Sometimes we get so caught up in looking a certain way or fitting into a certain dress size, that we completely forget about our mental health too. It is so easy for it to slip our minds to take care of ourselves, especially when we lead busy, demanding lifestyles.
Self Care is crucial to being the healthiest version of yourself. Health isn’t having a six pack and a perfect bubble butt. I mean, those are a wonderful aspect but they don’t define health as a whole, and if the outside appearance is all you chase, it won’t last long. It’s not a destination dressed as sculpted legs. Health should be about self love. You should work out to nurture your body, not to punish it.
So how can you make sure you display love for yourself, too? It’s all down to self care.
For you to find success in your healthy lifestyle change, you have to have the mindset of unconditionally loving yourself, appreciating yourself, prioritising yourself, and taking time out for you. A trip to the gym and a Sunday evening spent meal prepping can be great, but its deeper than just caring for your body, its caring for your mind, and spirit, too.
Often times people focus on just the aesthetic of looking good and feeling oh so shredded, but for a healthy lifestyle to be sustainable, and last a lifetime, it needs to lie on a strong foundation, and to build a foundation, you need to find room to love yourself as much as it love the ones who are important to you.
Excuse me? What about my kids? My parents? My dog?
Well yes, you can love them too, to the moon and back if you so wish, but the point is, to love yourself infinitely. It’s cut and dry really, loving yourself the most simply means going the extra mile for yourself, bending over backwards for yourself, tucking yourself into bed, reading yourself a bedtime story. You get the point.
So here, are 5 easy ways to master the art of self care, yo.
1. TAKE A BUBBLE BATH, EVERY WEEK
If you’re a mother, or even just a girl putting in work, you are probably familiar with bubble baths. But reflect, how often are you really allowing yourself to slip into a the euphoric feeling of a hot bath? Once you think about it, you will realise, it’s probably, hardly ever, and your bath tub is beginning to collect dust.
Believe me I know it can be hard to fit a bath in, but, it’s about prioritising yourself. And by making a bubble bath a priority every week, you will find you end up making time for it. It is critical for your own success in life and in health, to make time for yourself. So freeing up thirty minutes of your time dedicated to everybody else, to focus on yourself, is a great start.
Go all out, fill the bath with bubbles, use scented soaps and gel that smell amazing, wash your hair and apply a nourishing hair mask and face mask, make it your very own spa at home. Breathe, relax, take in the silence, and allow yourself time to just, breathe.
2. KEEP A JOURNAL
The act of having a little black book that is all yours, to scribble down your unfiltered thoughts and completely release all your stresses onto paper works wonders. You could start off by just writing one entry per week, and really allowing yourself to decompress. Write down the thoughts that are permanently emblazoned on the inner workings of your mind.
Got something you need to get off your chest? Do yourself a favour and get it out. Don’t bottle it up and wait for it to blow. This is where your journal comes in handy. Maybe your boss really irritated you, use your journal to write him a letter you will never send.
Use your journal as a place you can be unfiltered and authentic, hide it in a safe place so your thoughts remain confidential.
A journal isn’t just used to vent though, it can be a place to scribble drawings, write down your dreams, your goals, gratitude lists. It is entirely up to you. Write what ever feeds your soul. Your journal can be your own little world.
3. Turn your phone off and spend time away from screens for at least an hour each day
And no, I don’t just mean when you are in bed.
It could be any time, but really set aside a time where there are no screens or interruptions. You would be surprised how much time that could be spent on you, is spent scrolling on your phone looking at other people’s lives. Sometimes we spend so much time looking at other people’s lives that we forget to live our own life’s.
So carve out at least an hour every single day to focus on yourself. Spend that time reading a book, creating art, or listening to your favourite music. Just make sure you use that time to focus on yourself, and choose an activity that doesn’t involve a screen, such as a TV or computer.
4. Make a habit of getting out into the great outdoors and take a moment to appreciate nature
Unless you’re a runner, chances are, you don’t exercise outdoors. Almost every one works out cooped up in a gym or inside the four walls of their own home. And although there is, nothing wrong with that, it is important to spend time outdoors.
Nature feeds the soul. It cleanses your spirit and can completely refresh your exhausted, tired, cells, just by inhaling its fresh, crisp air.
It is easy to spend more time outside, and your lifestyle can easily be adjusted by doing the things you would do inside, outside. For example; eat breakfast outside instead of inside. If you don’t have a table outside to sit at, you can always sit on a blanket in the garden, grab a book with your breakfast and you have the perfect refreshing setting.
Or make an effort to walk your dog more, or go on walks with your family, it’s a great time to bond so its a 2 in 1.
Even lying out in the sun can reap unbelievable benefits, as long as you make sure to use a high protection SPF.
You would be surprised how enjoyable it can be to take your home workouts from inside your living room to your backyard.
There are many simple ways, begin to make an effort to hit at least an hour each day, even if it is just in small segments. For example, a 10 minute walk in the morning, 20 minutes eating breakfast outdoors, and a 30 minute workout in nature.
Start small, and work your way up, your life will change drastically if you are somebody who doesn’t spend much time in nature.
5. Be kind and gentle to yourself
It is so easy for us to beat ourselves up once we make a mistake, but make an active effort to be more gentle with yourself.
You would display understanding and forgiveness if somebody else made the same mistake, so why do you treat yourself like your own worst enemy?
There will be people in life who may highlight your flaws and make you feel unworthy, but often times, that person is the man in the mirror.
Next time you find yourself insulting yourself, picking out things you would change, or feeling angry with yourself for a tiny error, take a step back and reflect. Ask yourself,
Would you talk to your best friend, your daughter or your mother the way you talk to yourself?
The answer is no. So why do you talk to yourself that way? It can be hard at first, but be less judgemental of yourself and go out of your way to compliment yourself. Make a list of positive affirmations and focus on the things you love about yourself rather than what you hate.
Happy Self Caring! And one quick reminder: You are beautiful. You are resilient. You are powerful.