This year has been a difficult one for many, while some have been furloughed, others have worried about their jobs, some have been working right through. Some of you may have come face to face with illness, or seen a loved one suffer, others may not have been touched by it quite so personally. Whatever you have been through over the last year I think we all need a little self care.
For me personally I have worked through the pandemic non-stop as people have become more in tune with their health than ever before. Many say I’m lucky and I am, but there’s also been no way to take a break, no where to go, no days out, no holidays. Just work. This in itself is enough to lead to burnout. On the other end of the scale worrying about your job is the same, a continuous stress. While stress can be useful in getting us moving and motivated, a continued low level stress, that never gives up is a sure fire way to burn yourself out.
Now more than ever we need to look to self-care and the importance of it.
I know many friends who think that taking time for themselves (especially those who are parents) is selfish, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Only when you look after yourself can you give your best to others, to your children, partner, family and friends.
So what are my top 10 tips to self care…
- Nutrition – focus on eating really nutritious, whole foods. No processed, packaged meals. Let’s get cooking!
- Hydration – focus on drinking 2 litres of water a keep yourself well hydrated.
- Movement – stretch, walk, garden, or do some yoga. It doesn’t have to be intense, you don’t need to be pounding away in the gym, just find something you can do today, something you enjoy, that gets your body moving.
- Mindfulness – choose something that will help you ground yourself. You may want to meditate, maybe listen to a mindfulness app. You could journal, journalling can be anything you want it to be, there doesn’t need to be a structure, just getting things down on paper can be a help. Or list 3 things you are grateful for at the end of the day. Anything that gets your mind to settle and focus.
- Breathe – it sounds simple enough, but we rarely focus on our breath. Try something simple like 3-4-5 breathing. Breathe in for a count 3, hold for a count of 4 and breathe out for a count of 5. Repeat for 10 breaths. I swear by this one, give it a go, it really doesn’t take long.
- Reading – this for me is my number one relaxation, don’t pick up a work book, choose something you can escape into, nothing beats curling up and reading a good book.
- Relax – do something for you, that you find relaxing, this will be different for everyone, it’s about finding what works for you. It may just be giving yourself the time to have a bath, or do a face mask, or watch a film. Whatever you enjoy that switches you off and lets you relax.
- Maybe you have a hobby you love, but rarely get time to do. Why not take it up again? Hobbies are a great thing to have in your life, why do you think we get our children doing so many, but as we get older we tend to lose touch with them, life gets in the way.
- Dream – get to bed early, give yourself the best medicine of all and sleep.
- Switch off – do a digital detox, put the computer away for the day, switch the phone off (or at least silence notifications and apps). Switch off.
You don’t have to pressure yourself to do all of these, or to take out a massive amount of time from your day. You may want to pick one and just give yourself time for that. Whether you choose to do them all, or just one, make sure you give it your full undivided attention. Give yourself the gift of that time for you.
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