I have been thinking a lot about self care recently. This week, I witnessed 3 different events within a couple of days, that unsettled me a bit. None of these events directly affected me but even so, they left me feeling a bit rattled.
As I pondered on why this was the case, I realised that I had let my self-care slip. I am usually fairly good at self-care – I regularly do yoga, I exercise by going to the gym or walking. I also do short meditations of about 10 minutes, ideally every day but usually several days a week. So why has this happened? I injured my shoulder about a month ago and as a result I am not able to do any weight bearing on my arms. This has prevented me from doing yoga or any weights work. As well as this I have been spending a lot of time at my computer, working on my business every time I have a spare moment. I am now back at my regular job, which is quite demanding, so those pockets of time are at weekends or evenings after work.
These are of course, all excuses. If I made my self care a priority, I would find a way to make it work with a dodgy shoulder and I would find time to relax and just chill out, instead of spending every available moment trying to be productive.
What exactly is self-care?
Self-care simply means looking after yourself – taking care of your physical, mental and emotional health. It is all about acknowledging your own needs and finding ways to meet them, by scheduling in some ‘me time’.
Time, or lack of it, is often seen as a barrier when it comes to self care. You are so busy looking after everyone else that you do not have the time or energy to look after yourself. And if you do, you feel guilty! Remember the instructions for using an oxygen mask on aeroplanes! Put it on yourself first. This is a great analogy for self-care. If you look after yourself, you will be better able to help others.
What are good self- care activities?
The answer is really anything that makes you feel good about yourself. Everyone is different. For some of you, it could be something physical such as going for a fun or to the gym. If you are always surrounded by people you may need some quiet ‘me time’ to relax and reflect. Meeting a friend for a coffee and a chat, reading a book, going for a walk, taking up a hobby, having a relaxing bath, meditating are all activities that will help to recharge your batteries.
The possibilities are endless. It doesn’t really matter what you do, as long as it is something you enjoy and that it makes you feel better in some way.
Can you fit some yoga into your lunch break?
Look for small ways you can incorporate self-care into your life and guard that time furiously. The more you can work self-care into your schedule the more you can thrive and grow. If you would like some help doing this contact me for a chat to find out how I can help you. If you would like some help with sleep and stress you most certainly find some useful strategies in my new free online course Manage Sleep, Stress and your Immune System
What are you doing to take care of your needs? If you think your life is out of balance, you might like to try this short quiz, Create the life you Love to help you work out your priorities and start making some changes.