I’ve got to be honest – the last two months were hard for me – physically and mentally. All I wanted to do was sleep and eat potato crisps, because I had zero energy to cook or even do food shopping. Unfortunately the crisps were not going to help me get through that, so I knew I had to try something different and just be kind to myself.
Being kind to yourself is basically what self care is. It’s simple to do, but so often neglected and pushed down the “to do list”. Today I’m sharing what helped me get energised again in the hope that it will inspire you to include some (or all!) of these practices into your daily routine.
Eating Nourishing Foods
I remember the first time I realised that eating nourishing food is a form of self love. It was like a big lightbulb switched on. What you put into your body matters, it matters far beyond the calories and grams of fat that you consume. Eating nourishing food helps you to feel better, gives you more energy and can even help you to avoid health problems.
It starts with believing that you’re worthy of this kind of self care and nourishment, it’s a big commitment to your health and wellbeing. When you feel that you’re a truly worthy recipient of self love, you’ll automatically start putting your health at the centre of everything, especially nutrition. This means choosing foods that are good for your body and that help you to feel fuller for longer and keep your blood sugar levels stable. I knew I had to do better than the crisps.
Having Time Out
Having regular time out is really important for your energy levels, creativity, connection with something bigger, even if it’s just for short periods at a time. I teach my clients to take an hour a week to do something new and fun, something that stretches you out of your comfort zone.
If an hour a week is too much to even imagine for where you are at right now, even five minutes of quality, replenishing time is enough to start refiling your bucket of self love. How you get there is a personal choice – some people use meditation, mindfulness or their favourite music, for example. Anything that helps you to be in the present and focus your mind counts for this one.
Count Your Blessings
The best thing you can do for yourself right now is stop comparing yourself to others. The comparison game can be toxic for your mental health and is pretty much the opposite of self love.
Get into the habit of feeling grateful for all of the good things that you have in your life, whether that is health, a loving family or good friends. According to studies, writing in a gratitude diary at least once a week can help to make you feel happier, especially if you do it for around 15 minutes each time. Up it to three times per week and the results can be even better. The idea is that you list up to five things that you were grateful for in that particular day. It works even better if you add why you’re grateful for each of the things on your list.
Having a Clear Out
My sister calls it “packing for Australia” and we do it regularly. Have a look around your home and see how many things you have that you don’t use anymore. Would you be happy to pay the cost of shipping your stuff to Australia? I didn’t think so:)
Clearing out anything you don’t need or use can be wonderfully therapeutic. A good rule of thumb is to throw out anything you haven’t used in the past year. Chances are, you’re not going to miss it too much if you’ve not used it for that long.
The theory behind this one is pretty simple and it’s all about getting rid of old things so that you can open the door to new alternatives. It can also help to cleanse your mind to this effect.
Walking in the Park
Getting closer to nature is a great way to practice mindfulness and a walk in the park is the perfect way to start doing this. Studies have shown that being in green spaces improves your mental health. If you live in a fairly urban area, getting out to a park or other green space can be just what you need to clear your mind, especially if you combine it with mindfulness. Even poor mental health can potentially be improved with mindful walking, according to the results of one study.
Walks in the park also have the added bonus of bringing another self care move into play – exercise! We all know about the “feel good” endorphins and other mental health benefits that exercise brings but walking in nature itself takes this up a notch. According to another study, it helps to reduce anxiety and boost mood.
Getting out to your nearest park (or any green space if you don’t have one locally) can be a really underrated way to show yourself a bit more self love and help to keep your mental wellbeing in check.
It’s time to start making time for you so that you can live a life of happiness and love.
Do you feel overwhelmed? Maybe you like the idea of self – care but you don’t even know where to start? Let’s get on the phone and we’ll figure out a personalised strategy just for you. I have a few very limited slots available this week so grab yours today. Book your slot here.