Self-Care and my 10 top tips

Self-Care And My 10 Top Tips will be Focusing on self-awareness and tuning into your body and mind as it has great benefits. The more that we practise self-care, the more confident, creative and productive we become. We are then better equipped to make better decisions, nurture and build strong relationships and communicate more efficiently.

But what exactly is self-care?

In the dictionary it is defined as ‘the practise of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health’ and ‘the practise of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress’.

Self-care may seem to be a hot topic at the moment but in fact the idea of prioritising and taking time for yourself goes back centuries.

Philosophers like Plato proclaimed the benefits of reflection and contemplation. Mindfulness has it’s roots in Buddhism and Ancient Greeks were all about self-love.

We are all very different and our ideas of self-care can vary enormously but whatever you choose to do, at it’s core, self-care is all about listening to what your mind and body needs and giving it to yourself without feeling guilty or like you don’t deserve it.

Self-Care And My 10 Top Tips is about having/taking a real moment to concentrate on yourself and your well-being.

Overwhelm is something many of us suffer from. The pressures of work, relationships, the constant feeling that you need to do more and to a higher level can be debilitating. If you are feeling stressed , tired or overwhelmed you are much less likely to be able to cope when times are tough. Self-care is necessary to take care of our cores as human beings. To take ‘moments’ out of our crazy, hectic lives, ensures we don’t loose sight of our primal requirements and enriches our sense of self. Self-care is about connecting with yourself and putting your needs first.

It’s important not to feel guilt when doing things for ourselves and to take the time to look after our emotional health.

As a result you will be more productive when working, better able to care for others, you will feel better and it will help you to nurture and build strong relationships.

Self-Care And My 10 Top Tips is important for us all, for example those with stressful jobs and if you are a parent or a mum, self-care is imperative.

Self-care routine

Creating a self-care routine is very important. Even if you just choose to begin small and take 5 minutes out each day to write down your write down your emotions or thoughts, doing it regularly each day will benefit you.It’s the constant repetition of many tiny habits which soothe you emotionally, physically and mentally. The best way to do this is to implement tiny self-care habits every day. To regularly include a little bit of love and attention in your life for your own body, mind and soul.

So why am I telling you all this? Why is self-care an important subject for me?

Well, I have been practising mindfulness and more self-care for some months now and I am seeing and feeling so many benefits and I wanted to share them with you.

I myself have PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), stemming from a traumatic childhood. I suffer from several mental illnesses including; dissociation, night terrors, anxiety, depression and stress. I have gone through a lot of therapy; in groups, individually, followed many courses, had EMDR, art therapy, sensorimotor psychotherapy and now schema therapy. I have also recently had some coaching from a mindset coach.

Mindfulness has been a ‘thing’ all throughout my therapy which I could never get to grips with but recently that has changed as I have found out there are many ways to practise mindfulness and self-care and there is always something to appeal to everyone. It’s just a matter of finding those one or two ways that work for you.

That’s where I come in. I’ve been trying many different things out throughout my years of therapy and I’d like to share my self-care tips with you.

It is, however, really important not to force yourself to do something that makes you uncomfortable or something you don’t want to do.

Here are the main talked about practises which help with self-care.

  • Mindfulness/meditation

The point of mindfulness meditation is to be present and to focus on your body and your breathing. It helps you to better understand your body and if you are someone who finds it hard to feel in their body, this will help you do so.

  • Writing things down

Writing down your thoughts or emotions can help you to literally clear your mind of worries and stresses. Even 5 minutes a day can really help.

  • Exercise

30 minutes of activity a day is enough to get endorphins running around in your body and gives you a sense of achievement. This has a great impact on your mental health.

  • Body care

Give your body 10 minutes of mindful attention each day. Check in with your body by doing the body scan for example.

  • Nutritious diet

As with all elements of self-care, your diet is about balance. Eating healthily is not about trying to loose weight but about listening to your body, it’s needs and nourishing it.

  • Relaxing/rest

The body needs sleep to regenerate and create energy but it’s also processing everything that has happened that day. This is important from a self-care and mental health perspective. Our capacity to manage our emotions dramatically diminishes when we are not getting enough sleep.

As I mentioned there are many ideas and thoughts on ways to practise self-care but if you suffer from anxiety they can all be a little overwhelming and ‘too much’ at once.

So here are my 10 top tips for practising self-care that have helped me to get to where I am now. I have now reached a level that I’m able to take on the larger ideas and practises but I wouldn’t have gotten here without these 10 top tips of mine.

Self Care And The 5 senses

My overal tip is to use and find methods that stimulate your senses.

When we are anxious, we tend to forget all the tips we have been taught as they are too complicated or involve too much time. Panic can set in and all thoughts can go out of the window.

So what has really helped me is working with my senses. My sense of smell is I think my strongest sense and it’s there that I begin.

sense of smell

Burn essential oils.Use a scent you love and put it in a “>diffuser. You can do this all day whilst you are working or pottering about or just in the evenings. Two of my favourites are “>lavender. I use mint during the day as it stimulates and lavender at night as it soothes and relaxes. I also have a night light that has a burner above the light bulb. So when the lamp is turned on the scent is heated up and spreads around the room. I highly reccomend buying one.

If you have a perfume you prefer you can also apply to your neck or behind your ears. Another smell I love which also makes me feel better and opens up my senses is a menthol rub, or “>lavender bag in your pocket, like a pocket calmer or a freshener for a drawer. You can buy these or make one yourself.

sense of sight

Look around you and name things you see out loud. Try 5 things that catch your eye. This will ground you.

Likewise, go for a walk in nature. Find 5 things during your walk that you love. It may be the form that attracts you, how it smells or the colour.

Curl up on the sofa with a blanket and watch your favourite film.

Play a board game or card game or even ‘I spy with my little eye’. This truly gets you focused on something other than your thoughts. One card game I love is “>Patience.

sense of touch

Find a pebble that fits in the palm of your hand. I have “>Lavender body butter. Feel how your skin feels and feel how the cream is sinking into your skin and nourishing it.

Here’s my favourite. Get creative. Hold a pencil, pen, chalk, pastel or charcoal in your hand and draw on a piece of paper. Gratitute Journal here.

  • Take a long warm bath with bath salts and add a scent for relaxation.
  • Cut and paint your nails. Go crazy and paint each nail a different colour.
  • Read a book.
  • Last but not least……create. It doesn’t matter what. Try making something with mixed media like this elephant of mine. Make a collage, pick a subject or emotion and tear out pictures and words from a magazine. Do some journalling or follow one of my how to’s. How to make your own elephant with mixed media art techniques.
  • Want to read further on self-care? Have a look at this blog from psychology today. Here you can read about other ways of looking after yourself.

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