Self Care, it’s a term that’s thrown about an awful lot lately. I’m not normally one to jump on a bandwagon, however, I really do believe in the importance of self-care. Nevertheless, it has taken me a long time to get on board with it for myself. I’m one of those people who will encourage others to take time for themselves but fail to do the same for myself.
I’ve spoken here previously about my mental health, I mentioned in that post that being kind to yourself, self-care, is crucial. I should have taken that on board more. Now, I did for a time, and I was in a pretty good place for a while, but in the 18 months since I published that piece, life veered onto many hard paths again and that has an effect.
So I am back on the self-care train and this time I really do intend staying on it. Guilt has been my problem in the past. I’d feel guilty for taking half an hour with a cuppa and my book. I’d feel selfish for spending time alone pampering myself. I always felt I ‘should’ be doing something productive, something worthwhile, something that needed to be done. All the time I was failing to see that I needed to take care of me.
I have found when talking or reading about self-care, often people are unsure what it actually is. That’s where the point is being missed a little. One size doesn’t fit all and what I may deem as self-care for me, may not work for someone else.
I have listed some self-care suggestions which I have broken into three categories, ideas for your mind, body and soul. You will agree though, that most of them overlap and what is good for the body is good for the soul etc.
What you practice, genuinely does depend on how you feel. You may not want to read a book, but you may be happy to sit in silence for ten minutes. Go with your gut and what your heart is telling you to do.
Depending on how you feel, what works today may not work tomorrow. Minding yourself may be head space today, family time tomorrow. No two days need to be the same. This is about you and what works for you.
Many of the suggestions I have included here, I practice, others are ideas. I am simply sharing how self-care is simple, free and so important.
It is vital that you practice self-care for you, prioritise it for you. It isn’t for your children, your partner your friends. They will all benefit from you taking care of yourself, yes; but these little practices are yours alone.