One of the biggest challenges in our lives today is finding time to self-care as we are either too busy with life or too busy caring for others. Good self-care is the single most important aspect of our health, physically, mentally and emotionally.
Self-care is one of the most common themes I talk about when in session with my clients or in conversation with family or friends. It is a topic that is always talked about but not necessarily followed.
So, to give you a gentle nudge, I’m sharing with you some of my most practiced and favourite self-care activities. I hope they are helpful for you and that you get the chance to try some of them, I can assure you that taking time out to look after ourselves is very fulfilling and makes for a happier person.
- Definitely a pyjama day, everyone needs to have a pyjama day as there is nothing better than sleeping in and then spending the day in your PJ’s, either watching a DVD, reading a good book or sipping a good cup of tea, I highly recommend it.
- Spoil yourself and take a nice relaxing bath with bubbles, oils or scent of your choice. You can pick these up for a reasonable price, it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money. Light a candle (away from the water of course), lay back with a towel under your head and just close your eyes and relax. Take in the feel of the warm water and the smell of the oils.
- One of my favourite things to do when I am stressed or I have a lot on my mind is to cook. Get out those recipe books, pots and pans, make sure you have all of the ingredients and cook away, it is very therapeutic and can be time saving as you cook away some meals to freeze or refrigerate for through the week.
- Listen to some music, a genre of your choice. I find I can lose myself in music; it is uplifting and relaxing and puts me in a ‘feel good’ mood. Maybe think about dancing along to the beat, ha ha. Part of my evening routine is to put on my relaxation music before I go to sleep and some nights, not all, I barely get through the first few tunes before I’m out like a light. This is something I have done for many years now.
- If music is not your thing, try mindfulness meditation. This is something that I have recently introduced into my self-care routine, listening to a short ten minute mindfulness meditation. I find it relaxing and it can be a time to just be in your own space. You can download mindfulness meditation from various sources for free via your phone app and this is becoming more and more popular in our stressful society these days.
- I enjoy taking time out to have coffee with a friend or a member of my family. I think there is something lovely about getting dressed and meeting someone special for a coffee and a chat. It’s great to catch up and share experiences and it is something I don’t have a lot of time for so for me, it’s precious.
- Hit the beach, this is something I find very therapeutic but don’t do a lot of because I don’t live anywhere near a beach. I love to listen to the waves, smell the ocean and feel the sand between my toes. The ocean is such a wild but beautiful part of nature and it always draws me in and makes me feel good, gives me time to think and self-reflect and this is where I tend to sit and ponder life.
- Spoil yourself from time to time, I do. Depending on your budget, you could have a massage, a pedicure or get your nails done or a facial, it’s such a wonderful feeling and I come away feeling invigorated. It’s your choice what you do but remember, we all deserve a little pampering from time to time.
- Start a journal; write down three things that you are grateful for everyday, I do, sometimes it can be the same things but it certainly makes you think that the world is not such a bad place after all. Things to be grateful for can be as simple as having a cup of tea, smelling the flowers out in the garden or patting your dog. It can also be helpful to write things down that bother you as it puts things into perspective and adds clarity. Not only does it free up some space in our minds when we write things down on paper, but when we are having a bad day, we can look back at the things we are grateful for and it is a reminder about how much goodness there is in our lives.
- Go for a walk, it doesn’t have to be a marathon, walking amongst nature has something special about it. Looking up at the sky, feeling the sun or the breeze on your face, or smelling the flowers or just seeing the greenery that surrounds you is so peaceful and beautiful. If walking is not your thing or you find it difficult, try some stretches at home. Grab a towel or yoga mat if you have one, lie down and stretch out some of those tight muscles, I find that this gives me a new lease of energy and increases flexibility.
- I have saved the best until last, my favourite self-care tip is lots of cuddles and playing with my puppy, she brings so much joy to my life and makes me laugh and smile, she puts me in a positive mood. Dogs are such a delightful animal with their unconditional love and the cute things that they do, she is good for my soul and I love her so much.
So try some of these or not, you may have your own self-care ideas, these are what I find helpful so they are just ideas for you to use as a guideline. You may want to do something entirely different. I hope they have been helpful though and have given you something to work with.
I would love to hear from you if these have been helpful or if you have some other feel good, self-care ideas that you would like to share and have been successful in your life.
Warmest wishes, Pauline