Self-care can be misinterpreted, it’s not all about bubble baths and having a pamper (though that is obviously a wonderful thing to do!). It is in actual fact “any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health” (PsychCentral).
My favourite time of day is golden hour , when the sun rises or sets, shining an orange glow around us and making us stop and stare. I think of self care like this, find your golden hour each day – make time for you to find your glow.
I thought I would note a few tips to understand self-care and how to make time for it.
- We are all different and what is self-care for one person, may not be right for another. Sometimes it takes time to find what works for us, what we enjoy and what helps our mental and physical health. It doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming.
- Think about why you are not already making self-care a priority. Do you feel you have no time in your life? Is something getting in the way? Do you feel guilty for time spent solely on yourself? Once you have thought about the answer, then address those areas of your life. This is part of self-care, taking the time to think about your own mental wellbeing. If your too busy, then learn to take time out for your own health.
- Find your own version of self-care. What makes you feel relaxed and happy? What allows you to reset and recharge? It can be something as simple as getting to bed at a good time and having a good night’s sleep, meditating, practising yoga at home or taking that time out perhaps from your phone and having a digital detox. Explore what helps you when your stressed, maybe a book to escape into or a jog or walk to quieten your thoughts. Perhaps it is a person who inspires and leaves you feeling nourished. Try and make these a regular part of your life.
- Spend 10-20 minutes daily in your self-care routine. Either in the morning, or in the evening. It needs to be something you look forward to. Mine is yoga and photography. I make sure I fit in a home yoga practice daily, and I also play around with photography, taking photographs inside the house if I don’t have time to venture anywhere else. I also find incense very calming, lighting it reminds me of Ibiza and yoga, and can instantly make me feel calm. Music is another good option, getting lost in a song or album that always makes you feel good. Sipping your favourite hot drink and having 10 minutes to yourself. There is so many little self-care ways you can adopt into your daily routine.
- Remember that self-care is not selfish. I know that I can feel guilty for taking time, for doing what I want to do and putting time aside. But I know now that I am useless to anybody if I don’t take that time for myself now. It leaves me calmer, nourished and helps my anxiety – which makes me more myself for when I am around others. We need to remember that we have to look after ourselves, after our mind, or it can eventually take its toll on your wellbeing. You deserve time out – we all do.
- Make your new self-care routine a priority. See it as important as eating. As important as sleep. Adapt your day, it could be as your new morning routine along with brushing your teeth, or the end of the day before you get to bed.
I hope this has helped and inspired you to try finding your own time and self-care and making it a priority. I know it is very difficult sometimes, you may have an extremely demanding job, children to care for, a busy social life or feel a little lost. But this is especially important to develop healthy habits of self-care into your day. Our mind, body and soul need nurturing and caring for as well as the other elements of our life. Self-care is not self-indulgence, but in fact self-respect.
My mum introduced me to this poem a while ago, and when writing this post I thought it ties in perfectly.
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
Lesiure by W.H.Davies