Self-care is a popular topic these days and it’s become a huge vocal point, but it is often a poorly perceived one. Perhaps you keep seeing it mentioned in self-help books or magazine articles and yet don’t have a clear sense of how you’re supposed to include it to your life. Does it seem wishy-washy or vague to you? Alternatively, maybe you aren’t convinced that you should practice regular self-care. Maybe you think your time is better saved for working and for looking out for others? Self-care involves integrating self-compassion into your life in a way that helps you to prevent even the possibility of a burnout.
I have really struggled to be compassionate to ‘me‘, particularly when dealing with family or work. There was a moment in my life when saying ‘no’ without feeling bad, anxious, or uncomfortable was an issue for me – the guilt ridden issue. I felt like I was taking unhealthy responsibilities for others and in doing so exhausted myself mentally, physically, and emotionally. It just felt like I was leading depleting relationships with people who fail to take enough responsibility for themselves and I was their enabler.
I’d say I’ve definitely given this a lot more thought than previous years and have much more of a handle on it than I used to. With that, I haven’t had the opportunity to talk to you about how strongly I believe in self-care and the importance of it. I’ve learnt that it’s okay to put yourself first and to invest the time and energy for you and what you need. I’ve made it a point to check out from everyday life and indulge in some ‘me time’. Having a well-cared-for body makes me feel good about myself and contributes to a long-term positive feeling and a general sense of well-being.
I am forever learning that self-care is becoming a forefront in life and with that I’m sharing the top three self-care methods I regularly use to keep sane…
I swear by it. I would be a liar if I were to say I wasn’t one of those people who initially thought ‘mediation doesn’t really work and it’s so cliche’. Let me tell you, it does work! I find when I’m particularly stressed from work, family matters, or anything else life chucks my way listening to an audio meditation or 5-10 minutes of breathing exercises helps release the stress and anxiety I may be feeling. I personally prefer meditating before bedtime so I get a good nights sleep and refrain myself from letting my mind run wild.
There are so many meditation apps available, but I do have some of my favourites and I personally recommend Headspace or Calm to help you get started. Remember take one step at a time and no one’s expecting you to be a ‘guru’ of mediation and that it comes with practice and patience.
Take a day out of your diary, which is totally dedicated to you. It really doesn’t hurt to pamper yourself occasionally.
Since I’m a such a organised freak I make a point to schedule time for massages in between the chaos (especially when I know work will be super busy) or just get myself a lovely pedicure or manicure. I mean just getting my nails done, makes me feel like a million dollars! In hindsight it’s such a minor thing to do, but the impact it has on me is huge.
For those of you with children or a crazy schedule, run yourself a nice long bath with some candles set up. It’s free and it’s in the comfort of your home.
A head massage is also a perfect stress and tension buster. Get yourself some massage oil and massage your temples just before bedtime.
Switch off the electronics
Perhaps the most important step and definitely the hardest to tackle head on, has been my quest to deal with the addiction of my phone usage. I’m one of those people who instantly switches off when I’m using my phone and if someone is trying to have a conversation with me. I’m a terrible multitasker! Needless to say I realised how negatively my phone usage was impacting my home life, particularly with my better half. I think I reached a point where I thought ‘Tejinder get your sh** in order, you’re phone is taking over your life and that your husbands trying to communicate with you’. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I wasn’t paying attention to my relationship and missing out on the moment.
With that one technique that’s really worked for me is the setup of ‘screen time’ notifications on my iPhone. This set up restricts phone usage and allows me to temporarily switch off from social media, checking my emails and just generally browsing. I have a sense of control!
The moral of the story is that I recognise stepping away from work and daily life is acceptable. There’s still a lot more to be done, but credit where credit is due, I may be a little overworked right now but I’m also feeling pretty great about myself and proud that I now recognise when to stop and say no.
My beauts let me know what self-care methods you use or if it’s something you are thinking of introducing into your life… leave your comments below xx
Photos taken by Anastasija Je