Last week we shed some light on stress and how it impacts our lives and one of the ways to reduce stress is to practice self-care, so I thought why not expand on self-care this week and why it is so vital, yet I wonder if it’s the first thing to go out the window when life gets full. Psychology Today summarised it well: “When we neglect self-care, all other areas of our lives are neglected as well.”  Some areas that can benefit or suffer if we don’t tend to ourselves are our Mental Health, Relationships, Productivity, Creativity and Resilience, to name a few.

Something is empowering about understanding what we need to live well and taking responsibility for our wellbeing and not leaving it to chance or at the mercy of someone else. If we want to consider all aspects of our lives, the four areas that require our attention are physical, psychological, spiritual and social.

What story have you attached around taking care of yourself? Here are a few examples:

  • Self-care is a necessity that is prioritised
  • You believe that you are worth the time out, self-care is an investment to your wellbeing and impacts those around you
  • Self-care ranks as a low priority
  • Self-care must be earnt and is something that happens once all tasks are completed
  • Turning the focus towards yourself is a selfish act

You might consider spending some time understanding your story and thoughts around self-care. Perhaps a few areas to look at are:

  1. Family of Origin: External influences such as what behaviours were modelled around self-care growing up
  2. Culture: Culturally what are the spoken and unspoken rules around self-care and is it encouraged
  3. Social: Is self-care something that is practised in your social circles

It is recommended to practice self-care daily even if it is for just 5 minutes on those super busy days. It’s about being intentional and consistent! Self-care doesn’t always include a tropical getaway on an exotic island (however at the moment I could do with some sunshine) or a luxurious day at the spa however it’s not excluded from the list either. Perhaps these two examples that I just gave are not maintainable daily and can make self-care something that is done now and again. Perhaps the goal is to have a various range of self-care options that are maintainable, accessible and the most important that are enjoyable.

If you are stuck on self-care ideas or would like to broaden your current selection click here. Once you have established ways that you can self-care why not include it in your schedule? The likelihood to make it happen can be much higher if you have created some margin for self-care rather than leaving it to chance. If you are practising self-care already perhaps, you might revisit what you are doing and see if it’s still working for you. Change happens in our lives, and sometimes our self-care plan changes too. My encouragement to you is to be patient with yourself no matter where you are at on the self-care journey and if for whatever reason you don’t stick according to plan just pick up from where you left off and keep on having another go.