How do you manage your self-care? It could be mental, physical, or emotional – self-care encompasses all three elements. Some of us are better at taking care of ourselves than others. Similarly, some people are good at physical self-care but are weaker on mental and emotional self-care. How would you rate yourself in these areas?
There are some habits that can scupper any attempts you make to take better care of yourself. How many of these sound familiar?
ALWAYS SAYING YES
Are you always saying yes to people? Do you accept every invitation, every request for help, every suggestion for doing something? Even when you know you’ll regret it! Try saying no now and then, to protect your time and prevent you from being overbooked and stressed.
LACK OF BOUNDARIES
How much importance do you place on your time? Do other people constantly invade your life, asking for things or expecting certain things from you? If you don’t have any boundaries, you’ll be so caught up in what everyone else wants you won’t have time to take care of yourself.
ALWAYS PUTTING OTHERS FIRST
We’re taught that selflessness is a good thing, and it is. However, if you always put others first to the detriment of your own self-care, you’ll suffer in the end. Always take time each day just for you. Even a few minutes makes all the difference.
SPENDING HOURS A DAY ON SOCIAL MEDIA
It’s nice to keep in contact with friends on social media, but it’s very easy to get sucked in, isn’t it? Time spent on social platforms can mean less time to focus on your self-care. Try putting a limit on the time you spend on there each day.
If you go to bed later, it means you can fit more in, right? Well, yes… but it also means you miss out on the sleep you need. Sleep is nourishing, allowing us to replenish and reset our minds and bodies. I believe that sleep is the most precious form of self-care and like most things quality counts.
SKIPPING THAT WORKOUT
It could mean getting up early to go to the gym before work. It might mean going out for a refreshing walk in the evening. We all have our own exercise preferences, but many of us find it very easy to skip a workout in favour of watching TV or doing something else. But exercise makes us feel good, releases endorphins, and keeps us healthy. Don’t focus on finding the time to exercise, focus on what it will do for your self-care.
“I’LL START TOMORROW…”
This is an easy habit to get into, isn’t it? We’ve all got wonderful and positive plans for tomorrow. But if you always plan for tomorrow, you’ll never get anything done. Resolve to start today instead. You might be surprised at the number of positive steps you can take to boost your self-care, just by eradicating this habit.
LIVING IN THE PAST
If you always look to the past, you won’t live in the present. It’s nice to have good memories of times gone by, but many of us hold regrets and negative thoughts about the past. These are not healthy. They prevent us from taking good care of ourselves today, from a mental health standpoint.
FORGETTING TO PLAN
Planning is one of the best ways to make sure you allocate time to focus on self-care routines. For example, maybe you want to take some daily exercise. If you’re a morning person, you might go swimming before work, or visit the gym instead. You could take an exercise class at lunchtime, or wind down with a walk after work. What would fit in best for you? Use this technique to take care of all your self-care needs.
TALKING YOURSELF DOWN
What do I mean by this? Well, negative self-talk is a sure-fire way of scuppering our mental health needs. You won’t feel positive about yourself if you talk yourself down all the time. This is an easy habit to get into, and not so easy to escape from. But the more you work at it, the easier it will be to talk positively to yourself more often.
I hope you can see how important it is to adopt good and positive habits that make it easier for you to take care of yourself. Focusing on others, putting off things we know we should do, and neglecting to plan can all influence our wellbeing.
Is there something standing in the way of your self-care? If so, the sooner you identify it, the sooner you can make some changes for the better. Where can you begin?
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.