Top 5 Tips for incorporating "Self Care"
Updated: May 21, 2019
This year’s theme is all about “Self-Care and Self-Love” and I was thinking, some of us may not know what that means!
Well “Self-Care and Self-Love” are the actions that we take for ourselves in order to develop, protect, maintain and improve our health, wellbeing or wellness. Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Good self-care is key to improved mood, reduced anxiety and stress management. It's also key to creating and maintaining good relationships with yourself and others.
In this busy, stressful world we live in, we often forget to take the time out for ourselves and our personal needs. A lot of us would say we don’t have time, especially mothers who are always on the go and looking after everyone else’s needs. While it can be hard to prioritise taking 30 minutes out of our routines, self-care is a very important aspect of our general wellbeing.
How can self-care benefit you?
When we are feeling run down or exhausted this is the body’s way of telling us to slow down. By taking the time out for yourself you allow the body to do just that, and will feel a lot better for it. Taking time for yourself through a massage, a soak in the tub, going for a walk and getting fresh air, to sitting down to meditate, has several benefits.
Self-care can improve your physical health
By developing a regular sleep routine you will give your body the rest that it needs to feel replenished every day.
Incorporating a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables rather than processed foods will help your body flush out toxins and get the nutrients it needs for optimum health.
Take your lunchtime at work, get away from your desk and get out for a walk. You’d be surprised how the fresh air will help you clear the mind, allowing you to concentrate more when you return. Just getting out in nature will help to clear any anxiety, stress and over thinking you might be doing. You will start to notice that your stress levels will adjust to how you treat yourself.
“Looking at beauty in the world is the first step of purifying the mind”
Dr. Amit Ray
Self-care can have positive effects on your emotional health
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing your awareness on the present moment, while acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. This practice can be done anytime and anywhere throughout the day, at the bus stop, queuing at the supermarket, doing the house work… anywhere, any time! Just taking a few minutes to ground yourself every day can be hugely beneficial to both your physical and mental wellbeing. Taking time out to care for yourself can remind you and others that you and your needs are important, too. Having a well-cared-for body can make you feel good about yourself and your life, and conveys to others that you value yourself. This can contribute to long-term feelings of wellbeing.
“Compassion is not complete if it does not include oneself” Allan Lokos
By loving yourself you become infectious
If we are constantly forgetting to nurture our own needs, then we are in danger of preventing happiness, a balanced lifestyle and we may become inactive and have feelings of sadness, low self-esteem, and negativity.
If we are always spending our days taking care of others we are also at risk of burning ourselves out and that makes it much more difficult to do work, spend time with our families, and get things done because we are so exhausted and tired. By taking the time out for ourselves we can then provide better care for others.
“If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love others. If you have no compassion for yourself, you cannot develop compassion for others” Dalai Lama
The Importance of Self-Care
There are so many ways to incorporate self-care; if you listen to the needs of your body you will soon learn to find out what you need to focus on. If you’re feeling exhausted and tired then make it a point to make time to get enough sleep. If you’re feeling sluggish then prioritize a shopping list so you can make healthy meals. Create a schedule for your day so you can put time aside to spend with a loved one or just take a bath. It’s not about having a jam packed day; it’s about letting your life flow and spending time on what you love most. Why would you waste time on feeling anxious when you can take the time to love yourself and be present in the moment rather than getting caught up on feelings of negativity? The more negative thoughts you have, the more you will create. The more positive thoughts you have will fill you full of positive energy and change your outlook on everyday living. Swap those negatives for 3 positives.
“Don’t keep allowing the same thing to upset you. Life’s too short to live that way”
Self-care relieves stress
When I’m feeling stressed I de-stress time by taking a hot essential oil bath. Essential oils are sadly so under-rated. They have amazing benefits for every health problem you could ever imagine. Infusing 8-10 drops of your favourite essential oil not only creates an amazing atmosphere but it stimulates the limbic system, the area of your brain that’s involved in motivation, emotion, learning, and memory.
Activating the limbic system triggers the relaxation response and allows you to come back to the reality of your life feeling refreshed and relaxed. So not only are you relaxing and taking the time out for yourself but you’re improving your overall wellbeing.
“Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be” Eckhart Tolle
Self-care gives you time alone
Everyone is different and I accept that, but while there are some people that like to spend time alone and others prefer company, it’s important to understand that for most people it’s vital to get some time alone to be present and to get to know yourself. When you’re relaxing by yourself, it’s much easier to slip into a state of quiet meditation, enjoy some self-reflection, or let your problems work themselves out in the back of your mind, without taking all of your focused concentration. Meditation is important for self-reflection. A lot of people don’t get meditation or simply confuse it for some cult like state, but meditation can look very different for different people. In fact meditation is a technique used to slow the mind down and observe our thought patterns. We train our attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state of mind.
“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing” Jon Kabat Zinn
Self-care can soothe us
Everyone knows that getting a special treatment like a massage or facial is a natural way to relieve stress as well as keeping your skin soft and your body in good repair. Not only this but it elevates your mood, it offers soothing feelings and it regenerates your body. Sounds great? Of course it does! So why do we neglect ourselves by not taking this time for ourselves? Self-care is not selfish, it’s me time; allowing ourselves to care for ourselves as we do for others. Prioritize you.
“Inner peace is the key: if you have inner peace, the external problems do not affect your deep sense of peace and tranquillity. Without inner peace, no matter how comfortable your life is materially, you may still be worried, disturbed, or unhappy because of circumstances.” Dalai Lama
Self-Care Strategies That Work
Ok, so if you have now decided that it’s time to start working on you, then be sure to set that time aside. Try to do it when you know you won’t be interrupted. Whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly. Find what you love doing for yourself and do it. Here are just a few examples of incorporating self-care.
Run a Bath: Run a nice hot, essential oil/Epsom salt bath and melt all that stress and anxiety away. Check out my Instagram page for some amazing essential oil baths.
Condition your hair: Put a conditioning treatment in your hair while you relax. The longer you soak the more your hair receives the benefits.
Face Mask: why not remove all the impurities in your skin and put on a face mask? You can also do this in the bath.
Mindful Music: Put on your favourite songs, or create a playlist especially for the bath so you can lie back and listen or sing...it’s your bath; it’s your time.
Read for pleasure: Pick up a book, magazine or whatever you like to read for fun, let go of your own life for a short time and get lost in another world.
Moisturize your skin: By moisturizing your skin after a bath you can help replace old dead skin cells and get the circulation going, leaving your skin feeling soft, silky smooth, and pampered.
Polish your nails: Buff, file and paint those nails. It will look pretty and for those who bite their nails...this may stop you when you look down at those colourful little digits.
Book a treatment: Whether it’s making a weekly, fortnightly or monthly treatment, put an appointment in the diary and stick to it! You have more chance of getting to that optimum balance when you look after your body correctly and listen to what it needs and wants.
While you take this time out for yourself, remember that having a healthy balanced diet, spending time in nature and incorporating some physical activity is also vital for the perfect balance. When you start to include self-care into your life you will start to feel the amazing benefits it brings. When you start to look within to heal, you will naturally start to glow on the outside, that’s when everyone will be wondering what your secret is. Do it for you.
“Sometimes you need to take a break from everyone and spend time alone, to experience, appreciate and love yourself” Robert Tew
Peace, Love & Namaste