Usually, when we hear we should be practicing self-care, we think that means we should go get a manicure, take a hot bath, or do something else to pamper ourselves. It’s easy to ignore this article and stop reading right now because you think you’ve heard it all before, but this time we are taking a different approach to self care.
Sure, pampering yourself is great, but self-care is so much more than that.
Small ordinary everyday things we do consistently can create massive change in our lives. Yes you can have a massage every week but if your mind is going the whole time about what you have to do next its not really relaxation, or self care. Change the way you perceive your self care routine to include self love and the benefits will be so much more than those achieved by spending 30 minutes in the bath. (please still bathe though:))
We’ve put 5 easy self care strategies below for your consideration:
1. Speak kindly to yourself.
John Gottman, relationship experts says that the ratio of of a good relationship (even one with yourself) is 4:1 this mean you are required to have 4 positive, thoughts, words actions etc. to balance each negative experience. 20:1 is an amazing relationship with yourself but at the very least you need 4:1 or else negative experiences will start to take over. Watch this in terms of your self talk and notice when you need to up the ante in terms of positive self talk.
2. Listen to yourself.
So listen. Listen to what your heart and listen to what your body is telling you. Are you feeling fragile? Is your body craving movement? Then talk to a friend, have a doona day, go for a walk or take a yoga class or learn how to breathe.
Open up your heart, your mind, and your spirit so you can feel what it is you need and watch the universe give back. Find that quiet voice in the back of your mind that is saying, “lean in, listen up, I need you, I want you, I am you, acknowledge me”.
3. Forgive yourself.
We’re all human. Every single one of us makes mistakes every single day. Keep it in perspective and journal about it using the three steps to self compassion.
1.Mindfulness – state what actually happened using the facts and notice your desire to embellish or over dramatise events.
2.Common Humanity – see you experience as part of being human, everyone makes mistakes, you are not perfect and no-one expects you to be, (except maybe yourself, this is not self love).
3.Practice Kindness – Think of yourself as a beloved friend and do random acts of kindness for yourself. Hug yourself, tell yourself its OK, care for yourself with nourishing foods and gentleness. Love yourself.
If for some reason it does not seem possible to forgive yourself at the moment, then try and practice acceptance with where you are and love the parts of yourself you can currently accept.
4. Protect yourself.
Surround yourself with supportive friends and family who support you. Fine tune your radar for experiences that make you feel vulnerable or less than, just as you might fine tune your radar for experiences that make you feel great, happy at ease and peaceful.
Protecting yourself also means learning to say no when you need to. You have to set boundaries in order to ensure there’s enough of you to go around—and enough of you there for you.
At the end of each day practice a ritual where you call your power back to yourself, through smudging or burning incense or a Himalayan salt scrub whilst showering, wash away or remove anything that has dulled your shine throughout the day and say out loud and proud, “I call my power back to me”. Repeat until it feels real.
5. Believe In yourself.
You are your number 1 champion. Find what it is that sets you on fire and go for that. This does not mean being reckless, so many people subsidise their dream work, (flower arranging, photography, teaching yoga etc) with the “bread and butter job”. This is what is making your dreams possible, be thankful for this. However, if there is something you want to do but don’t think you can or you are scared of being embarrassed, a failure etc, just make the resolve to start, somewhere anywhere just start.
Start with fear. Start with pain.
Start with doubt.
Start with hands shaking.
Start with voice shaking, but start.
Start and don’t stop.
Start where you are with what you have.
– Ijeoma Umebinyuo