Types of Self-Care

Take some time for yourself; I see that all over the internet don’t you? You can’t pour from an empty cup… yes thanks for that golden nugget of advice I feel heaps better. I don’t know about you but I always find when people start talking about self-care I switch off. I always imagine the Spa day or cucumbers on the old eyes and a face mask that cost more than the weekly shop. I mean, who has time for that? And even if I did, two minutes in, someone is going to disturb me anyway. It always feels a bit over the top and honestly I don’t know that I can be bothered (I am not the most patient person) – sound familiar?

In truth, making time for ourselves should be hitting the priority list and it definitely shouldn’t be so onerous that it puts you off altogether. So in a bid to understand a bit more on the topic of Self Care and what kinds of things I could manage on a budget (not just a financial one but time too) I did a bit of digging and interestingly it turns out self care looks really quite different to how I pictured it. There are lots of different ways to practice self care so I thought I would put together what I think we can call a ‘Bit of a Guide’ for anyone who feels like it’s just another job to do.

I guess the first thing that I learnt about self-care was that my attitude towards it sucked. Straight off I wasn’t ever prioritising myself. It was always work, family, friends and the list went on. Accepting that I am a bit of (ok maybe more than a bit) a people pleaser, little old me doesn’t come into the forefront of my mind too often. I thought of self-care as something I didn’t need or didn’t have time for. As it turns out I did need it and to be honest, I think we all do. If you stop thinking of it as another job to do and really try to show up with intention you can definitely reap the benefits.

The practice of activities that are necessary to sustain life and health, normally initiated and carried out by the individual

The Oxford English Dictionary

That’s such a cute story I hear you say, maybe I’ll try it out at some point – well hold that thought. Here comes my little guide based on my own personal experience that I hope will make creating some intentional ‘you’ time with an activity you have time to complete and want to do as simple as possible. So what do we have here? Well we have a by no means exhaustive list of things that can be honoured in the name of Self Care that hopefully will make you feel good. Here are a few helpful pointers under each category;

  • Physical – Any activity you enjoy that improves your physical health and well-being

    • Being well rested – Some tips on this one here
    • Stretching/Yoga
    • Walking/jogging
    • Gym class 
    • Armchair workout
    • Anything to get you moving
  • Emotional – For your overall mental wellbeing and mood management

    • Being kind to yourself
    • Acting with compassion
    • Forgiving yourself and other people
    • Managing stress and learning coping mechanisms for the days things aren’t great
  • Environmental – The space around you, what it feels like to be in and how it affects how you feel

    • Organising your space
    • Decluttering – there’s a great post here to get started
    • Feeling safe and creating stability
  • Spiritual – Activities which help you to connect with yourself

    • Spending time with yourself
    • Journaling 
    • Practising Mindfulness – heres some helpful hints
    • Spending time in nature
    • Practising Gratitude – heres how

  • Social – Interacting with others, creating support systems and practising communication

    • Spending time with people who make you feel good
    • Creating positive connections
    • Positive Social Media
    • Supporting others and asking for help if you need it
    • Creating and maintaining your personal boundaries 
  • Financial – Effective management of your finances

    • Budgeting your income
    • Paying your bills and managing your money effectively 
    • Creating some savings – no matter how little
    • Treating yourself every now and then
  • Professional – Work life balance and how our chosen profession affects us

    • Creating boundaries and sticking to them
    • Positive environment
    • Ensure you take your breaks 
    • Time management 
    • Learning and professional development
  • Personal – Your hobbies and identity, the things you love doing

    • Making time for things you enjoy
    • Pursuing your hobbies
    • Getting to know yourself and what you stand for
    • Accepting your true self

If you choose one activity today and commit the time to yourself as you would a dear friend you will definitely feel the benefits of the mental reset. Life can be a lot at times and it’s important that we acknowledge ourselves as part of our to do lists. It’s so easy in our busy lives to focus on what we need to do in the day that we can forget about ourselves and forget that we are important. Life isn’t about going through the motions or down your task list. This week, make some time for yourself and take it without feeling guilty, you deserve it – thank me later

Z x

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