One of the main excuses we make for lack of self-care is that we don’t have the time. However, if we don’t make time to look after our physical and mental well-being then we get sick and waste more time that way. The trick is to find simple and easy strategies that you enjoy and can slot into your daily routine. Once you get used to practising them regularly you will wonder how you ever managed without.
There are 5 types of self-care that I am going to run through here. I will concentrate on Physical as I know most about that one.
1. Sensory – This is about helping to calm your mind. Consider all of your senses. Examples: Walking barefoot on the grass, cuddling with a soft blanket, holding a pet, feeling the water on your skin during a bath or shower.
2. Emotional – Make sure you fully engage with your emotions. When you face them head on it can help with stress. Examples: Keep a daily journal and be honest about your feelings, let yourself cry if you need to, sing along to a song, spend time with a friend who truly understands you.
3. Spiritual – This is about getting in touch with your values and what really matters to you. It does not have to involve an organised religion. Examples: Daily meditation or mindfulness, read poetry, walk in nature and reflect on the beauty, be creative.
4. Social – Connecting with other people is necessary for happiness for most people. Examples: Have lunch with a good friend, email someone you have not met up with recently, join a group of people with similar interests, STOP socialising with those that undermine you.
5. Physical – Regular physical activity is vital to your body and mind. It enables you to improve your health and let off steam. Any type or intensity of physical activity can help and variety of movement is key to keeping our joints and muscles working well and pain free. Motion is Lotion. Physical activity can also involve some of the other self-care categories – Football with friends (Social), Run in the countryside (Spiritual), Tai Chi in the park (Sensory), Swimming (Sensory), Join a walking group (Social). Physical self-care is also concerned with the things that you don’t do: Say “No” to invitations that you are too tired to enjoy. Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night Don’t push yourself to do your exercise routine when you are run-down or unwell. Adapt your routine to suit your feelings, but do something.
Please get in touch if you need help or advice about how to look after your health and well being.