We all know it’s important to look after ourselves – just like the safety guidance we are given on a plane – “always put your mask on before attempting to help others” – but how can we create self care ritual that is meaningful for us and has an impact? We are all truly unique and it’s not a case of one size fits all, something one person enjoys another doesn’t… this makes is harder for us as we can also start comparing ourselves to others. This is a big NO NO as it doesn’t do us any good… especially our mindset!
Instead let’s look at how to unravel what would work best for you and how to go about creating a self care ritual that works for you.
What’s the impact of Self Care?
Looking after ourselves and doing something we enjoy and gain energy from is worth it but what sort of impact can it have?
It can re-energise you, give you a moment of relaxation, quieten the mind, give us time to connect with our own body, mind and soul. The impact of this act can then be reciprocated around us with those we talk to or interact with be it our kids, partner, family, neighbours or friends. Once are a better state of mind, we have taken care of our own emotions and feelings, this helps us to deal with the daily stresses and pressures put on us in a calm and connected way.
It’s essential we take care of ourselves holistically – mind, body and Soul connection – reduce stress, take time to re-balance so we can stay healthy and happy
Why is it so easy to fail at this?
There is a perception that looking after ourselves is selfish and bad, we can also feel guilt for time we spend in this way… we are here to serve others but WE must come first… how can we pour from an empty cup?
This thinking is changing and with mental health awareness and of course Covid-19 and recent Lockdown experiences have shown us this is an essential part of our life and should be a priority.
Something else that often stops us or becomes our “excuse” is lack of TIME. This is more to do with mindset than anything else, we make time for what’s important and when we make a shift so that self care is not a “NICE TO HAVE” extra task for the day or week. It flows much more naturally in our day when it forms part of our routine and we get so much more out of that time that we have dedicated to self care without GUILT.
Different types of self care rituals
Let’s take a moment to explore the different types of self care – there are so many and we must find our self care ritual that resonates and works for us.
Activities done for physical well-being
- Food Choices
- Stay hydrated
- Meal Planning
- Apply a face mask
- Take a soak in the bath or a foot soak
- Get enough sleep
- Take a nap
Activities that help you find outlets for your emotions and feelings
- Relaxation techniques
- Listening to music
- Call a friend
- Create art to express emotion
- Help someone in need
- Write in a journal
- Talking trusted connections (friends or professionals)
Opportunities that calm your mind and grow knowledge and stimulate the mind
- Spend time in silence
- Take a screen break
- Reading: books, magazines, articles online
- Listening to podcasts, radio
- Educational courses, hobbies or activities
Activities involving your communication
- Support groups
- Online groups
Exploring our beliefs, morals and values
- Connecting with a larger purpose
- Read inspirational work
- Mindfully observe a flower
- Volunteer in your community
- Do a random act of kindness
Ready to create your own self care ritual?
Look over the list above and ask yourself one question for each:
would this bring me joy?
If you answer yes, then add it to your list. If you don’t think you would enjoy it, that’s o.k, we’re all different and must accept it can take time to find the right self care activities.
Once you have a list you can prioritise these in terms of how frequently you may want to do each, maybe you want to read for 10 minutes every night but can only manage a certain exercise routine 3 times a week. Set yourself a goal for each, how much time and how often you want to do this. Everything starts small so go with 10 minute exercise before leaping to 30 minutes each day, once you have it embedded into your routine and it becomes a habit, you can always increase length of time. Add different types of self care and it will all come together to be a part of your self care ritual that is a non negotiable task.
Using all this information create a weekly plan of all the things you can do create your self care routine. See how many things you can add into your routine, you may be surprised with intentional planning just how much you can squeeze into each day.
Remember lots of 5 minute chunks of time here and there is better than a more time consuming activity that you feel you cannot always commit to… your mindset will improve and you will feel super proud of your self care wins, it all adds up to a HEALTHIER, HAPPIER YOU!
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