MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS: TOOL #9 DAILY SELF CARE

Posted by Alison Swift on

TOOL #9 DAILY SELF CARE

Extract taken from My Wellness Toolbox (2018);

One of the kindest things I have done in past 14 years for my physical self, mind, emotions and most importantly my relationships, is to daily self-care, to have ‘ME time’ daily. This became even more paramount when I had children. How can I look after tiny humans if I am not looking after myself? How can I teach them to feel good if I’m not feeling good myself? How can I teach them to self-care if I don’t set them the example? How can I nag husband/sister/mother/friends/you (delete as appropriate) to self-care if I don’t do it myself? Some call it Selfish. I call it Essential.

Although Self Care can be a visit to a Spa for a massage, a hair or nail appointment, a girls weekend away, an early night when you can grab the opportunity, a spontaneous run or visit to the gym, choosing to eat healthy on a Monday when you’ve over indulged at the weekend, or simply saying ‘No’ to something you really don’t want to do, it really should be so much more. Self-Care should be part of your daily routine, no matter how big or small. Everyone deserves a little daily ‘ME time’.

“Easier said than done?!” I used to think so. Then I took a step back, looked at my routine and not only started to introduce new tiny ‘ME times’ but started to appreciate the ‘ME time’ that already existed. Now I recognise it as ‘ME time’ I appreciate it so much more, I am grateful for it and that in itself is Self-Care.

Daily Self Care will look different to you depending on your lifestyle, it will also change as your life changes. The examples below may not relate to you as these are based on my life today, currently run by two very lovely yet naturally demanding tiny humans aged 3 years & 14 months,  but will give you an idea how simple ‘ME time’ can be:

  • A 5 minute hot shower at the same time every morning to start my day. Just me in the  shower cubicle thinking about the day ahead and putting things in order (granted a small child may be banging on the shower door hence why I also have toys on my bathroom floor at all times to distract them). I don’t start the day without one. Wakes ME.
  • On the short car journey after the nursery/school run I consciously change the music on the radio to something uplifting and sing – especially useful if feeling a bit grumpy after a night of wake ups. Motivates ME.
  • The Essential Oil diffuser is switched on daily – only takes a few minutes to blend some oils to suit the households mood. Lifts ME.
  • Book ‘ME time’ in the diary at least once a week as if it is a social event. Even if it is for 15 minutes. We book ‘no plan family’ weekends in advance to make sure we have ‘free family time’ at least once a month, so I also book ‘me’ time… this is normally on a Saturday morning when I know I can dry my hair without an audience. Builds ME.
  • Healthy day at least one day per week, I look at the week ahead and pencil it in the diary. Boosts ME.
  • Cooking dinner. If it has been a hectic day (and it hasn’t been so extreme that its resulted in a takeaway) and I’ve successfully achieved the bedtime routine, I really enjoy standing alone in the kitchen creating something for dinner. Just me, a chopping board and the ingredients for a Thai curry can be very therapeutic. Unwinds ME.
  • Bath and/or Write at least one evening per week (I try and book it in the diary). Relaxes ME
  • Switch the phone off or hide it away for at least 30 minutes every other day. Switches ME off (…admittedly I am still working on this…)
  • No matter the day that has gone before, each night before I go to sleep I say Thank You for 3 positive things that have happened that day. Even if it is as simple as ‘Thank You for the hot shower I had this morning”. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Look after YOU. EVERYDAY.  It is important.

 

Effectiveness: 10/10  - Self-care is one of the most effective things you can do for yourself to make yourself feel better

Ease: 9/10 – When you have given yourself some thought this will be easier than you think

Budget: Free – Depends on the Self-Care activity

 
BE KIND TO YOUR MIND 

#mentalhealthawarenessweek #kindness #mywellnesstoolbox #dailyselfcare


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