Self care is about taking care of yourself in a way that is unique to you. It is about doing what speaks to you, what you feel you need to do to replenish and also thinking about where you need to restore – is it mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually?
There is no right or wrong, it is up to you what you do, but most importantly it should be something you ENJOY doing NOT something you hate doing! Just because a friend or work colleague is doing something and it works for them, does not mean you have to do it too!
Follow these 4 Steps:
1. Think about what do and don’t want
Take some to tap into what you do and don’t want. For example:
What do you want to feel like?
- Well rested
What do you NOT want to feel like?
- Burned out
2. Set Boundaries
The first and most important step to implementing a self care practice is to set boundaries. Boundaries on your time for example because if you are too busy then it is impossible to get any time to yourself.
3. Learn to say ‘NO’
Saying no is about creating some space in your life so that you can free up some time for yourself.
I know from experience how challenging this can be! I have always used to be a ‘yes’ person (not anymore!), willing to help anyone and give my time to family, friends and work commitments.
Saying no does take practice but it gets easier over time because guess what, the feeling you get from freeing up some time to spend how you wish, soon out weighs any guilt you had about saying no in the first place!
How to say ‘NO’
When asked to do something, you need to take a moment to stop and consider:
- Is this something you really want to do?
- Is this request in alignment with and does is support your priorities, goals and values?
- Does the idea of doing it fill you with dread but you feel you can’t say no?
- Are you just saying yes because you don’t want to upset or disappoint anyone?
- Are you thinking there are better things you could do with you time?
By saying no to one thing, you are freeing up space which enables you to say yes to something else, such as self care!
If you feel you have PUT ON THE SPOT being asked to do something/go somewhere, the automatic knee jerk reaction is usually to say yes. If the situations allows, try saying ‘I’ll have to check my diary and get back to you’. This gives you the opportunity to step away and decide if this really is something you want to say yes or no to.
4. Create a List
Create a list of all the things you think of as self-care, things that speak to you, things that you know you enjoy and help you to relax.
Look at the list and see what could be done in different increments of time, for example, one minute, five minutes, 20 minutes and so on.
Look at what you could do that doesn’t cost money and this is your go to list for self-care.
This is not set in stone and can be tweaked and changed over time.
And finally, don’t worry if you are struggling to create a list of the things you enjoy. Quite often we have no idea what this is because it has been so long since we did anything for ourselves! Start by making a list of the things you used to enjoy? Look at the list and think if this is something you may like to try again now? If not, then it’s time to experiment with some new things.
You may also be interested in: