I'm one for advocating the importance of self-care in the work that I do. I always recommend or advise clients that I see in my therapy room daily to focus more on their self-care.
When life gets busy and stressful, it's very easy to look outside of us for someone, something or anything that will make us feel better. Such as a partner, friend, therapist, a quick high such as a coffee or alcohol or to eat something that is unhealthy such as that cake. It's also very easy to pop a pill to make us feel good and feel better.
These are all temporary fixes and never truly fix the root cause of the problem or issue you are in.
What we really need to do is to fully accept ourselves as we are in all our unique strange and mysterious ways. Once you fully accept yourself, it's much easier to love and appreciate yourself and when you love and appreciate yourself, you naturally find ways to care for yourself in much healthier, nurturing ways that are longstanding. You begin to choose what's best for you. Especially when life is getting on top of you.
What is Self-care I hear you ask?
Well, self-care is where you are doing acts of taking care of yourself ideally on a daily basis.
The types of self-care can range from Physical, Emotional, Social, Mental, Spiritual, Personal, Your space, Financial and your Work/Career/Business.
Ideally we should be striving towards all of these areas in our lives, ideally daily to have optimum health, wellbeing and life fulfilment.
Self-care forms an essential part of a lifestyle that keeps us healthy, happy, and more in tune with our minds and bodies.
When we take good care of ourselves in all areas of our life, we're likely to see an improvement in many aspects of our lives, including our physical health and our relationships.
Self-care encourages you to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself. It's about being as kind to yourself as you would be to others.
It produces positive happy feelings and boosts your confidence and self-esteem.
Which we can all benefit more from right now. To feel good about ourselves and how we take care of ourselves. Allowing us to feel empowered and leading a healthy life and lifestyle.
Plus if you have children, it's a great way to teach this to your children; children watch what there parents do on a daily basis; so seeing mum or dad taking loving and kind care to themselves daily, can have many profound benefits for their future and seeing it as an essential part of life and looking after this human body that we live in. That allows us to have a healthy and fulfilling life all round.
Benefits of Self Care:
Enhances self-esteem - When you regularly carve out some time for yourself which is all about being good to yourself and meeting you own needs, you send a positive message to your subconscious. Treating yourself like you matter and that you have value and that you are important. Such as your energy, your time, your body and your health and how you feel about yourself. This can really help with self-esteem and feeling good about yourself. Helping to reduce negative self talk and your critical inner voice.
Helps sharpen our mental and physical health - helps us to become much clearer on our life path and where we want to be going with our life. And it improves our physical health and longevity of our body. Allowing us to live a more fulfilling and healthier life.
Increased self-knowledge - Practising self-care requires thinking about what you really love to do and what you really enjoy in life. It can help you to understand yourself better and improve your relationship with yourself and improve your life in many ways. It can also help you focus on a previously abandoned hobby or a change in career.
Better Stress-Management - Your able to deal with stress and stressful situations much better and more easily than you did before. You feel more in control of your emotions and reactions and are able to find ways to make thing better and easier for you long term. This helps with your residence to stress and stressful situations and your mental wellbeing.
Better productivity - When you start making time for things that matter more. Goals become more focused and helps you to concentrate on what you are doing in the moment. You become more organised and dedicated to your life and your wellbeing. Which is great for your health and mental health as well.
Better physical health and overall wellbeing - When you take care of yourself much more with self-care practises, you often have fewer colds, cases of flu. Less stress and a better immune system which can help to keep you healthy and well, through challenging times and make you feel more physically stronger and able to cope better.
You have more to give to others - Self-care gives you the resources you need to be compassionate and caring to others as well. When you give yourself self-care and the respect and value that you deserve and owe to yourself, you fill up your own cup, you can't fill someone else if you don't have enough of your own. This includes energy, love, care, compassion, motivation, empathy, understanding etc... if you don't have enough of these yourself. You only end up draining your own rescues even more and this can lead to burnout, exhaustion, irritability, frustration and anger issues later on.
If you have a regular self-care practice in place in your life you will have an abundant supply of energy, love, care, compassion, motivation, empathy, understanding to name but a few. It's about replenishing these when they inevitably run low, especially if we are looking after family, small children, jaggedly home life, work, business, relationships and health related issues.
That is why self-care is so important to our human selves to manage our everyday lives more effectively, without the need of burn out and exhaustion...
