Self Care, It’s More Than A Bath
Stock Photos from Galitskaya/Shutterstock
Self-care, taking care of yourself when you need to and when you can. Doing things for yourself that make you happy, no matter how big or small they might be. It sounds indulgent, and some people believe it to be selfish. But, taking care of yourself mentally, physically and emotionally is something we should all be doing no matter in what situation in life we find ourselves.
Self-care matters, to you and those around you. So let’s talk more about it, and some good suggestions for your own self-care.
Why is Self-Care So Important?
Life, for most people, is fast and busy. Whether you are from the younger set or into retirement years there are different things happening that can make you realise why self-care needs to be a top priority. Often you don’t get much time for yourself – particularly if work or parenting calls you. And, it is even easier to get swept up into a weekend whirlwind, and before you know it, it is Sunday night, and you’re ready for the work week or your set agenda once again.
However, for years looking after yourself has been labeled something more closely to ‘me time’ or being ‘pampered’ or even just taking part in a hobby that you enjoy.
The relationship between mind-body-spirit is something that has been nurtured for years by many different cultures. Ever heard of Cleopatra and her milk bath? She knew what all the fuss was about. Oils rubbed on to the body, flowers arranged in rooms, indulging in certain foods. Sounds self-indulgent, but actually is just nurturing your soul.
Self-care simply makes sure that you never burn out. You keep your stress levels down, take care of your body, and do what makes you happy – to maintain a happy balance.
What Is Self Care Though?
the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.
“autonomy in self-care and insulin administration.”
the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
“expressing oneself is an essential form of self-care.”
It is about giving yourself space to unwind, to process what has been going on it your life, and dealing with any issues with a holistic approach. Self-care is so efficient and effective because of course, if anyone knows what you need, it is you.
How Can It Change Your Life?
When you know what works to take down your stress levels or fix those dry skin patches, then you can make sure that you can do those things when you need it. When your stress levels are lower, you will sleep better, and be able to tackle day to day goings on a little easier.
So let’s talk about some of the things that you can do, to see if they might work in your self-care regimen.
Emotional Self-Care Suggestions
Have you ever heard the expression ‘feel your feelings’? One of the healthiest things we can do is allow some of our emotions to be acknowledged and dealt with. Not by letting them take over, but by recognizing they are there and then processing them. So that you can pop negative emotions to the side. Here are a few things that might help with that.
Breath it out. There are a few breathing techniques you can use, but generally breathing in for 4 holding for 4 and breathing out for 8 worked really well to bring you back into a room if you are getting overwhelmed.
If you need to cry, then do it. It’s hard to hold in that amount of emotion for longer than necessary.
Check out the Calm app. Which has guided meditation that will help you process.
Call or text a friend and let them know what is going on with you. We are great at having conversations that don’t really matter. Sometimes you need to dig into what is going on and share it. A fresh perspective can sometimes be really great for us.
Overwhelm is a severe problem. Rather than try and do everything, see what you really must do for that day, and put the rest to one side. Consider three goals a day as your maximum, and anything at all that comes in that bracket is brilliant.
Spend some time looking through your photos. We take photos when we are in a happy place, and that happiness can be stimulated by looking at those pictures.
Physical Self-Care Ideas.
Taking care of the mind is essential, and so is taking care of your body. Your body does a lot each and every day, and we rarely give it the credit it deserves. They say that the body is a temple and that is true. Even small things can keep your body in excellent working order. Start to include things that add the bonus of good health which will re-pay in our well being and how we feel.
Dance it out! When the mood takes you, bad mood, or good mood, hit play on your favorite tunes and dance it out. Bounce around your living room or kitchen with the kids, or by yourself when children have gone their adult ways. You have nothing to lose by including music in your life. It is a great way to shake off tension.
Water is your friend, and your body will simply work better when you are having it. Whether regular showers – in the inside or the outside our body laps it up!
Check your lumps and bumps. It is so easy to neglect ourselves. But you should aim to perform a breast or testicular check, and a mole check too. This applies to all of us no matter what age. If you find something head to the GP, if you don’t find anything then great – but do it again next month.
While you’re doing your check, slather on a rich moisturizer. Your body is thirsty inside and out. So give it what it needs. If you don’t want to splash out on pricey products, a giant jar of coconut oil won’t set you back too much – and does a beautiful job.
Walk for at least 30 minutes a day. This one is great for the body and mind. Getting your heart pumping will burn a few calories, which is excellent but even better the fresh air and some peace.
Sleep better. Sounds so much easier than it is to do. However, get yourself an app that plays soothing music designed to get you off to sleep and try to make sure you don’t watch telly in your room. Think of your bedroom as space only for sleeping – nothing more. It might take a while to get into a good habit but keep working at it.
Try classes. Zumba or boxing classes are great options for blowing off some steam.
Mental Self-Care Suggestions
Our minds can go into overdrive really easily. And we don’t always see it coming. Sometimes your brain might need to be busy and stimulated, other times it might need a break. When it needs a break tedious tasks work so well. So, here are a couple of things that work really well for mental self-care.
Take out the trash. This is talking about people and how they are to you in reactions. Some people in our lives are super toxic, but we don’t always have the heart to asked them to leave us. But really for your mental and emotional well being, it is time to leave them in the past. Let them go gently for your well being’s sake.
“No” is a glorious word. Use it as often as you need to. We usually take on a lot more than we can cope with, just because we want to help others out. But, that can often leave us stretched very thinly.
While you’re removing bad people from your life, you can remove the word “should” too. “Should” makes you feel like there are things you aren’t completing, things you aren’t doing. Making you feel like you are failing in places. Maybe “could” is a better word.
If you need to switch your brain off for a while. Get out the mop and bucket. Cleaning is a two birds with one stone type of thing. Not only will your home benefit, but it’s a great workout, and you get just to do something ‘mindless’ for a while.
Learn something new. You could choose a language or something like photoshop or photography. Or it might even be blogging. Learning new things keeps our brains in excellent working order for longer. Learning online is super easy now, and the choice of courses is phenomenal.
Know yourself better. If you get migraines or tummy aches, you would start to make a note of potential triggers. Start to do this for mental triggers. If you are feeling more drained than usual, or anxiety is through the roof. Take a look at the reasons that might be happening. You will maybe recognize a pattern which can help you work out which type of self-care you are going to need and when.
Build in new habits. Introducing yourself to new podcasts, audiobooks or reading for a set amount of time or pages each week will mean that no matter what is happening in any given week you can be sure that you will be doing ‘that thing’ on that day at that time. Change can give you a new spring in your step.
Write it out. One of the best ways to process thoughts and feelings is simply by writing them down. You can let your brain empty onto a page and either throw it in the bin or save it.
Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. It might be as simple as sipping a coffee and listening to your favorite songs. Or sitting under a shady tree comfortably with a looked forward to book or Kindle choice. Whatever works for you is absolutely perfect.
Deborah Hunter Kells
I have a wide range of interests and the top of my list is people and relationships. I appreciate our big wide world and nature which tries so hard to deal with what we do to it. As noted you will find a variety of topics covered (see Home page) My appreciation goes to my team and others whom I collaborate with to make this blog successful and resourceful. Thanks especially to my team: Sarah, Tina, and Billah (See footer for more of their details)