How to make Self-Care Easy
Updated: May 10, 2021
Self-care is all about creating everyday habits that help you take care of and nurture your health and well-being. You may have read about self-care already and be on board with the benefits it can offer — even if it requires some extra effort on your part. But you might still feel it's a bit daunting because you don't know where to start or you feel you don't have the time.
Self-care can be as easy as just listening to your body, taking a moment to check-in, and really tuning in to the thoughts going on in your mind, and what's going on in your body.
It might be you find conversations with a certain person leaves you feeling drained or low, start to think about why that may be and what you need to do to look after yourself when this happens?
What can we do?
So you feel up for the challenge, but recognising the need for self-care is one thing. Actually adopting a self-care practice that can improve your life is another. You might also feel you already have a lot on your plate but making sure you’re taking care of yourself will help you with the rest of whatever life throws at you. Here’s how you can start.
Take some time to get out of your thinking brain, like I said earlier, notice what is going on for you on a daily basis and notice your mood and any patterns that you can identify. Is there a certain time of day, week, or month that you struggle with, or is there a friend or family member you talk to that makes you feel particularly drained?
This is a good exercise to help you identify when Self Care is needed.
Please know that it's OK to take care of ourselves, so many of us feel guilty or think we're being selfish in making time for ourselves, especially when others don’t understand and you feel pressured into going places or doing things that you don’t really want to do. It is OK to say no, and if that's uncomfortable for you, you don't have to say an outright 'No', learn to say I can't today but if you're doing XYZ again I’d love to come along so please invite me next time. This might work better for you.
Much better than going along and being in a bad mood because you're resentful of being there when you don’t want to be.
Think about what self-care means for you, and what works for you. We’re all different.
Here are some things to get you started and things that we can all do on a daily basis that you might not have considered are self-care:
Making a homemade meal, looking after your diet and filling your body with healthy food
Getting regular exercise
Getting enough sleep
Drinking enough water
Having a hobby and making some you time
Remember different things work for different people, don’t let anyone tell you what you should or shouldn’t do to take care of yourself. Something else that could work for you is keeping a physical or digital self-care file with compliments or kind words that you've received from others or photos of good times and things that remind you of fond memories. You can then look at these things whenever you need to.
Have some way of recognising when you might need to self-care - are there any warning signs, or negative patterns that you're getting into.
Procrastination can be a sign of anxiety or stress as it gives you something else to focus on instead of the task at hand, is there something you’re avoiding doing by doing other things like cleaning the house obsessively or scrolling on social media?
Ok now you need to schedule some time in for you to do these self-care things, put some time in your calendar/diary and don’t sack it off when someone else asks you to do something, this is your time and its importance.
It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, you choose how much time your self-care routine is going to take.
Self-care is as individual as you are, but do make sure that anything you are doing is:
Remember also that different self-care might be needed for different days. So what you might need to do one day when you're busy with work or family commitments might be different to self-care you need to do when you're feeling down or lacking motivation.
A great time-saver is to keep a note or create a list of your self-care activities so that you can pick from one when you need to.
Practising self-care and taking care of yourself will prevent you from burning out, reduces stress and the negative effects it has on your body and brain, and it will also help you focus on what is important to you!
Listen in to this week's podcast with Transformational Coach Liam Hand who talked about why self-care is so important and the self-care techniques he uses with his clients to help them with their mental health and wellbeing.