Self-care week 2019 is upon us. An annual national awareness week that is encouraging people to think self–care for life and understand how to better look after our health. Looking after ourselves to improve our physical and mental health is our responsibility, and no one else can do it for us. Getting to know your strengths, limitations, and understanding your own emotions and the impact of these on your quality of life, is a good place to start.
An analogy I often use with my clients is one of the cabin crew as they start to demonstrate the safety instructions before the flight. As the oxygen masks drop from above your head you are advised to put your own mask on before you help other people and that is exactly what self-care is. Using your safety mask to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself is so important as it produces positive feelings, boosts your confidence and self-esteem and reduces anxiety. Self-care is also necessary to remind yourself and others that your needs are important too. Know your worth!
We encounter many emotions over the course of our day including anger, sadness, happiness, fear and love. Keeping these emotions in check can be a hard job when faced with the challenges many of us encounter during our lives. So open up. Be honest and open with those you trust. Let them know how you are feeling so that they can understand and support you. This also gives you an opportunity to release stress and work on solutions.
Below you will find a list of self-care ideas. You can add to them with ideas of your own. Make a list at the beginning of the week and schedule something in for your self-care every day.
If you don’t like yourself who will? If you don’t treat yourself well, what example is that to others? Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you. Give yourself a pat on the back. Believe in what you stand for and the individual you are.
Practice the pause
When in doubt, pause. When you’re angry, pause. When you’re tired, pause. When you’re stressed pause. And when you pause relax and breathe. Mindfulness meditation can help you to practice this. Try the Head Space App (https://www.headspace.com/) to get started.
Ask yourself what makes you feel happy? What relaxes you? Schedule ME TIME in your diary- so that you actually do it!!!
The working day is set to a timescale for a reason. Take your breaks and go home on time. Overdoing things will make you feel run-down and Unproductive.
Friendship is a choice
Commit to friendships that bring you happiness. ‘Feeling’ good is so important. Surround yourself with people who facilitate your happiness. Increase your self-esteem and relieve stress by spending quality time with your real friends.
It’s more than ok to say ‘No’ it’s in our vocabulary for a reason. When you want to use it, use it. People are way more understanding than you think. It may surprise you to realise that they say No too!!
Unplug your phone, television & computer
Switching off from social media can improve your quality of life, help you to stay focused and sleep better. 8 hours of sleep every night is healthy amount.
Lower your weight, improve your physical and mental health by taking a walk in nature every day. Choose an exercise that you enjoy. You don’t have to commit to a set activity at a set time per week. Keep it interesting
Notice those things in life that you are grateful for. A positive thought can override a negative one and give you a boost
Finally, it is healthy to want to be the best person you can be, but go easy on yourself. If you set yourself goals that are impossible to achieve you won’t commit to it and you will find yourself falling at the first hurdle. Lifestyle choices should be fun and manageable. Ensure that you set small, manageable and achievable goals. Have an adventure, live life and enjoy!