If you take time everyday to do something for yourself, such as any of these below ideally daily, weekly or even hourly - whatever feels best for you.
Types of Self-Care:
There are many different types of self-care practises that you can easily implement into your daily life and lifestyle. None of them are especially difficult or require a lot of planning and spending a lot of money.
Find some that you generally enjoy and that would fit your life and your values that you have.
Physically caring for yourself means not abusing drugs or alcohol or anything else that hurts your body or makes you feel crappy. It means not binging on food, eating late into the night, skipping meals, consuming too many unhealthy foods, (such as take-outs and processed meals or snacks to keep you going), staying up too late, missing out on sleep because you are watching a Netflix series or browsing Facebook.
It means having a healthy attitude both to your physique and accepting that your body is intrinsically linked to the mind and not a separate entity. It's about being nice to your body, respecting it and giving it all the good things that it needs.
It Involves all physical activities that improve your physical health and wellbeing, such as eating healthy food and exercising. And to provide you with enough energy to enjoy life.
Such as exercise, Walking, Yoga, Pilates, Stretching, Swimming, Dancing to your favourite songs, Join a class, learn a new sport, go running with your dog, Cycling through the countryside. Exercise 3-5 times a week. Joining a gym, getting a personal trainer to help you stay fit and keep you accountable to your long term health and wellbeing goals.
Sleep - Commit to 7-9 hours of sleep per night, go to bed early and rise early everyday. Keeping a regular sleep schedule will really help your physical and mental wellbeing and health - nap when you need to, just 20 minutes can help you feel mentally and physically refreshed.
Say "NO" to invitations when you feel too tired to enjoy yourself.
Don't push yourself to do anything if you feel rundown or unwell. Taking the time to rest, visit doctors if you feel unwell.
Caring for your physical health can also mean looking after what you are consuming on a daily basis. Such as eating healthier foods such as quality nutrition like organic food, extra fruit and vegetables that fuel your body and staying hydrated and drinking plenty of fresh water. We are privileged enough to live in a first-world country where quality food is available to us.
It should be incredibly empowering, not daunting or intimidating, that WE control the choices that lead to wellness. We can become healthier with smart choices. The human body is truly amazing, and if we desire to live a long healthy, satisfying life, we can choose to harness this power that we have available to us.
Self Massage - is a way of nurturing yourself. Those who practice oil massage regularly find that they are not affected as much by strenuous work and stress. It also helps to improve lymphatic and blood circulation, naturally tones the body and the skin and helps to condition and nourish the skin. Be sure to always use a high quality cold-pressed ideally organic oil. Ancient Ayurvedic principles recommend daily oil massages over the whole body and the head for sustained health and mental wellbeing.
Pamper yourself with regular professional facials treatments, manicures and pedicures, massages, reiki or other energy healing sessions, Visiting a spa for the day, getting a hair cut, buy some new clothes, get a new outfit, have some fun with this. But most importantly look after your physical wellness. Get regular medical tests, visit the doctor and dentist when requested to do so, or when needed. Getting that eye test thats needed or not. Don't let you physical health decline over any fears that you may have.
There are many things that you can do daily or as often as you can to keep your physical self-care one of your main priorities in your life.
Emotional self-care is caring for your emotional needs by identifying what it is you are feeling and then moving forward in a way that honours yourself and the way that you feel emotionally. Having emotional self care can help us to lead a happy and content life. How we deal with our feelings says a lot about how much we love ourselves and care about ourselves.
We need to continually practice emotional self-care by coming back to the present moment and releasing and letting go of emotions that we may have, that are keeping us stuck or preventing us from moving forward. It's about being able to be aware of what we are feeling, when we are feeling it and the ability to cope with the emotion and express it in healthy ways. We have to learn to be gentle with ourselves and how we are feeling, rather than getting all caught up in the emotion.
Instead of avoiding our emotions, like fear, anger, hurt, frustration, helplessness, hopelessness and any negative emotions, by suppressing/repressing or dumping them onto others. We need to turn towards them and see our emotional responses to situations/ people or things in our life and to understand what our emotions are all about and how to use them to serve us better. To know all of your emotions and your past experiences with them. What are the triggers of each emotion? Knowing your emotions should help you to know yourself and respond in a way that feels right (or better) for you.
