Self-care is the latest buzzword in the wellbeing word – so what’s it all about, and how can you achieve it?
At its core, self-care means putting yourself first; before your partner, your kids and most definitely your job. Think of it as a mandate to take care of yourself, for a change. After all, how much use are you to anyone if you’re running on empty?
So say goodbye to that constantly “frazzled” feeling and hello to the life-changing benefits of looking after YOU with our top four self-care tips…
1. Learn what nourishes you – and what doesn’t
Satisfaction doesn’t come from drifting through life fire-fighting emergencies and ticking off a to-do list centred on other people’s needs. Many of us have fallen so far down our own list of priorities; we’ve forgotten what’s important to us.
Next time you catch yourself stuck in a groove of old habits take a moment to reflect. Ask yourself: “How do I feel about this?” If your heart sinks to your boots or you feel strangely resistant, pay attention to it.
2. Don’t say “yes” when you mean “no”
We’ve all agreed to do something for someone and instantly regretted it. If you’re constantly running around after everyone else, you’re going to end up frazzled – and resentful. And for the rampant people-pleasers among us, you must reach a compromise.
For example, if you’ve been asked to organise a friend’s party, say, ‘I may not be able to organise the whole party, but I can organise the cake and see who else can help.’ That way, you’re helping to find a solution, but one that works for everyone.
3. Listen to the self-care alarm bells
You’ve left the keys in the fridge, you can’t focus on anything and you’ve forgotten where you parked the car. Take heed. Forgetfulness and an inability to concentrate are self-care alarm bells.
If you’re dropping balls left, right and centre, and cancelling plans at the last minute, who does that benefit? Take control by not being afraid to ask for help, being beware overcommitting, and scheduling self-care in your diary – whether it’s being creative, exercising or otherwise.
4. Be kind to yourself
Most of us would never dream of speaking to our worst enemies the way we speak to ourselves. It’s no wonder we’re exhausted and find it hard to have any faith in our abilities.
So watch the tone of your self-talk. Imagine you’re talking to a close friend, or someone else you care about. Be your own cheerleader for a change.
By Sharon Walker