What is self-care and how do we do it? 

There appears to be something new popping up on everyone’s radar, a new-ish term that really should have had more emphasis placed on it sooner… Self-Care.

This is something, which until now, I really haven't taken notice of. I have always assumed that when I took the odd relaxing bubble bath maybe 3, sometimes more a month that I was really taking care of myself. Recovering, relaxing. Turns out our bodies and minds need a little bit more than just a lush bath bomb once in a blue moon. But actually, does that really come as a surprise? We've all known for a long time that maybe we should shut off our laptops at 5.30 when we leave the office and not open them again till the next morning, or that instead of shoving a chicago town deep pan in the microwave, we could make ourselves a tasty and nutritious meal.

Why do we forget about the most important part of our lives? Us.

I find I'm someone that doesn't deal with stress in a good way, it affects me physically as well as mentally, however, I have noticed small changes in my health since taking up self-care. 

Self-care is making time for yourself away from the "noise" of life, because it's exhausting! Not sure about you, but I always have something flying around my brain.

So, what has helped me?

It's not always easy knowing what to do to help yourself, so when I picked Jayne Hardy's 'The Self-Care Project' off the shelf I found it extremely fascinating. This book is a great way to focus of the mental side of self-care. It helps you work toward positively changing the things we can hold against ourselves such as guilt, self-awareness, avoiding decisions and not asking for help. I am only in the first chapter but have already found it a huge help when it comes to me being more self-aware and has helped me get better sleep at night as I know I'm working on myself and putting the effort in! 

What are the other things you can be doing? Take a look at the list below to get some ideas of the things you can physically do for looking after yourself.

 If you can't get on with any of the things on this list, try to do one thing per day that you love and take you time doing it. It's also a great idea to try spending an afternoon doing the things which help you relax and put your mind at rest.

The more time you are able to give to yourself, the more your able to give to others and you may just feel healthier for it!

Ways to practice Self-Care

  1. Take time to identify activities and actions that make you feel good
  2. Find somewhere quiet and meditate as needed.
  3. Re-read one of your favourite books.
  4. Avoid triggers.
  5. Watch TV shows that are funny or comforting
  6. Take time to yourself, away from others
  7. Get a full night’s sleep (regularly!)
  8. Check in with yourself
  9. Put on fresh comfortable clothing
  10. Light a candle and fill your home with your favourite scent
  11. Take a hot bath
  12. Visit your favourite spot in the city you live in
  13. Don’t feel guilty about running down invitations or cancelling plans.
  14. Take a day off work if you need to.
  15. Write down a list of things you are thankful for.
  16. Remind yourself that this too will pass.
  17. Read inspiring quotes.
  18. Spend time outside.
  19. Listend to your favourite band or song on repeat.
  20. Ask for help if you need it.
  21. Do not force yourself to do anything you don’t want to do.
  22. Eat a balanced diet, but treat yourself to your favourite guilty pleasure.
  23. Write down what yo are thinking and feeling.
  24. Breathe in and out.
  25. Unplug from social media.
  26. Exercise.
  27. Listend to a calming playlist.
  28. Pet an animal.
  29. Do yoga/pilates/relaxation class
  30. Turn off your phone for a day.
  31. Splurge a little.
  32. Schedule an appointment with a therapist (or prayer partner.)
  33. Take a nap.
  34. Do something that inspires and motivates you.
  35. Make future plans for a trip or event you are excited about.
  36. Spend time with a close friend or family member.

(list adapted from popsugar.com)

Emillie is Assistant Youth Pastor at HCC, Hitchin. She blogs at alifelikeaboxofchocs.wordpress.com

Emillie Wright., 17/05/2018
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