading a book you love, painting, drawing, baking, singing, eating at your favourite restaurant, going for coffee with a fun friend, sitting in the park and watching nature, having a long hot bubble bath. Anything that makes you feel good. Maybe try something new!
Tip 6 - MAKE LISTS
Take your thoughts out of you head. If you have loads to do, write them down as trying to remember everything causes you even more stress.
I have lists on my phone and in journals. Writing down what you need to do or need to remember to do immediately takes away the stress of thinking you're going to forget to do it. I also take great pleasure in ticking items off my list at the end of each day. This is when I'm usually pleasantly surprised at just how much I've accomplished.
A big Law of Attraction tip, courtesy of Abraham-Hicks, is to make a list of things you would like the Universal Manager in the Sky to deal with. If you have tasks that feel are too big for you to achieve on your own or things that are beyond your control, assign them to the Universe to complete. This actually works for me every time without fail. Things just disappear as they are no longer needed or suddenly people come into your life to take care of that particular task. It really is quite miraculous.
Tip 7 - GRATITUDE
At the end of each day take time to either sit and reflect or to write down anything positive that happened that day and really fill your heart with appreciation.
To see more ease in your life start being thankful for how easy things are. Look at the small things and the things you take for granted because they just take care of themselves everyday and be grateful for their effortlessness.
Doing this will start to bring ease, harmony and flow to situations that once seemed difficult and full of resistance.
Incorporating these 7 simple daily Self-Care steps into your life will really help you feel more in control and will give you more time for you.
If you have any other Self-Care suggestions that work well for you please feel free to share them with me.