We all talk about self care and #selfcaresundays but do we really know how important self care is ? Earlier on this week, I caught up with one of my best girlfriends who is a Psychologist to get her answers and tips on self care. Here are her answers below !
What is self-care ?
Self care is exactly what it sounds like.. caring for yourself! It involves taking care of your body and mind with the purpose of improving your overall wellbeing.
Why does self-care even matter ?
Life can be really demanding with work, financial pressures, children, relationships, family commitments, expectations of others and the list goes on.. Self care is so important because it can help with preventing burnout and assists with reducing your stress levels.
We've all heard the saying "you can't pour from an empty cup," so investing time and energy into self care is an act of love and self compassion. For those that struggle to prioritise self care over care for others, it can be helpful to remember that you're better equipped to care for family and friends after attending to your own needs.
Are there different areas of self-care ?
Yes, there certainly are. Self care comes in different forms including physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, relationships, and workplace or professional. You may find that you're practicing self care in some areas but lacking in others. Ideally you want to find a balance to ensure that you're looking after yourself across each of the domains.
What are some self-care activities ?
Self care is an opportunity for you to press the pause button on your life. Here's a list of some self care activities. You may find that some resonate with you more than others.
- Eating nourishing meals
- Eating regularly
- Getting enough sleep
- Taking time off when sick
- Accessing medical care when needed
- Taking time to be sexual with myself, and/or with a partner
- Having time away from telephones, emails or the internet,
- Taking time for self-reflection
- Writing in a journal
- Saying no to extra responsibilities
- Noticing my inner experiences by listening to my thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and feelings
- Spending time with loved ones
- Staying in contact with important people in my life
- Giving myself affirmations
- Giving myself praise
- Re-reading favourite books
- Re-watching favourite movies
- Allowing myself to cry
- Finding things that make me laugh
- Identifying comforting activities, objects, people and places.
- Spending time in nature
- Finding a spiritual connection or community of people
- Being aware of non-material aspects of life
- Writing gratitude lists
- Contributing and/or donating to causes I believe in
- Reading or listening to inspirational talks
- Playing or listening to music
- Scheduling regular dates with my partner
- Making time to see friends
- Call, check on or see my relatives
- Spend time with my pets
- Allow others to do things for me
- Asking for help when I need it
- Sharing a secret with someone I trust
Workplace or Professional
- Taking a break during the workday
- Taking time to chat with co-workers
- Creating balance in the workday
- Identifying projects that are exciting and rewarding
- Arranging work space that is comfortable and inviting
What tips can you give to help implement self-care practices that we can stick to ?
Don't be hard on yourself if you find if difficult to practice self care. It shouldn't feel like a chore or something that adds extra pressure or stress to your life. Self care can be as simple as taking five minutes each day to focus on you (i.e., listening to your favourite song or focusing on your breathing) - the less complicated, the better!
I encourage you to make a list of the self-care activities that resonate with you. Ask yourself what spark joy in me?! That way you'll hopefully be more inclined to block out sometime for yourself because you'll be doing something that you really love.
I've found that when I schedule my self care activity in my calendar, I'm more likely to prioritise my time better plus it's nice to have something fun and/or relaxing to look forward to, particularly after a busy day or week.