Self Care Is Not Selfish!
This week, I'm cracking open the truth about self-care—it's not selfish!
I'll be dishing out some easy, practical advice to fit self-care into your daily routine.
I’ve got some advice on how to sidestep those energy drainers to balance your life better.
Let's learn how to prioritise our well-being. After all, we owe it to ourselves!
Self Care is something I've talked about before. But it's a topic that comes up time and time again, when people are reaching out to me for help. Many people are reaching out and saying, 'Yeah, I know, I should be doing more for self care, but I just don't do it'. So why don't we do it? And why is it so difficult for us to do? So I'm going to touch on that this week, I'll give you some practical tips you can, as always, you can pick and choose, you can decide what you want to do, what you don't want to do. But I do hope that you find something here that I'm going to talk about that's useful for you and something you can put into practice. Self Care for many of us, particularly women, is something that we've got out of the habit of over the years. And a lot of women that I speak to are similar age to me, we're in midlife, you know, maybe we've had busy jobs, maybe we run a home. Maybe we brought up families, and for many years, it almost has become a habit of putting other people first, and we sort of come second. And for a lot of people, it takes a serious health diagnosis to stop, realise what's going on realise that there's something not right and realise, actually, you've got a chance now to do something about this.
Three tips for starting the day well.
One of the biggest tips I can give you is to plan to start your day well. You know that saying ‘ Fail to plan, then plan to fail’ – I’ve done it myself – set off with an agenda or a list of tasks, and find that before I know it, the day has gone, and I’ve achieved nothing. I’ve found if you start your day well you can start changing some of those habits. I've got three tips for you of how I start my day well, and I am not particularly morning person, it takes me a little while to come around in the morning, I don't like to talk too much. I don't like to make too many decisions. So what I do to start my day well is start the night before. And for me, that means planning what I'm going to do first thing in the morning, if I'm going to do some exercise, I'm going to lay out my exercise clothes, get my running shoes out and then I am good to go in the morning. I've got my water bottle ready, clean and ready to be filled, and left next to my earphones,so I’m not searching around before I start my day. I already know what I'm going to do, where I'm going to go, what I'm going to wear, I've already decided that the night before. So that's one decision taken care of.
The second top tip that somebody's given me that I find really useful is not to look at my phone first thing in the morning. So many people I know, the first thing they do when they open their eyes is look at their phone. And if you're not careful, you just get sucked into either scrolling social media or looking at the news, which is never very good news, to be honest. But also you just straightaway are sucked into into other people's agenda, information coming into your head that maybe you don't need. So now, I like to take a bit of time, and a bit of space for me. And the first thing I really want to look at in the morning is the sky. Now luckily, in Manchester recently, we've had some really nice weather. So it's been nice to get outside. Even just step into back garden, just step outside the front door. Look at the blue sky, if it's a blue sky. It has been raining a few days this week. But whatever the weather start the day by just looking outside. If you can go for a walk, getting to nature, just 5 or 10 minutes makes me feel great a lot better than just sitting, hunched over a phone or hunched over a laptop scrolling social media deal.
The third top tip I can give you for starting your day well is to start with a nice drink. And for me, I like hot water with lemon, there's lots of theories behind what lemon does for you, it’s cleansing, it’s rehydrating, it makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I’m making a very positive choice to put something good into my body to start the day with.
Dealing with drains on your energy.
But I really wanted to touch on why is it so difficult for so many people to get into the habit of self care. And one of the things that somebody said this week, it really struck a nerve with me was you know, we've got a bucket if you like a bucket of energy, and suddenly many things can make holes in your bucket and drain that energy. And that might be it might be the job that you're in, it might be a relationship that you've got, it might be worries that you've got hanging over you. It might be commitments that you've already got that you feel you can't get out of. But all of these things are draining away your energy draining away your bucket of self care that you need to replenish for you to keep yourself well.
