What is self-care?
Self-care is the art of taking CARE of yourSELF. Each and everyday. “But I have a family,” I hear you say. “I have kids, a job, house work to do, people to take care of, errands to run!” But like the oxygen mask on the aeroplane, if you don’t take care of yourself, you will be useless for all those other people.
Self care is taking time out each day for yourself. For each person it is different. You may like to have a massage, take a long bath, go for a walk, meditate, read a book, go fishing, draw, listen to music, play in the shed, have a coffee with a friend, write in a journal. The list is literally endless.
Go and get a piece of paper. Right now. If you’re on your phone, I’m sure there is a notes section you can use too.
Now list 5 things that you enjoy doing, that leave you relaxed, rejuvenated and happy. On this list can be things that take you 5 minutes, 20 minutes, half a day or a full day. (Or even more than a day if you’re like me and LOVE holidays.)
Even if you can’t do these things each day, put them on the list anyway. If your list is more than five, then good on you!
Why practice self-care?
As I pointed out before, self-care is much like putting on your oxygen mask in an aeroplane. It is so important to look after yourself so that you are happier, healthier and in the long run more reliable for your friends and family.
While taking this time for yourself, you will also give yourself a chance to listen to your own body. At all times your body is sending you signals. Your health depends on these signals. You might feel dehydrated and need more water. You might realise you’re exhausted and need an extra hour of sleep. You might notice the tension you’re carrying in your shoulder and need a massage. You might notice that bread you shovel down at lunch time is actually what is causing your bloated stomach and those pains you’ve been ignoring for months. You might notice how grumpy you’ve been with the kids and how short you’ve been with your family. You may remember you haven’t looked your partner in the eye and had a real conversation in weeks.
And although these things might be hard to face initially. And you might think that you “don’t have time to fix these things!” I can tell you that your long term health depends on it!
Now find that piece of paper. The one with your list. Below it list the top 5 things that are causing you stress right now. Leave a large gap between each one.
Go back and write two steps to let go of, reduce those stressors or certain self-care practices you can implement when those stressors rear their ugly heads.
What self-care practice will you do tomorrow.
While we’re here, let’s plan one for next week too!
“Please ensure you have secured your mask before assisting those around you.”