We know now that having a poor emotional health can weaken our physical health as well as our immune systems health. Which makes it more likely for us to develop colds and other infections during emotionally difficult times. It can also zap mental and physical energy and effect all aspects of our body, our health of our organs, upsets the bodies hormonal balance, digestive system, depletes the brains chemicals and so much more...
That is why it it really important that we focus on our emotional wellbeing by taking our emotional self-care seriously and regularly checking in with ourselves and how we feel inside and the emotions that are holding us back from moving forward.
Types of ways that can help with Emotional self-care are:
Stress Management (working with stress and ways to deal with it better), Coping skills, Emotional maturity, Forgiveness, Compassion and Kindness.
Prioritise yourself - You need time for yourself to process and express your emotions and what you are going through in your life. So having your own personal space to be alone, with your feelings and emotions is really important to be able to work through them and to eventually let them go and move on. We have to acknowledge how we feel, honour our feelings and eventually look to what we can learn about how to live more meaningfully and thoughtfully. To be kind to ourselves and compassionate to our feelings and emotions that come up,
Learn to forgive yourself - To not beat yourself up for what has happened or how you feel, but to instead, treat yourself with self-love, compassion and kindness. Experience your emotions, cry them out if you need to, but do it without judgement, guilt or embarrassment. Be gentle to yourself and to others. You, and everyone else are all doing the best that they can. Give yourself the grace to try again and accept yourself as you are.
Let go of what happened in the past, Forgive yourself , let it go and move forward in your life, not back to the past and past emotions.
If you find that stress is affecting your emotions and feelings? I highly recommend trying Stress Management or seeing a stress management therapist or coach - Stress may feel overwhelming at times, but it is important to have some control over it and reduce stress and to feel better in your life. A stress management therapist or coach could help you develop healthy ways to help you to better control and manage stress more effectively and improving your life.
Journal your feelings and emotions - write down how you are feeling as often as you can. I love to journal my feelings and emotions that come up for me daily. I do this either through my day or at the end of the day, before I head to bed. This really helps me to process how I am feeling and gives me insight on how I am learning and growing as an individual and that we all are. Journalling really helps you to learn more about yourself, builds compassion, self-awareness, trust and self-love. So I highly recommend it to all my clients and to everyone that I meet. It's a great way to get to know yourself and a great way to work through any challenging situations and to quietly understand what is happening. Helping you to make better and healthier choices for yourself and improving your life and the way you live it.
Make a gratitude list - of all the things in your life that you are grateful for and what you have in your world. Such as fresh air to breathe in, eyes to see, ears to hear, a life to live, a home to live in, clean drinking water, fresh food on the table, money, prosperity, abundance, love, family, time, friends, pets/animals, the ability to learn and grow and so much more... The list is endless. Make your own list of what you are grateful of. Being grateful helps you to focus your attention on the positive things in your life. The feeling of appreciation and thanks.
Talk to someone if you struggle to work through your emotions and feelings - Talking to someone either a good friend or a trusted family member or a professional such as a counsellor, can help you to manage your emotions and help you to work through them. To see them in a different perspective and to gain clarity and insight into your own emotional wellbeing and ways in which you can move forward with a healthy mindset and balanced way of feeling and being. I highly recommend if you haven't got a good support network around you, such as friends or family that you feel comfortable expressing your inner most emotions and feeling, having a counsellor, such as a Holistic Counsellor, could help you to work through what is needed to be worked through, in compassionate ways and allow you the freedom to be you and to be happy being you.
Having a healthy emotional life and emotional balance will help serve you to live a happier more fulfilling life. That is why emotional self-care is really important to your mental and physical health and wellbeing. So try some of the above, to help you to feel a better emotional balance.
It's really important to honour and value your social needs. It's great to get some social stimulation with friends or people that you feel connected to, that you have things in-common with and that you can share, learn and grow from one another. This is important to our overall well-being and happiness in life.
But it is important to make sure that the people in your life that you socialise with are respecting you as a person and value who you are as much as you value them.
It's okay to let go of friendships that are no longer nourishing and fulfilling. There is no point holding on to a friendship or relationship with someone, for the sake of it. It doesn't serve you and it doesn't serve them.
It's all about communication, being able to express yourself and your feelings if someone hurts you. But fully honouring your feelings as well as theirs.
Surround yourself with people who make you feel good, make you feel happy and better about yourself. Those who inspire you to be the person that you know you are.