So if you can take some time to just think about what are the drains on your energy? What is taking time and energy away from you and your self care? It will be different for everybody. Some of the common themes are, spending your evenings slumped in front of the TV watching things that are really not very good for you. Now there's no judgement here. I'm not saying don't watch TV. I like to watch TV get into especially a thriller or an interesting story. I'm just saying be mindful of what you're watching and ask if that helping you to create the life that you want? If you're really enjoying what you're doing, do it.
As much as I love staying connected with friends and family on social media, it can be a double edged sword, It can be such a drain on your time. And I don't know if you've ever gone on to social media for five minutes, and found yourself there two hours later, just scrolling through looking at goodness knows what, going down all sorts of rabbit holes, looking at things, and that's okay if it makes you feel good, and lifts your energy. But ask yourself, how does it make you feel?
Self-care is an obligation to yourself and health.
Self care will mean different things to different people, we all know the things we should be doing that maybe you're not making time for. Often people will say ‘ I haven't got time to exercise’ or ‘ I haven't got time to cook a healthy meal’ or whatever it is that they know they need to do, but life has got in the way. I'm not judging you, I'm saying, take some time to think about your week ahead. Think about your self care, if you're not feeling particularly well, this is crticial. Or if you are feeling well, are you storing up problems for the future? Your self care is really important. And if you acknowledge that, then how about making some conscious decisions to schedule in some time for your self care? It could be doing whatever gives you pleasure, it could be booking for a massage, it could be going for a nice walk, it could be meeting with a friend who you know uplifts you and makes you smile, who makes you feel good. This is not about obligations to others , this is about honouring an obligation to yourself, and to your health and to your well being. So scheduling some time for yourself care can be a wonderful thing to do. I am a busy person, and for a lot of busy people. Self Care is always the bottom of the list of things to do. There maybe other things that you think are more important. But actually you can't look after other people, you can't do all the things that you want to do if you're not looking after yourself, if you are not replenishing your energy. And for me, it starts with self care.
Self-care is not selfish. YOU are an important person.
Think about when you spend time limit certain people as well. How do you feel? How does your energy feel when you're around them? Is it good energy? Are they uplifting you? Are they adding something to your life? Or are they draining you? If their energy is draining you, then you've got choices, you don't have to spend time with anybody you don’t want to. You don't have to do a lot of things that we think we have to you might say, ‘I'm in a job and I have to be in that job, I've got no choice’.
But really you could choose to take a different job, you could choose to react in a different way to your job, you could choose to have a conversation with somebody at your job about whatever it is that's making you unhappy.
You are somebody who's really important. And if you've got into the habit of not making time for yourself care, then I'm inviting you to join me this week and just practice some little new habits of self care. Think about things that uplift you inspire you give you energy, and it could be just listening to a lovely piece of music. I watched the Glastonbury festival on television last week, and watching the wonderful Cat Stevens, his set just lifted my spirits, and reminded me that I've not listened to his music for a long time. And so I was just making the bed the other day in the bedroom and cleaning the bedroom, tidying up while listening to Cat Stevens music, calm and beautiful songs, and how it lifted my soul, it made me feel so good!. So I managed to turn my housework and chores into a beautiful space for me. And for me that was a form of self care.
Lighting a candle just taking five minutes for yourself that can be a form of self care. Just taking yourself out with the busyness and the hamster wheel of life that we all get on and I did. I'm including myself in this. I'm not perfect.
But this week, remember, self care isn't selfish. You are an important person. I'm here for you if you are struggling with self care, please reach out to me. I'd always love to hear from you. Let me know what you're doing for yourself care. And I'm just share what I did last weekend - as my birthday celebrations continued, I was blessed with a a short break to the seaside. We went to Whitby, and it was so good, coastal walks with Paul, my husband, a perfect get away from our lives in the city. Just looking at the sea is self care for me, being out in nature, being out in the fresh air, and enjoying time to eat and talk. And Paul found some fossils on the beach, which made us both marvel at the beauty of nature.
So thank you so much for reading
Stay safe and stay sane!
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