However you are feeling post your New Year celebrations and whatever you’re feeling towards the New Decade, 2020 has been declared the year of Self Care.
As I’m sure you know from working with me or from reading my posts, self care is something I am incredibly passionate about. But living in London, I appreciate it’s something we often feel we don’t have time for and perhaps it’s more practical to save our energy resources for working or looking after our family.
Self care has steadily become a more and more popular topic over recent years, but is often described in vague terms. So let’s begin by defining what it really means.
Self care is the active and conscious decision to partake in behaviours or actions that nourish our overall health. To put it simply, it means making those healthy lifestyle choices and effectively managing our stress levels. We all know that eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep and minimising our alcohol consumption is beneficial for our health, but with levels of anxiety and chronic stress on the rise, we need to go beyond the physical self care and consider our mental, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing too. This all encompassing and holistic approach is what I mean by self care.
Client’s come to me looking for authentic and realistic ways that they can incorporate more compassion into their day to day lives. The most important thing to understand, is that self care looks different to everyone. What feels good to me and nourishes my soul might be thoroughly tedious to you. And what lights you up and brings you joy might completely deplete my energy levels. You have to find what works for you.
Self care means treating yourself the same way that you would treat a friend as well as integrating compassion into your daily life to avoid the possibility of burn out. Extensive research into self care has shown wide ranging benefits that can impact our mental, emotional and physical health.
- Enhanced immune system
- Increased focus and concentration
- Reduced anxiety
- Sense of feeling physically stronger
- Increased self esteem
- Positive attitude
- Stronger connection with your intuition
- Energy to care for others
Self Care Ideas for 2020
One of the main excuses people make for not doing self-care is that they just don’t have time. And I hear you, I really do. But as you will see from the list of ideas below, some only take a matter of minutes, and no matter how busy you are, you can . create this time and reap the amazing benefits. Other people simply don’t know where to begin; the typical ideas suggested in articles of having a bath or getting a massage just don’t appeal. Which is why I have created this list of self care practices so that you can find a few that resonate with you and begin to show yourself just how much you love and appreciate yourself.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Cuddling up under a soft blanket.
- Write an email or a letter to someone who lives far away and you miss.
- A walk in nature.
- I Love this one – make a self care box and fill it with essential oils, affirmations, dark chocolate etc.
- Watching the flames of a candle or a fire.
- Listening to music with your eyes closed.
- Let yourself cry.
- Mindfully hug someone you love and really savour the moment.
- Bake something in the kitchen.
- Reflect on your past achievements.
- Give yourself time to enjoy your morning commute.
- Feeling the warmth of the sun on your face.
- Tasting dark chocolate.
- Do a half day digital detox – scary right!
- Read a book for pleasure, not for education.
- Make time for dinner, cook or order your favourite meal and enjoy each taste, each bite.
- Talk to a professional, even if it’s just for two or three sessions.
- Learn how to knit.
- Massage essential oils into your skin.
- Do your favourite yoga class, or try one if you have never been before!
- Reach out to someone you haven’t seen in a while.
- Go on a trip and take inspiring photographs.
- Breathing meditation.
- Do something you used to enjoy as a child.
- Have a bubble bath.
- Join a social group for an activity you enjoy.
- Don’t push yourself to do everything when you are feeling unwell (mentally, emotionally and physically).
- Go for a cycle ride in the country side (try the Thames path to Hammersmith)
- Repeat daily affirmations or write them on sticky notes around your room.
- Let go of relationships that drain you.
- Book in a dinner date with a friend or partner.
- Unsubscribe from spammy emails.
- Try something new.
- Make time to spend with someone who really gets ‘you’.
- Take a dog for a walk, go with your friend or sign up to borrow my doggy.
- Laugh – watch a comedy or some old home videos.
- Get into bed early and enjoy time to unwind.
- Watch an inspirational speech or movie.
- Sing your favourite musical song in the shower (it’s gotta be Moulin Rouge right?)
- Develop a Mindful Meditation practice.
- Do something creative; colouring, sculpting, painting, drawing, write poetry or a song.
- Dance to your favourite song or move around playfully.
- Practice replacing the word ‘should’ in your self talk.
- Create an evening routine; wash your face, journal, meditate, stretch etc.
- Learn a new sport.
- Listen to a Yoga Nidra when you are feeling depleted or in need of an energy boost.
- Say ‘No’ to an invitation if you know it won’t nourish your soul.
- Get at least 7-9 hours sleep each night.
- Last but by no means the least, my favourite of all – smile at yourself in the mirror!
Remember, my idea of self care may look totally different to yours. The wonderful thing is there is no right or wrong. Only you know what is the most nourishing thing for you in each moment. You are in charge! And the more you engage in self care activities, the more you learn to recognise and instinctively know what is the best thing for you to do to re-balance you.
You are worthy of this time. You are worthy of self care.
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