Self-care is not a luxury, it is essential to your wellbeing and if you don’t already practise self-care, then you need to start today. It doesn't matter what excuses you may be telling yourself, it needs to be a priority.
If you’re anything like me, you are probably a busy little bee and self-care is the last thing on your mind. Trust me, I get it, I’ve been there. I’ve always got one million things to do and organise, so I can understand why it may seem like it isn’t a priority. But in reality, taking care of yourself is how you take care of others (and others can be your relationships, your children, your business, your pets, literally anything else).
By prioritising self-care, you will bring a wave of calmness to your days and bring your absolute best to whatever priorities and challenges may pop up. Most importantly, you'll also be so much happier!
Here are my favourite ways to prioritise self-care:
♡ Dedicate time to yourself
You deserve time to yourself each and every day. Whether you’re married, single, a parent or not a parent, you deserve to enjoy time by yourself.
Being a mum to young children, I understand it can be difficult to have 2 minutes alone on some days so of course, this is something that may take a little practise or some routines may need to change slightly but it is so, so, so important for you to take time to yourself.
I personally find it easiest to wake up 30-60 minutes before my family and enjoy time to myself then. I like to call it my hour of power! During this hour, I meditate and journal. It’s the only time I truly get alone during the day and I thrive from it.
♡ Be realistic
If you’re a single mum to three children and work full-time in an office, it is unrealistic to expect 3 hours of self-care every single day.
Some days you may only be able to fit a 10-minute meditation in while the kids are having lunch and that’s okay. Every person needs to be realistic with what they have.
Any self-care is better than no self-care.
♡ Take care of your physical body
Taking care of your physical body is the easiest and one of my most rewarding ways of practising self-care. It is pretty easy to fit into my busy day because I simply just needed to make small changes for a big difference.
I personally do this by carrying a bottle of water everywhere I go (which encourages me to drink more water). I started to add extra servings of veggies to all of my meals. I walked to the local shops instead of driving (2-minute drive vs. 15-minute walk). I spend a few minutes after each shower rubbing on a luxurious, beautiful moisturiser. I go to the gym a few times a week. All of these things are very simple changes that have made a huge impact.
When I began to look after my physical body, I noticed a ‘transformation’. My mind was no longer foggy, I was more energetic, I was more present and I was a lot calmer in tough situations.
Practising physical self-care like this is honestly life-changing.
♡ Practise mindfulness in everyday activities
A few years ago, during a counselling session, I was telling my counsellor how I felt like my mind was constantly on the move. I couldn’t ever relax and notice the small things in life and he suggested the simplest solution. It was to just find mindfulness in my everyday activities.
He gave me an example that I want to share with you now.
He suggested that next time I get stuck at a red light while I’m driving to simply look out the window. Look at the people walking. Watch the birds fly in the sky. Notice how the trees move in the wind. Can you see any butterflies? Can you see any beautiful flowers? What do you notice?
This example is how I began adding mindfulness into my everyday activities and it has made such a big difference to my life.
Consider all of the little tasks you do every day on auto-pilot and consider how you can add a little mindfulness to them as well.
♡ Do whatever makes you feel good
Can we all please just agree that we need to do things that make us feel good?!
We don’t need to waste our time, energy and money on things that we don’t want to. You’re allowed to stay at home instead of going out. You’re allowed to just watch your children play soccer instead of socialising with another parent at the game. You’re allowed to say no to things you don’t want to do.
Do you like salsa dancing? Then book a class! Do you want to watch the waves on the beach? Then go for a drive to the beach! Do you want to eat pizza for dinner? Then order the pizza!
Life may be the longest thing we experience, but it shouldn’t be boring.
I hope these few little tips are able to get you kick-started on your self-care journey so that you can start feeling calmer and happier! If you're really struggling with this, please get in contact with me and book a one-on-one session. You don't need to do this alone.
Certified Counsellor & Mental Health Coach