Self-care is a loving act toward yourself.
Self-care is an act that nourishes you, comforts you or aligns you closer with the you that you desire to be. It’s absolutely essential if you want to maintain good mental, physical and emotional health.
Self-care is often not a task prioritised on ones’ daily to do list and after the pressure and demands of our work, our social life and our fitness routines, there doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of spare time for anything but sleeping. This is something I’ve been guilty of for years anyway, being too busy for me.
We have to remember to step off of the treadmill that is life and remember to look after ourselves.
I decided to live this month (April) in the slow lane. I decided to press pause on the crazy nature of my career to allow room again for the things that feed my soul. See more about why I’ve taken time off in this post here.
This month I’m prioritising things like meditating in the morning and walking to get a coffee. Things like watching Netflix, baking and hosting dinner parties. Things like taking a day off, leaving my laptop at home and catching up with old friends.
This month I’ve been able to immerse myself in the things that simply get pushed to one side when my travel schedule picks up and I feel so amazing for it. The happiness in the bottom of my tummy is real again and I’m holding onto that feeling as a reminder as to why self care is SO important.
Here are 12 self-care habits that you should prioritise to increase your happiness…
1. Don’t scroll in the morning. Get up and go for a 10 minute walk or bring a coffee back to bed and read a chapter of your book.
It is literally MIND BLOWING how much time we waste on our phones and how much what we set our eyes on affects the way our day goes. Take control of your day. Start it with a positive 10 minutes to yourself or with 10 minutes of fresh air. Don’t let social media and other peoples life’s start your day. Start your own.
2. Practise gratitude. It’s life changing.
You know when you stub your toe and you’re really annoyed about it and then in the next 10 minutes you stub it again and then drop coffee on your fresh bed sheets and then the milks run out… you know what I’m trying to get at. The thoughts you let run through your mind will navigate your mood. Period.
Gratitude is an easy way to kickstart positivity and you’ll start to notice that more positivity will come your way. It sounds cringey, I know. A couple of years ago, if you’d have asked me to write down ‘5 things I love in my life right now’ I’d have thought what on earth is that going to do. But I’ve started this as part of my self-care routine, and it’s really helped me.
- Start a gratitude jar. Every time you feel grateful for someone or something, write it down, fold the paper and pop it in.
- Once a week write down a list of 10 things you were grateful for this week. Absolutely anything that comes to mind.
- Start a scrapbook and pop in all your favourite moments. All the things that make you happy. See my scrapbooking tips here.
When you feel sad, dig out the above and it will flip your frame of mind again. Positive breeds positive, always.
3. Plan an adventure, do more of what you love.
On your own / with your bestie / with a group of friends , plan to do something that gets you excited. No, self-care doesn’t always have to be by yourself! It could be a long dog walk in a new park, an overnight stay in a quirky lodge somewhere or a sunny holiday. Whatever it is, plan it and look forward to it.
Get inspired to go away in these blog posts!
4. Don’t push away your emotions, work through them.
In my opinion, suppressing emotions just saves them for a later date.
Not dealing with situations and feelings can leave you feeling blocked and a victim to your own ignorance. Emotions are bloody difficult and terrifying at times but one thing I know is that, we all have them. We all have shit days. We all get our heart broken. Everyone gets lost and confused and feels hopeless at times. It’s how we work through these emotions, learn from them, accept them and rise through them that determines our strength and wider capacity for love.
Speak to someone: a friend, a lover, a family member. Or instead of pushing away what feels difficult, consider going to speak to someone. I’ve written all about counselling and why I love it so much for my own self-care here.
5. Breathe. Get good at breathing.
We breathe without instruction, how awesome is that?! Thank the lord because otherwise half of us might miss it off of our to do list too!! Our ability to deal with certain situations and emotions is largely down to breath control. Notice how your heart rate picks up at the mention of an ex you hate? As you step out to do a bungee jump? When you step out to perform on stage? As you are about to start a race?
Of course you cannot completely overcome what your body naturally fears but you can definitely reduce it significantly if not completely with your breath. Spend a couple of minutes a day breathing deeply into and cleaning out your lungs.
Next time you find yourself in a stressful situation, try counting 10 long deep breaths and see if your course of action is altered by an adjusted, calmer frame of mind.
6. Learn to say no.
Pleasing everyone is an impossible task. It’s draining, it’s never ending and it will leave your cup, often, empty. Prioritising the happiness of others when you haven’t given to yourself first is wrong. Getting your happiness solely from other peoples affection and appreciation of you is nice, yes, but it’s not healthy. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Fill up your cup first and then cheers with your friends and enjoy them too.
Say no, it’s life changing and it will never drive away the people that belong in your life.
7. Get outside dammit. Just get outside more.
Resist the magnetic force of technology. Turn Netflix, your phone, your laptop, your tv and your I-don’t-even-know-what off for a couple of hours and GET OUTSIDE.
Smile at people you walk past, go get a coffee and interact at your favourite cafe, take your dog to the park, plan a hike, drive to the ocean.
Fresh air is therapy. It’s free and it’s available to all of us. GO GET IT.
7. Tidy your work space and keep things organised
Tidying up your work space and living space can relieve stress and anxiety. It leaves you feeling cleansed, lighter and more creative. It’s also lovely to know where things are when you want them making you more productive and feeling accomplished.
Read my ’10 top tips and apps for organising your life and mind’ here.
8. Make time for your friends, for your family and for love
Don’t complain about never seeing your friends, about being single or about missing people when it’s well within your control to do something about it. We all have time for what we want to make time for, right? Work smarter, free up time and make time for the things and people that love you. As I said before, self-care isn’t something you always have to do alone.
9. Make your room a sanctuary and sleep more
Redecorate your room and make it somewhere you look forward to coming back to every night. Somewhere that makes you feel calm and safe. Somewhere that prepares you to rest well and recover right. Drop in some fairy lights, buy some plants, treat yourself to new bedsheets or a pillow spray. It’s the little things. How well you rest and sleep can be the difference between a bad day and a good one. Make it good.
10. Keep positive visuals in your life
Get a wall print with your favourite quote on (check out WMGT Shop for my new print collection), print off your favourite photos from your last adventure and frame them, get a new phone case, declutter your instagram friends or download Pinterest.
Keep the good things in front of your eyes and remove the negative ones.
11. Eat to fuel your body
I don’t believe in diets, I never last on them anyway. If you tell me I can’t have something, I WANT IT. Food / boys / career – applies all of it lol.
Instead, be grateful for how incredible our bodies are at functioning and think of eating as fuelling it in the best way for all of the things you want to do with it. If you don’t look after your body, it may not be there for you when you need it most. We only get one.
Put the second pack of biscuits away, head back to number 4 and grab yourself a cup of tea. Hehe!
12. Take time off and go on a wellness break.
I did this last April and it was honestly life changing. I cannot believe it took me so long to recognise that I needed a break, that I needed time to stop and to relax.
How do you practise self-care?
What would you add to this list? Look after yourself!
Love as always + happy adventuring,
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