Self-care is one of the most unselfish things you can do.
When we live busy lives and have families to look after, we tend to tell ourselves that the idea of taking time out for ourselves is 'selfish'. Somehow, somewhere along the line in our transition into 'adulting', we've duped ourselves into feeling that we are just not quite important enough to look after - that self-care or time out is, frankly, just a little self indulgent.
Self-care is important. Fact.
Read that, and then read it again.
You need to take time out for your physical health, as well as your mind & soul.
Without downtime for your body and mind, you can actually deplete your confidence and self-esteem.
If you're feeling exhausted your patience can become thin, which can lead to relationships suffering.
If you're unhappy or stressed out, everyone around you will feel it too.
Self-care actually re-energises us and makes us more effective and more productive. So do everyone a favour and take a few minutes out for yourself from time to time - it will be one of the least selfish things you do.
Self care is as individual as we are:
Many people are scathing about the term 'self-care', but in reality it's just about different ways to focus on finding the things that make us feel good or that help us to develop a positive mindset. Too often we forget, or underestimate, the healing powers of a laugh or a kind word; the restorative power of a hot bubble bath; the sense of calm that a walk along the river can bring.
What helps us to restore balance is as individual as we are, but below are some types of self-care that may help you to feel a little bit more like you.
Social Self Care.
Why? To help you feel connected.
Prioritise spending time with loved ones, the friends that make you feel brighter, happier and a little bit shinier. Phone an old friend, have a night out with mates or just meet your bestest for a coffee.
Physical Self Care.
Why? To re-invigorate our bodies.
If you make your physical self feel better, your inner self will feel better too. Think yoga or walking for restorative energy, healthy eating to self-cleanse or a face mask & body scrub for an outer and inner glow.
Sensory Self Care:
Why? To restore focus & lower stress.
Whatever it is that makes you forget about the world around you and focus on the now. Think scented candles, relaxing with music, watching the clouds, indulging your love of coffee or getting into the kitchen to bake.
Intellectual Self Care:
Why? To nourish your mind and foster knowledge.
Allow your mind to be stimulated and feel your self-esteem grow. Think about burying your head in a book, a trip to the theatre or art gallery, or developing a new skill.
Emotional Self Care:
Why? To nourish the soul and soothe the mind.
Allow yourself to focus inward for a while instead of focusing outward and on others. Think meditation, journalling or mindfulness. Remind yourself of who you are.
Self-care doesn't mean taking out big-chunks of time & money to go to a spa (although we're all for that too!). In just a few minutes and without spending a single penny you can reap the restorative rewards of focusing on yourself.
Finally, please ditch the guilt. If you're happy, energised and productive everyone else will feel the benefit too.