Self-care wasn't a term I'd heard of until this year so it wasn't something I practiced. The more I started to learn about the art of self-care the more I realised the importance of it. If we don't take care of ourselves then who will? No one. So today I present to you my total beginners guide to self-care with a few suggestions of how to practice it.
WHAT IS SELF-CARE TO YOU?
According the Internation Self-Care Foundation this is what constitutes as self-care:
‘Self-Care is what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness. It is a broad concept encompassing hygiene (general and personal), nutrition (type and quality of food eaten), lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure etc), environmental factors (living conditions, social habits, etc.) socio-economic factors (income level, cultural beliefs, etc.) and self-medication.’
It covers a huge spectrum of things and there isn't a one size fits all when it comes to self-care. You've got to take some time and discover what feels good to you and here are a few of my favourites:
- Learning a new skill.
- Watching The US Office.
- Taking Bella on a walk.
- Pampering myself with a hot bath and a face mask.
- A fresh manicure and pedicure.
- Taking myself on a work date.
- Business brainstorming.
YOU'VE GOT TO MAKE TIME FOR IT
We are all leading busy lives and there are always new things being thrown into the mix. But, making time for yourself is just as important as working and socialising. One of the best things that my dad taught me is that if I didn't look after myself then I wouldn't be able to go on to do the things that I wanted. If you don't take good care of yourself then consequently everything else will suffer. We're surrounded by people saying 16 hour work days are the norm and getting 4 hours sleep is ok. Personally, I don't think being sleep deprived and mentally exhausted is something to recommend. How can you ever do your best when you're running on so little? Finding a balance is difficult but it's so necessary to give each area of your life some TLC.
& DON'T FEEL GUILTY FOR IT
I've lost count of how many times I've heard people say that they feel bad for taking time out for themselves. A feeling I can totally relate because it's something I've felt too. Self-care is something that we should all make part of our routine in whatever way we feel happy doing. It's easier said than done but sometimes we just have to block out what other people think and focus on what is right for us. You're the only one who knows that is truly right for you in the long run.
Something I really love is when a form of self-care is relaxing and productive. So taking the time to learn a new skill or reading a book is something I find relaxing. But as it's feeding my brain new knowledge it's also productive. Ever since I graduated university I've missed learning like crazy and it can be difficult to try and fit it in. Of course, I then like it when I can treat myself too and running a hot bath with my favourite products in tow is always blissful.
IT'S SKIN DEEP
Looking nice on the outside is something that we all strive for but what about what's on the inside? Feel stressed and strained has a huge effect on your health and that is not something to mess around with. We should never take it for granted as it can disintegrate before our eyes and sometimes you can't get it back. If just taking 30 minutes out of your day will help you feel better mentally or physically then it's a no-brainer.