Why Self Care Is Not Selfish & Your Simple 5 Steps Guide
Looking after ourselves plays such a fundamental role in feeling good. Exercising, spending time outside in nature, improving our diet, trying to get more sleep are all things that contribute to our wellbeing thus helping us with our self esteem! Yet why is it, that when we want to take care of ourselves, there is a slight pang of feeling guilty? Self care is all about listening to what our mind and body need and giving it to ourselves, guilt free. Here I want to share with you why self care is not selfish and your simple 5 steps guide.
We live in a super busy modern world, so it is so easy to get caught up in our hectic lives, surrounded by technology and social media playing a pivotal role in our mental wellbeing. However this all isn’t enriching our sense of self and it’s time to put our needs first.
I know, the sense of guilt creeps in. It’s easy to think that we “should” be working, doing those household chores, etc. But in actual fact, just by taking the time to look after ourselves and our emotional health, means we are actually going to succeed in many other areas; as we end up giving our best and generally feel all round much better. It’s an important investment, and one that is easily neglected.
Having a good self care routine is fundamental and in the long run you’ll be seeing the results. If we are not going to take the time to look after ourselves, we will end up tired, stressed, overwhelmed and eventually, less likely to have the resilience to cope when it all gets a bit too much.
Here is a simple self care guide that I’ve put together to incorporate in your busy routine.
☆ Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep can have a huge impact on how you feel both emotionally and physically. Not getting enough sleep can cause major health issues.
My tip for a goodnight’s sleep is to start your night time routine by going to bed an hour earlier than usual. This will give you time to take a bath, light some candles, use essential oils, read a book, apply a face mask. Basically it’s your time to totally unwind. Avoid scrolling through your phone altogether when you are in bed. Your bedroom should be the best place for you to relax with no distractions, such as TV, laptop, mobile phones etc. A lovely trick that works to relax, is to spray some lavender oil on your pillow! You can find more sleeping tips on an article I wrote a while back.
☆ Start An Exercise Routine To Feel Good
The word exercise can scare so many people. That is why if you aren’t someone who likes to exercise, then my advice to you is to do something that you enjoy and that makes you feel good. Don’t feel the pressure to do something that you hate and set realistic goals, so in that way you aren’t so hard on yourself. If for example you are like me and hate running then go for really fast paced walks – they will make you feel good in no time.
However, if there is one exercise that I truly do advise to many, it is yoga. It can be so easy to incorporate it into your daily routine even just a 15/20 minute stretch. Yoga is great for mental health and can help with stress and anxiety. If you don’t feel comfortable about joining a class, then there are so many videos on YouTube which are great. One I recommend is Yoga with Adriene; she’s perfect for all levels including beginners.
You can create your own little mediating space with a mat, music and candles. All in your own home!
☆ Incorporate A Healthier Diet
Be mindful of what you eat. Leading a healthier lifestyle doesn’t need to be neither complicated or time consuming. Incorporating a balanced diet is key and eating healthier does not need to be difficult – Some of the most amazing self-care foods include blueberries, nuts, green veggies, pulses ect. This shows you that good food can be simple. Perhaps get into the habit of prepping meals one day a week – where you make large batch meals, for example vegetable soup or home made veggie burgers and then store it in the freezer. This is a great way to have some food during the week when you are too busy to cook. I always love to cook in big quantities and literally eat my leftovers the next day.
Even if it’s only once a week, consider making a healthy meal. Put it in the diary so you will do it. In fact keeping a meal planner for the week is great way to stay on top of it. Look online for some of your favourite recipes, experiment, have fun. Cooking can be so much fun if you just have a go, and you don’t have to be Nigella. You could even look into recipe boxes, where they deliver meal inspiration straight to your door. Hello Fresh and Gousto are some that come to mind.
☆ Switch Off From Work
Even when we step outside of the office, switching off has become nearly impossible. Nowadays with technology, work continues after hours with constant emails, calls and social media. Even if you are working for yourself, the lines are very much blurred. We never fully switch off, and this is where we really need to try. We must learn to disconnect entirely from work. It will honestly do you the world of good. A digital/work detox is so good for the mind, body & soul.
Try and limit your screen time, and a good one to do this is to Download one of the many apps now on the market that help you with this. It’s a great way to help you swtich off and be in control. An app you can try is AppDetox
☆ Spend Time With Family & Friends
While it is important to have ‘me time’ it is also important to spend time with loved ones. Be mindful of who you spend your time with. Avoid toxic people that completely drain your energy and who don’t support you. The right people will bring you positive energy and so much value to your life. You want to come away feeling empowered and inspired. Enjoy and nurture those important relationships with the people that simply make you happy. Cut loose of the negative people in your life – you will feel so much lighter for it.
Make sure to make time for those special people in your life. It could be people you see all the time to people you occasionally hear. Perhaps try to arrange times to see them during the year.
So there you have it. Simple steps to really help you look after yourself. Remember self care is giving the world the best of you instead of what’s left of you!