We hear about self-care, but what exactly is it and how do you start a self-care journey?
We have heard the stories before. Put your own oxygen mask on before assisting others. You wouldn’t let your phone battery die so why any different for your own life battery? Is that what we mean when we speak about starting a self-care journey?
For many people, we listen to these stories, observe some what and then we continue to carry out our everyday life at an exhausted and overwhelmed pace.
Self-care is a mere dot in the distance.
I want this article to carry you across the starting line into what I can only call an investment of a lifetime. This investment being you.
For people to have a consistent tight grasp of their self-care routine they must truly understand what self-care is.
Anything you do to make you feel good is both a true and simple definition of self-care.
Including activities that help improve your physical, mental and emotional health will be of huge benefit, creating a more balanced and fulfilled life.
More importantly, self-care is not an activity that you have to force yourself to do.
Self-care needs to be a positive and rewarding time out for you.
There are ample amount of activities to partake in so patience may be needed at the beginning while you find your favourites.
Examples of a self-care journey
- Journal – emotional release, gratitude, goal setting
- Listen to feel-good music
- Give yourself a facial
- Listen/watch your favourite podcast
- Walk in nature
- Enjoy a hot bubbly bath
- Enjoy a candlelit dinner at home
- Read a book
- Get a pedicure
- Enjoy a walk along the beach
- Light the fire and watch your favourite movie
- Light candles and put your feet up
- Enjoy a meal out in your favourite restaurant
- Meet up with a friend – someone who lifts your spirits
- Enjoy a lie in guilt free
- Order a takeaway and have it delivered
- Go to a bookstore and treat yourself to a new book
Not investing time in self-care can be seen as straight-up handing over our power to the other people in our life. If only we could take on board that when we focus on ourselves first, we are in a much better state to then care for others. This is in no way a selfish act.
My understanding of self-care
My own self-care journey has allowed me to bring a tremendous amount of light and love into my life. Building a set of rules that work for me has allowed me to regain my own personal power back.
Forcing myself at the beginning to deliberately take time out for me was a challenge at it’s finest.
To lovingly force myself to walk out before dinner was prepared. It was a nightmare.
To lovingly force myself to continuously rhyme off why I was doing this. This was confusing.
To lovingly force myself to make time for me before my children. Soul-destroying!
Yet saying all of this, I somehow understood my wellbeing was running below fifty percent battery power. Self-care became my only option.
The wonderful effects of self-care
A surprising yet incredible benefit of having self-care present in your life is that on a lower day when minimal effort is a struggle, you will always have a minimum storage of battery that carries you through to a better day.
That minimum storage is a store of self-compassion and understanding that has been built up from the attention you have shown yourself through self-care hours.
Not only is self care a vital component for your overall health and wellbeing but it also offers the opportunity to allow you to understand you as a person more.
The increased level of self-awareness gained from a self-care routine can give you a deeper understanding of who you are.
First steps to self-care
Today I ask you to choose one thing that you could do for you that will make you feel good. Try not to complicate it in any way. Keep it simple so it truly allows you to relax and recharge. Don’t feel you must choose from the above list. Self-care means different things to different people. Once the outcome achieved is making you feel better as a person then you know you are on the right path to creating a more permanent self-care routine.
Experiment with different activities to see what creates more joy for you. Allow time for this to fall into place and feel free to add and remove activities along the way.
This journey is about making you feel better and the world around you better.
So for today, breathe, lean in, and act on at what can only be called the greatest survival kit for the soul.
Selene Brennan is a qualified Personal and Business coach who specialises in Human Performance. More information about Project Happy Life Coaching is available here