WHAT EXACTLY IS SELF-CARE!
People tend to shy away from self-care, as they can associate it with being self-absorbed, or that they do not have the time in their busy lives to focus on their own personal needs and wants. However looking after YOU is essential in being able to thrive. When you start to prioritise YOU, you revitalise and increase in strength, which then gives you more energy in other aspects of your life. By taking an interest in your mind, body and soul you then become better at being able to pursue and achieve your goals. I have listed below ideas for self-care:-
1. Physical Exercise – When discussing our emotional well-being we can often forget about physical exercise. However, in order for our emotional state to improve and thrive, it is important that our body feels strong and healthy. Physical activities should not be something that you are forced into, as this will take the enjoyment out of it. Ensure you engage in something that you get happiness from, walk/jog in the outdoors, swimming, yoga class, join your local gym, cycling, walking the dog or exercise within the comfort your own home.
2. Healthy Nutritious Diet – Although it is not uncommon to reward ourselves with cakes, takeaways and chocolate it is also important to be mindful that our digestive and nutritional health affects our brain functioning. By combining smart nutritional strategies we can improve our mind and body. Fruits and vegetables are a great source of vitamins, minerals and fibres. Incorporate nuts and seeds into our diet as they contain a host of nutrients. Limit sugars as this can increase risk of obesity and pay attention to the amount of food that you are putting on your plate. Understand that the food that you put in your body has a direct impact on your mood and energy.
3. Improve on your Mind-set - By focusing on the negatives can impact on you feeling fulfilled, learn to adopt a positive mind-set. Reframe your thoughts and shift your negative focus into a positive one. Read my blog ‘Is your glass half full or half empty?’ https://www.focusedsolutions.uk/post/is-your-glass-half-full-or-half-empty for advice on how to change thought patterns.
4. Learning to Value Yourself – Knowing when to say “no”, can be something that we can struggle with. Often we can take on far too much juggling our personal and professional life. Although rewarding, it can sometimes leave us feeling exhausted and run down. It is very important to know when to say “no”, and take the necessary downtime. Choose carefully what you say “yes” to and only agree to activities that you know will make you happy and you have time to take part in. Saying “no” can also be empowering as you are taking control of your life.
5. Sleep – The amount of sleep that an individual needs can vary from person to person. However listen to your body, if it is telling you that you are exhausted, slow down and increase your sleep patterns. Introduce a bedtime routine, unwind before bed, limit the amount of caffeine and remove all tempting electronics from your bedroom.
It is important to recognise that self-care is personal to YOU. Hence it is important to incorporate a self-care regime that makes you happy and fulfilled and one that will give you inner peace. Just remember that taking care of YOU is not selfish, but is imperative as it puts you in the best position to help others. What self-care routine do you have? Do you even