Practice self-care in 5 simple steps.
By Amy Blythe, organiser of the Self-Care and Wellness Expo in Taunton, Somerset.
Self-care should be an essential part of our daily life. We are good at caring for others, being kind and compassionate, but we often neglect to show ourselves this same level of attention! Self-care isn't always fluffy, with candles and spas; it can be hard and require facing things we'd rather not have to deal with.
Self-care is individual; it's personal to you. It won't necessarily come easily to some of us, but the benefits are vast. Self-care is a practice, so the more you do it, the more natural it will feel.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1) Nourish and fuel your body
Eat healthily. This is nothing new. Making sensible food choices, healthy food choices is one of the simplest ways to care for yourself. Plan ahead so you don't grab unhealthy food when hunger strikes. Carry an emergency nutritious snack in your bag.
We love our social media, don't we!? It has its place for sure. But take time to notice how your scrolling is making you feel. Be aware if you are comparing your life to the Instagram life; remember people only post what you want them to see. Take time to unplug from electronic devices each day, and be present with what is around you.
There might be a few rolls of the eyes with this suggestion, but it is so very important for our mental and physical health. Find a type of exercise that you enjoy so it's not so much of a chore. Set yourself a mini (or a big) challenge. Move away from your desk at regular intervals and take a walk, or just have a little dance on the spot. The release of endorphins when we exercise does increase feelings of happiness so it will be worth it!
4) Find something that makes you smile inside
What is that thing that makes you feel joy and happiness; that feeling of 'yes, life is good!'? Remember it, and use that activity as part of your self-care routine, and create those feelings that just make you feel like you are smiling inside! Allow yourself time to enjoy life.
5) Practice gratitude
Studies have shown that practicing gratitude can improve happiness - I love this! Try taking the time each day to write down three things that you feel grateful for that day. It could be hearing the birdsong; a phone call from a friend or the roof over your head, there is no right or wrong response. It's a great practice to try when things around you aren't feeling too bright and positive. Look for the little things.
I am passionate about self-care and I aim to inspire and educate about the importance of practising daily self-care. My business ethos is all about self-care and I am moving towards becoming a Wellness Coach, encompassing all my professional and personal experience. As a sports massage therapist I have seen lots of bodies tense and painful from a lack of movement and a build up daily stress. For that reason my yoga classes aim to move the body; freely and intuitively as well as stilling the mind; quietening the inner chatter and the busyness of modern day life.