I regularly ask my clients what they’ve been doing towards their self care. The response I often receive is that they are too busy and don’t have time to think about adding extra activities in to their lives and/or would feel guilty if they took time out for themselves.
I think these feelings are common but at the same time, we need to all appreciate how important it is to be taking good care of ourselves – our mental, physical and emotional health. And, creating a self care practice doesn’t have to take a lot of time or cost a lot of money.
How do we create a self care practice?
Everyone is different. You need to work out what YOU need to comfort and nourish you. Your self care practice could be very different from someone else’s.
You don’t need lots of money or time to practice self care. Small simple gestures can make a real difference to your overall well-being.
It isn’t all about fun stuff either. It can involve boring stuff too – booking that overdue trip to the dentist, tidying your house, sorting out your financial documents. It helps to focus on the end result – what do we want to feel like? where do we what to be etc? The journey isn’t necessarily full of fun, but the destination makes it worth it. For example, the trip to the dentist for that filling, results in relief from pain and being able to eat the foods you enjoy.
Here are my tips on creating your self care practice :
- Think about things that make you feel calmer/nourished/happy/relaxed – however big or small. These could be people/activities/personal items/pets. Write a list. What do you enjoy doing which feeds your soul?
- Think about ways in which you could include these things/people in your life more and perhaps on a regular basis – e.g. a coffee date with a friend who always makes you laugh, a relaxing bubble bath with your favourite music playing, having a lie in with your favourite book.
- There may also be things that need to be done that aren’t in themselves fun, but which will provide us with the results we need in helping our health and well-being.
- Start with something small – so it feels easier to do and you can see the results quickly. A ‘quick win’ e.g. an early night.
- Keep it simple – it doesn’t have to be some big gesture (e.g. a holiday or spa weekend). It can be as simple as an early night with your favourite book or cooking your favourite meal.
- Make sure it’s realistic and achievable for you and your lifestyle. Avoid setting unrealistic expectations for yourself. It’ll feel too much to deal with.
- Choose activities that can become habits/routines. If you can fit things in to your daily/weekly lives they are more likely to become permanent fixtures in your diary.
- Remember it is necessary not self-indulgent. You are important. Be kind to yourself. Look after yourself. You can’t pour from an empty vessel. Create boundaries in your life.
- Check in with yourself regularly to see if you’re taking good care of yourself. If you haven’t been, don’t waste energy beating yourself up about it. Just start from where you are. Small steps. Small positive changes can make a big difference. Even one small step is moving you forward. Never mind about yesterday. Start today, from where you are now.
- Make it happen. Prioritise it in your life. Write it in your diary. Have an accountability buddy to check in with you to see how you’re getting on or get yourself a professional coach.
- Be kind to yourself. Change is difficult. It can be unsettling. Self-care may not come naturally to you if you haven’t been used to considering your own needs very much. It is necessary though.
To read other blogs in the self care series, click on the following links:
If you have found the tips
in this blog useful then you’ll find lots more in my eBooks, which you
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