How do you look after you when you have so little time?
I am always talking about self-care. We understand how important it is, but also how tricky it can be. How do you look after yourself when you have so little time?
Self-care is far from easy. When our self-worth is on the floor, we are over worked and lifes stress’s are all consumimg making time to nurture ourselves feels like an unnecessary effort. We tell ourselves we don’t need it, that it’s pointless and self-indulgent, that it’s selfish.
But self-care isn’t selfish, it’s essential. We can’t do or be all the things we want to without taking care of ourselves. If your not on top and happy how can you be there for everyone else?
Of course, we may feel resistance around practising self-care. We’ve spent so long putting our own needs below others whether that is as a mum, dad, friend, partner, or at work. Putting ourselfs first might feel at odds with your usual way of life.
We may also find that as we start to bring self-care into our lives, some of the people around us seem unsettled too. Change can be uncomfortable for us all – but that doesn’t mean it’s not necessary.
There are many blogs and articles on self-care on line and you have to find something that works for you and will fit into your life and family, but here are my top tips to put you first…
Make sleep part of your self-care routine.
Sleep can have a huge effect on how you feel both emotionally and physically. Not getting enough can even cause major health issues. But stress and other distractions can wreak havoc on our sleep, so take care of your sleep environment too.
Exercise daily as part of your self-care routine.
We all know exercise is good for us, but do we really know how good it is? And if your like me a reluctant participant it can be hard to get on with it. But exercise can help you both physically and mentally, boosting your mood and reducing stress and anxiety, not to mention helping you shed extra weight, so even just a little bit is better than non at all.
Say no to others, and say yes to your self-care.
Learning to say no is really hard; this is something that I have had to learn to do. Many of us feel obligated to say yes when someone asks for our time or energy. However, if you’re already stressed or overworked, saying yes to loved ones or co-workers can lead to extra stress, anxiety, and in my case irritability! It may take a little practice, but once you learn how to politely say no, you’ll start to feel more empowered, and you’ll have more time for you.
This is my go to self-care, when life is overwhelming or I need some space and peace and quiet I head straight outside rain or shine. I celebrate the silence! Spending time outside can help you reduce stress and help you sleep better at night.
Reflect on the positives.
In the evenings I write down the three best things that happened that day “what I am grateful for” they things that make you smile or go ‘yay!’ This puts me in a state of appreciation and gratitude. This will help you recognize things going right in your life instead of focusing on the negative.
Accept what is.
Sometimes you have to accept things as they are, the things you can’t change. Give yourself a break, take a breath and accept it. You can’t control everything so sometimes you have to trust that you will get to where you where you need be.
Finally be a bit selfish… do one thing today just because it makes you happy.
Whether it’s binge-watching your favourite show, getting lost in a good book, or zoning out to music, whatever “nothing” means to you, do it!