• 5 Self Care Tips

May 22, 2020

What Is Self Care?

Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it's a simple concept in theory, it's something we very often overlook. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety.

Self care is important at ALL times, but never more so that right now as we are in this heightened state of stress and anxiety living through the Covid-19 pandemic.

When you’re a busy parent, possibly juggling working from home as well as childcare, 'self care' can easily slip to the bottom of the long list of things to do.

Taking care of yourself isn’t a luxury. It’s essential!

Taking care of yourself isn't a luxury - it's essential.  In particular during this difficult time when children are home and part of our emotional journey each and every day.   Whether we like it or not, our wellbeing has a direct impact on those around us and it's in everyones interest when we ensure that our needs are met and we are pouring from a full cup - not an empty one!

Here are 5 simple tips that you can start with

1. Make time for yourself

Right now, much of the personal time that was part of daily routines — commutes, time alone at home or at the store, social time with friends —  is not available for folks with kids at home. Without it, we have to be intentional about creating space to recharge and decompress. This could look like taking a shower or bath, walking around the block alone (or with your dog), or designating time to read or simply zone out after the kids have gone to bed.

2. Be Realistic & Kind to Yourself 

Put perfectionism aside and that inner critic telling you you 'should' do x,y or z.  Setting realistic expectations of what you can actually manage in your day is incredibly important.  We often think we can do much more in a day, than is actually possible.  This sets us up for self sabotage as we end up feeling frustrated that we didn't 'get more done'.

It’s time to be very realistic, both at work and as a parent and tbeing kind to yourself if you only get half your planned 'to do' list completed. 

Practice Kindness, forgiveness and self-compassion and remind yourself that these are unprecedented times. There is no instruction book for navigating this and you’re doing your best during a very difficult time. Cut yourself some slack.

3. Set Healthy Boundaries

Boundaries keep us feeling safe and as stres and anxiety are at a peak right now, it's very important to know your limits. This heightened level of uncertainty and the constant stream of negative news means that it can be easy to absorb other people’s fears and concerns without even realizing it.

If you have a friend or family member who’s in the habit of sending anxiety provoking text messages or cause you to feel overwhelmed and down ... then it may be time to practice a little emotional distancing in order to preserve your own mental wellbeing. 

You can sympathise but don't need to reply immediately and explain that you’ are taking a break from the negative news and trying to keep your space in balance. You can always reconnect when things are calmer and you are in a stronger position yourself. 

4. Do Things That Bring You Joy

It souds so incredibly simple - do things that bring you joy!! But how often do we actually do this?

Pause and think for a moment about all the things that bring you joy and make you feel happy!  Which of these can you still do during this time of social distancing? Make a list and create some time daily for at least one or two of these activities.

It may be reading a novel, playing an instrument, gardening, spending time in nature. What new hobby did you always want to try out but you’ve been too busy.

Maybe you love to draw or do jigsaw puzzles but with rushing between work and home and caring for kids, you never have time to do one.

Make another list of fun things you can do with your children! Learning to paint together, bake a new recipe, build a lego city, try out a new puzzle, go nature spotting in your garden or learn a fun dance together on YouTube.  There are so many fun things to do that can increase everyones happiness levels and help counter the stress we all fee. 

5. Make Healthy Choices

Sleep | Nutrition | Exercise | Time Out

Juggling so many balls, it's really easy right now to slip into habits that feel good in the moment but are not actually good for our health or well-being.  That extra glass of wine in the evening, staying up too late to 'unwind' and binge watching 3 or 4 episodes of your favourite Netflix series ... not getting out for a daily walk in nature ... all of these things are very easy to slip into, but really only add to our stress. 

Poor nutrition, lack of sleep can play havoc with our ability to cope under pressure!! Think ahead, how do I want to feel in the morning - rested? recharged? healthy?  Then make sure you’re eating properly, try to get enough sleep and create a routine that includes physical activity, 

This doesn’t mean pressuring yourself to get into tip-top shape, or not enjoying any treats or your favorite shows. It simply means keeping these in moderation and being mindful of your bodies needs right now.  Knowing that these positive choices will will have huge benefits not just to you but for everyone around you too!

The Benefits

Everyone benefits when we make our self care a priority! For our  families  it means that we have more energy, mental strength and are better able to stay calm and cope with the challenges we face daily.

When you're running on empty, it's very hard to care for those around us.  But when you prioritise your needs and filling your own tank first, you can give so much more emotionally and physically and care to others when they need it most.

If you found this article helpful, please share it with others who may need it right now. 

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