Okay, so hopefully we have all been getting to know ourselves this week. Even if just a little. (Please do let me know if you have used any of my journal prompts and, if so, how you found them.)
Welcome to my next tip. Look after yourself. Yes, it’s time to talk about self care.
Self care, much like self love, has been a bit of a buzz phrase lately and that’s great; but, it’s also confusing as hell if you have no idea where to start.
We can often see self care as face masks, candle lit baths, massages, long walks, etc. Basically, self care can often look like a luxury that not all will allow themselves. It can feel like self care is for the people who already love themselves rather than those who are trying to learn.
So, how do I get around that?
Firstly I understand that, for me at least, self care starts much more internally than all of that. I split my self care into three categories in my mind. I love to think of these being like the Islands in Inside Out – if you haven’t seen it, add it to your ‘to watch’ list. My Islands (or categories) are;
1. Physical (Aka. Happy Body Island)
Am I keeping my body, hair and teeth clean?
Am I responding to my health needs appropriately? I understand that this is the physical section but this includes mental health.
Am I exercising? This could be as gentle or as vigorous as I can manage but I always try to move my body regularly in some way.
Am I eating? / Is what I am eating nourishing my body? It’s so important to note here that I do not diet, I actually refuse to restrict after all I put my body through, but my body notices when I am eating food that isn’t nourishing. I try to eat food that makes me feel how I want to feel.
How is my relationship with alcohol? I personally try not to drink very regularly because it affects my body and mind badly for at least a few days afterwards. That is just my relationship with alcohol though, you suit your own.
How am I sleeping? So important but not always the obvious self care technique. Everything slides if I sleep too little or too much.
2. Mental / Spiritual (Aka. Zen Island)
What does my self talk sound like? You can have all the bubble baths in the world, but, if you’re talking to yourself negatively then it’s not complete self care.
What am I reading/ listening to? How does it make me feel?
Am I allowing myself time to wind down/ reflect/ switch off?
3. Social (Aka. Friendship Island)
Who do I spend my time with? Do they encourage self care and personal growth or do they drag me into self loathing?
What do I spend my time doing? Am I feeling bored and unfulfilled or am I feeling happy and content?
What am I looking at in the media (including social)? Does it inspire me or does it drain me?
I am aware that this might feel like a lot of things to consider but you will be surprised at how interlinked these things are.
If this is all new to you, perhaps you are a mother who lives through her family, have been in a controlling relationship or have just been trying to function as best as you can, that’s okay!
If this is you, I’d recommend starting with looking at your own categories/ islands (they can match mine or not, whatever works) and decide what your non-negotiable’s are. What are the things that you NEED to do to take full care of yourself?
When you have those in your journal/ mind, ask yourself how these things are in your life. Perhaps they are working perfectly and you can add in some luxury items to your self care routine?
Or perhaps they aren’t working so well and you now know where to start with yourself care.
The starting point is irrelevant, what is relevant is that you are deciding to move forward and look after yourself completely now, if you weren’t then you wouldn’t still be reading.
Next week, I am going to look a bit closer at “social” and dig in to how important my tribe is in my self love journey (aka. Life)
Hopefully I will see you then 😘