Because it's Monday, I thought we could all do with a little self-love. Plus adulting can be hard sometimes; stressful things happen, responsibility weighs heavy on our shoulders and we just never seem to have the time to do the things we love. Practicing self-care is something we can start straight away and doesn't it make total sense that we need to take care of our own well being before we can take care of others. It's like attending to your own oxygen mask on the plane before helping others, right?!
Eating healthy, exercising and talking through our problems are all obvious and proven ways of taking care of ourselves during stressful times. These are great things to incorporate into our every day lives. But sometimes we just need a little reboot to help us to remember to look after ourselves; to stop, take a breath and put ourselves first, even for a few hours. Here are my suggestions to do just that. I'm no self-care expert, so feel free to add to these suggestions or ignore the ones that don't make sense to you. Also, in the interests of full disclosure, I'll be the first to admit that I struggle to put some of these ideas into practice myself; it's a work in progress at the moment.
Keep scrolling for easy and (mostly free) things we can do practice self-care....
1. Look at your schedule and cancel unnecessary plans. You know the ones I'm talking about. When you are feeling a little stressed and over whelmed, perhaps you don't need to meet that friend of a friend who's just moved to town. Instead meet a close friend or use the time to do something you love to do.
2. Unplug from your phone and laptop for half a day and use that time to take a bath, read a book, cook or just do nothing at all. Then when you plug back in, make sure to turn off notifications on your phone so at least you can look at it on your own terms and not when Facebook tells you to.
Image credit: Mikayla Mallek, via unsplash.com
3. Quit saying yes all the time. I got a great piece of advice a few years back from a friend. She told me that when someone asks you do to something, you should put space between you and the answer. I always remembered this and I think it's such a useful tip. Instead of responding straight away, take some time to think about it and decide if it really is the right thing for you to do at that time.
4. Treat yourself to what you enjoy doing the most. Whether it's going for a walk, getting your hair done, buying a new pair of shoes, meeting a friend, reading a book. Whatever it is, just make time to do it. But don't just do it; slow down, connect with what you are doing and really enjoy it.
Image credit: Kris Atomic, via unsplash.com
5. Stop multi-tasking, even for a day. We are always being bombarded with advice on how to multi-task, how to do more, how to use time more effectively, etc. Seriously sometimes, I just want to scream chill out. Of course multi-tasking is a fact of life, but multi-tasking isn't a goal in itself. Figure out what your actual goals are and what you need to get done and focus on achieving them instead of trying to fit a million things into a day.
6. Light the candles, buy the flowers, drink the good wine and stop saving good stuff for future occasions. There's no point in having lots of lovely things if they are locked away in the 'good' room saved for a special occasion. Surround yourself with and use all the lovely things in your everyday life.
Image credit: Jeffrey Wegrzyn, via unsplash.com
7. Nurture your inner child. Think of how you would take care of a child; you would make sure they are healthy, you would support them and love them, you would encourage them to have fun and to play. Now treat yourself as if you are that child and take care of yourself in the same way. If this isn't an excuse to jump on a trampoline, I don't know what is.
8. Accept help. Allow others to do things; whether its in work at home or wherever. This is especially important for someone like me whose impulse is to do everything myself so that it's done a certain way. Realise that it's ok if the dishwasher is stacked weirdly, if someone else drives and takes a longer route or your colleague took a different approach to that work memo than you would have had. Save yourself a bundle of stress and just let it go.
Main image credit: Imani Clovis, via unsplash.com