What is Self Care?
When some people say, “Goodbye and take care”, have you ever wondered what they really mean or better still what ‘take care’ really means to you?
As a child it may have meant:
- Take care of crossing the roads and watch out for the cars or you may get run over.
- Take care you do your homework regularly if you want to do well at school.
- Take care not to talk to strangers or you may get abducted.
- Take care to behave yourself and remember your manners so people will think well of you and invite you to tea again.
But now you are an adult what does ‘take care’ really mean to you?
As a therapist, ‘take care’ to me means Self Care which often gets confused with selfishness and that is usually thought of as negative, like putting yourself and your own needs first is unkind and negative. However, being selfish in the right way or practicing self-care is actually a really healthy and important, positive thing to do. By considering your own needs, to ‘take care’ of yourself, you can in fact be in a much better position and frame of mind to meet the demands of your life and if necessary the needs of the other important people that share your life!
In this very busy life of ours with its many demands, stresses and strains on our time and emotional and physical resources we can feel so pulled and pushed and strained, so much so we may feel ready to pop! Ironically, this is an absolutely normal feeling, because when we allow our own natural energies to deplete to such an extent and do not allow those energies, for which we are personally responsible, to recover we do put our own health and well-being in danger.
Without Self Care we are not able to do and be all those things we want to be for ourselves and others such as taking care of our children and family, being there for our friends, establishing, maintaining or advancing our career and business, engaging with work colleagues, running our homes as well as attending work , caring for a relative, or partner, our grandchildren, or pets, volunteering our experience and services, working within the community … yes, we show compassion and kindness to others on so many levels so why not ourselves?
It is through personal relaxation, social activities and fun time, that we are ‘taking care’ of ourselves this is Self-Care
To help you here are some Self Care ideas which will help to redress any imbalance in your life:
- Practice relaxation techniques and breathing exercises, a quick but effective one is breathe in through your nose for the count of 3 and out for the count of 5, do this about 10 times.
- Repeat positive anchors and self-affirmations to yourself, remind yourself of your successes and achievements daily.
- Listen to calming music.
- Learn to meditate.
- Learn yoga.
- Go for a walk in nature, swim or ride a bike, whatever you enjoy!
- Eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, drink lots of water.
- Have a good laugh! Watch a funny film or comedian, play or show.
- Spend time with positive people who make you feel good about yourself.
- Reconnect with friends you have lost touch with, that you enjoy being with.
- Enjoy your hobby or interests or find something new to do, get creative.
- Take a long hot bath in bubbles, with candles and lavender essential oil.
- At the end of the day think of 5 positive things you experienced in that day and allow yourself to feel happy, embrace life and enjoy it!
Please remember, you should never feel guilty about attending to your own Self Care on a daily and regular basis because in doing so you are living your life more energised, more positively and resentment free.
So, ‘Goodbye and take care!’ from me x