What is Self Care?
Self Care is defined as ‘the deliberate and unselfish act of caring for yourself’. By acknowledging your own needs and ensuring these needs are met you set yourself up for being the best you can be.
If you are nourished, emotionally replenished, strong, calm, resilient and happy you are much more able to take on whatever the world throws at you.
What happens if you don’t prioritise your own self care?
If you don’t prioritise your own self care you will end up in a wilted, crumpled heap unable to help anyone. Your own, internal batteries will be so low that you will be completely out of power.
Without prioritising your own self care you are likely to end up feeling ill or depleted. Your stress levels are likely to be sky high as you won’t get a minute to think straight. You won’t be able to keep on giving, giving, giving as there won’t be anything left of you to give!
Why should you prioritise your own self care?
You should prioritise your own self care so you can be strong and well. You’ll also have more energy, be more likely to be a better mood and be less snappy with your family and colleagues.
If you have had some time to yourself you are more likely to be able to think straight and be rested. Self care is a bit like refuelling your car. You wouldn’t expect that to keep on running indefinitely without giving it a service, topping up the fuel levels and giving it an occasional break!
What kind of things count as self care?
When we think of self care we often think of hot bubbly baths or boxes of chocolates. I believe there is more to it than that. It is about looking after your own health and wellbeing, of taking breaks, having some time out, following hobbies, nurturing friendships and taking time for deep rest. It’s about taking a walk and getting some fresh air, having a laugh with a friend, enjoying a healthy relationship and eating a nourishing, balanced diet.
It is doing whatever it is that makes you feel happy, vibrant and alive.
We are all different, for some of us having time alone is not fulfilling but others love solitude. It could be reading a book or going for a 10k run. Or going to a yoga class, or reading a magazine. It could be creating some art or climbing a mountain. Whatever makes you feel like you’re on top of the world! It could be having a monthly massage or reflexology treatment or going for a swim.
Isn’t self care selfish?
No! Not at all. Self care gives you permission to be the healthiest, most vibrant person you can be. This allows you to be able to offer your support to others. Self care done properly is anything BUT selfish. In fact you could argue that NOT prioritising your own self care is selfish!
How do I prioritise my own self care?
You can prioritise your own self care by saying NO to anything or anyone who is no longer sparking joy in your life. There are probably things that you are doing regularly that could be delegated to someone else or crossed off your to do list for ever.
Pencil yourself into your own diary and mark yourself as busy for that time. Do not let anyone encroach on this time. It is important.
Take small steps towards self care. This could be eating an extra portion of fruit with breakfast or having a glass of water whilst the kettle boils. It could be dancing whilst you wait for the kettle or walking to the post box. It could be taking a duvet day once in a while or wrapping up warm and going for a long walk.
What can you do today to start you on your self care journey?
Think of one thing that you can do today to get you started on your self care journey. It could be having an early night, cancelling an unwanted commitment, taking a walk after dinner, arranging to meet a friend for lunch, or booking yourself in for a reflexology treatment!
Tomorrow pick something else and do that. Eventually taking care of yourself will become second nature and hopefully you’ll be the happiest, healthiest version of you possible.
Go on.. you’re worth it!
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Sarah Cooper is a Reflexologist, Reiki Master Practitioner, Aromatherapist and Writer based in Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, England.
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