Ah, self care. I feel like 2018 has been the rise in awareness of the importance of self care and the year that many people – myself included – have finally started to do something about it and realise that you know what, looking after ourselves is actually pretty damn important. I’ve posted a lot about self care on this blog over the course of the year and been focusing on it in my personal life in small (but significant) ways and I’ve definitely felt a shift in myself from 2017 – which was absolutely awful and I just don’t even want to talk about it.
I’ve finally learnt what’s important and how to treat myself. I know when to let something go, when to stop if something doesn’t feel right and not force myself to do anything just because I feel like I should or because society is saying I should. Of course I still have a lot to learn and that’s where next year comes it – a beautiful new chance to continue my journey with self care, expand it and let it grow bigger than ever.
I love the lead up to the New Year for this very reason, all the possibilities and the “clean slate” feeling (although I’m very aware that you don’t need a brand new year in order to have a new start but I like the principle) and how we can continue to work on ourselves over and over again. I’ll definitely be implementing these ways you can increase your self care game in 2019, will you?
One of the main things that stops people from embarking on and focusing on their self care is time. Because let’s face it, life is busy and hectic and there’s always something else to be doing. But we can make time. Whether that’s 10 minutes to meditate and stretch in the morning or an entire weekend to relax on a couples spa break. You cannot give your full potential to life if you don’t allow yourself the time to relax and rejuvenate – whatever that means to you.
Limit your screen time (and be strict about it!)
Limiting my screen time on my iPhone was something I started doing about mid way through 2018 but unfortunately I stopped and fell out of habit with it. I’m a self-confessed social media addict but whilst blogging is my job, it can be so difficult to find that healthy balance between being online for work and switching off because I always want to check my emails or see what’s going on on Twitter. When I did limit my screen time, I felt a benefit from it. So it’s something I desperately want to start again in the New Year and I urge you to give it a go too!
Do one thing every day that makes you happy
This could be the smallest thing in the world, like having your favourite chocolate bar or something huge like booking a holiday, obviously it will vary from day to day but putting our own happiness first for a small amount of time each and every day will have such a huge, positive impact on our mental well-being.
This is arguably one of the things I’ve been working on the most throughout this year. It’s so important and can have such a huge impact. I’ve learnt to be much more intuitive with my mind and my body. If I fancy some chocolate, I’ll eat it and won’t restrict myself. If I’m not feeling a Yoga practice, I’ll stop and I won’t force myself to finish it. If I feel like I need a nap, I’ll damn-well have one and I’ll stop feeling guilty for putting off work or chores until the next day. Listen to your mind and body – they’re smart.
Take care of the basics
Basic self care is the best form of self care in my opinion, especially when you’re feeling particularly rough or going through a bad spell or just generally feeling like you’ve neglected yourself a bit. By basic self care, I really do mean basic. Brush your teeth, drink some water, have a shower and eat a small meal. These things can sometimes seem like a mountain of a task when you’re not in that frame of mind but honestly, it will make you feel better. Even just a tiny bit. Even for just a tiny amount of time.
I’ve increased and grown my Yoga practice more than I ever thought possibly this past year. I got into Yoga a few years ago after being diagnosed with anxiety but never really got into it, until I found Yoga With Adriene on YouTube and I’ve been doing it almost daily ever since. I even went to my first Yoga Retreat and although it wasn’t what I was expecting, I’m still so glad I went. Yoga for me can be anything from gentle stretches to a 45 minute work out. I just love knowing that I have that one thing that I absolutely love which will get me moving (to whatever extent I want to move) every day.
And finally… gratitude. Ahh. The most powerful tool. Showing gratitude every single day – even on days where you feel like you have absolutely nothing to be grateful for – is a huge step up in your self care journey. I used to have a gratitude journal which didn’t really work for me but I always express my gratitude for things either in my head or out loud when no one can hear me throughout the day. Try it!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and taken something from it which you can implement in 2019! How do you practice self care? Are there any areas of self care that you’re lacking or need to work on? What is your biggest self care goal for 2019?
* This is a collaborative post