Types of Social Self-care are:-
Setting healthy boundaries with friends, work colleagues and people around you. - This is really important for a healthy relationship with others as well as with yourself. It's a sign of self-respect. Setting and sustaining boundaries is a skill. It's about knowing and understanding what your limits are. We need to know what our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual limits are. What can you tolerate and accept and what makes you uncomfortable, resentful, angry and stressed? These feelings help us to navigate and identify what our limits are. Boundaries are tools that enable us to feel strong, safe and empowered in our relationships with others. It is your duty to make the choices that are best for you.
If you find yourself in a situation that is letting go of your boundaries, some red flags can be: discomfort, resentment, stressed out, angered and burnout.
We need to be direct with some people that we may come across in life. What do you have control over, what is it that you can do about the situation?
It's really important to give yourself permission to put yourself first. Recognise the importance of your feelings and honouring them. They are important cues about your wellbeing and what makes you happy and unhappy.
Advantages of have healthy boundaries are:
Good mental health
Good emotional health
Avoidance of burnout and exhaustion
Influence others behaviour
Having a healthy support system - involves much more than having people to help you out in times of need. We all need a healthy support system to help us to go further in our success with life and development. It's about having someone or people that you can depend on, whether things are going well, or not so well. If you have this, you will enjoy many mental and physical health benefits. Less anxiety and depression. A support system can be anyone who listens and gives positive feedback, people who think and speak positively, people who would support you no matter what. People who you feel comfortable confiding in. It's really important also to be there for them also, return their phone calls, texts and emails. Check in with them, if you haven't heard from them in a while. Be the support that you needed back to them. It's important to be there for them. People won't want to help you through tough times if you aren't there for them during their tough times. So be there for your support system and keep it positive and healthy.
Positive Social Media - Is really important for our mental, emotional, physical health and well-being to have a positive relationship with social media. Social media is a massive part of our lives and it can no longer be ignored. As with everything there are good and bad things, especially in social media. Social media can be a great way to communicate and stay close to family and friends from around the world. Help you to find new friends and join communities, network with other people who share similar interests, hobbies and ambitions. Join or promote worthwhile causes, raise awareness on important issues and to be there for others, offering emotional support during tough times.
It's also really important to reduce your time online and on social media. Being more mindful of your social media use can have beneficial results on your mood and focus.
Healthy communication and good friends that lift you up, instead of bringing you down is really key to a healthy social self-care outlook. Choose friends and people that you interact with who lift you up and make you feel good. And do the same for them also. Its based on both parties being honest and open with one another without any judgements from both sides. If you are able to respect each other and really hear what the other person is saying, then you are on the right path to a happy relationship. We all have a strong need for connectivity and belonging. Positive interactions increase our wellbeing and provide us with a greater life satisfaction.
Try to include these into your social interactions and self-care. It helps you to understand that you are not alone. It's not just about doing things with other people, for the sake of it, but about doing things with people who make you feel good and that you like to be around.
If you would like more help with your own self-care and ways that you can keep yourself well and healthy physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I am happy to be of service and help if this is something you would like more guidance and accountability on.
I provide Holistic Counselling to help with emotional self-care and with being able to express your emotions and feelings in healthy ways that benefit your life and the lives of your friends and family.
I also provide Holistic Coaching and Stress Management coaching. If this is something that you would be interested in.
I help to empower people to succeed by increasing their self-awareness, building better relationships with other's and themselves, so that they can live more fulfilling and harmonious lives. To move them into the driver's seat of their life to create the life they desire, examining and shifting any limiting beliefs, reaching goals with Transformation Coaching and personal self-motivation.
To live a more healthier, fulfilling and meaningful life and develop habits of happiness.
Find your passions, purpose and priorities. Live life on your terms and get the most out of it. This is what I do and offer to my many clients. Many have transformed their lives and moved into a healthier direction and a more purposeful life.
If this is something you would be interested in or would like to find out more? Please contact me, Kelly by email or text if you would prefer. My details are below. I would be happy to help.
I hope that you enjoyed this Blog post of self-care? Please look out for my next instalment on mental, spiritual and personal self-care tips and insights to help you on your self-love journey to better understanding of yourself and what you love and want in your life. All the good stuff...
Until next time...
Keep safe, keep well and keep up your self-care.
Kelly Singh from Pure Bliss Holistic Therapies