Self-care is exactly what it sounds like, taking care of your self, your mental and physical well-being, so why has it become something we feel pressurised to do, or like it is another thing to add to our mental load.
We unconsiously do the things we need to do to look after ourselves everyday, eating, drinking, going to sleep, so why is it important to practice 'self care'?
Refilling our cup
If you imagine in the morning you wake up, and your cup is full of water, throughout the day doing tasks for other people slowly drains you of water and by night time you are empty again, by doing bits of self-care you can gradually add a bit of water back into your cup, allowing you to give more to others (if you want to!)
What do I do for self-care?
The answer differs for every person, generally self care is anything that makes you feel happy/refreshed/recharged, which can be wildly different from person to person. I know I have felt before '10 minutes reading my book will not help me feel recharged, I need a week in a spa to get back to feeling myself' but that was because I had let my cup become completely empty, and actually taking that little bit of time to yourself can help you not feel like that in the first place.
It might be that family time refills your cup, spending time together at home or days out.
You might want time to reconnect with your partner, going out for a grown-ups only meal, or go to a concert.
It might be that alone time is better for you, taking a solo walk in nature or going to the cinema alone, or just taking a hot bath with fancy bubbles.
When we are already struggling to fit everything into our lives the thought of spending time that we dont have doing uneccesary things might have you in a panic.
"I'm already stressed and overwhelmed and there isnt enough hours in the day! Now you want me to spend time doing yoga or meditating"
I know that you probably have a lot on your plate, but also I know you probably spend sometime everyday worrying about how muhc you have to do, or how much you have on, or time spent on self care that is rushed or wasted by what your inner dialouge is telling you during that time.
The best way to quieten that guilty voice is to look at your situtation from the outside. If a friend came to you and said 'I have been feeling stressed and overhwlemed and would love 15 minutes a day to read my book or go for a quiet walk in the woods, but I just feel so guilty'. My guess is you would say something to your friend similar to 'You work so hard and never do anything for yourself, of course you deserve that time for you.'
And guess what YOU deserve that time for YOU!
Why Being Mindful Can Help With Self-Care
When we are mindful about our self care it can make it even more effective. If you imagine for example just jumping in bath quickly giving yourself a clean, scrolling through social media a bit, maybe replying to a couple of messages and then getting back out.
Or imagine before that same bath you say to yourself 'I have been spending all day looking after other people and meeting their needs,and now I am going to take this time for me because I am important too, and I deserve to spend time and effort on me too'
Maybe you decide to use the posh bubbles, maybe you decide to leave your phone out of the bathroom, maybe you put on a podcast or an audiobook instead. But when we give ourselves permission to really take the time for us, leaving any guilt behind, that self care time starts feeling more important, more special, and allows us to refill more of our cup.
Your Self-Care Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It (but you definitely should!)
I would like you for the next week to make sure you spend at least 15 minutes a day on self care, it doesnt matter what it is you do, just make sure it is something which makes you feel good and that you tell yourself that you deserve to take that time for you.
Make a note of how you feel before and afterwards, and any thoughts that come up around allowing yourself that time.
If you need a little help allowing yourself to relax, I know have membership options avalible giving you access to hypnosis/relaxation recordings every month
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Let me know what self-care you get up to this week and how it feels for you in the comments!
Cant wait to hear about all your lovely self care!