Self care is one of those terms which is thrown around a lot as a ‘good thing’, but working out what it means to you and for your life can be harder work than simply grabbing a bottle of wine and stepping into a bubble bath!
In fact, for many women, it is something which is painfully misunderstood and underused as a basic way to keep your mental health in check! With over 20 years as a psychotherapist, Ruby La La founder Amanda shares self care ideas for 2021.
1. Emotional Self Care
One major reason so many women fail to care for themselves first, and others second, is because:
a) we have so many responsibilities on our shoulders and society seems to call on us to be everything to everyone.
b) a lack of self worth is a tough thing is notice, but if you do ot feel able to give yourself daily guilt free time out, chances are this may be the reason.
We need to recognise that all the time and effort we offer to other people should also be given back to ourselves also, even for 5 minutes a day with a cup of tea and a book. Sure there may be a million other things to be getting on with, but setting an alarm and just allowing yourself to have 5 minutes of calm and quiet is not a lot to ask of yourself, and you will reap the benefits.
Other emotional self care tips:
-Buy yourself some flowers
-Watch some comedy on TV and have a good old belly laugh
2. Physical Self Care
Drop and give me 50! Only joking - though I am not joking about taking the time for physical self care! Health and fitness can easily get lost in the myriad of other to-do’s, but your physical health is what keeps you going.Remember how quickly we forget how it feels to have a cold once we are better again?Well, when it coms to keeping our body’s fit and healthy, it is important we don’t forget and use that reminder of illness as a motivator to get moving in a way which suits you.
Set up a 10 minute workout routine followed by a lovely 5 minute stretch using Youtube or one of the many apps which are available for free.Alternatively book in a time to walk with a friend each week if you prefer to be a bit more sociable to take your mind off the exertion.Also, if there are any health concerns niggling you, book an appointment with your doctors today! Don’t put your health off for a moment longer.
Other physical self care tips
-Book in a monthly massage and enjoy a bit of much deserved pampering
3. Mental Self Care
This many sound similar to emotional, but your mental health is not simply about being kinder to yourself. It is about finding ways which free up your busy brain and actually using these methods regularly enough so that they become a habit, leaving you feeling lighter and happier.
There are many ways to work the brain nowadays, from suduko and word searches, to finding a new genre of book to delve into, or taking on a new challenge such as learning a skill like cooking or baking, or a language. Mental health is, in part, about firing up new neural pathways to keep your mind from feeling sluggish and depressed.Doing something new is a surefire way to achieve this.
Other mental self care tips:
-Clear out your home of old bits and bobs, stock up on lovely storage for everything else and feel great knowing your cupboards and drawers are fresh, clear and tidy.
-Schedule in an early night!
4. Spiritual Self Care
If you are a spiritual person, then weaving this into your daily life in some way will likely be important to your general health and may already be part of your self care routine, but spiritual self care is not just about a specific religion or practice. Rather, it is something we can all do to help feed the soul!
Getting out in nature is a wonderful way to achieve this. Smelling the fresh earth after a rainstorm, or feeling the sun’s rays on your skin will invigorate you from within.Taking time to volunteer in your local community is also a wonderful way to get out your own busy head, help others and benefit yourself positively too.
Other spiritual self care tips:
-Kindness - a little goes a long way.Each day, consider one kind thing you can do for another person such us:
-Paying for an extra coffee so the next person get’s a surprise freebie
-Calling a friend for a catch up
-Giving someone an unexpected compliment
-Cutting your child’s sandwich into a heart
-Leaving a little love note for your partner in their bag!
5.Any other self care tips?
Well of course we couldn’t leave without saying, learn to love yourself from head to toe!! This is something we all struggle with to varying degrees, and it can change daily based on any number of factors from hormones, to what weight we are, to whether we liked our new hair cut, and, more seriously, based on what people think about us or how they treat us.
When it comes to self love, it needs to come from within and one way to do that is to really get comfortable with your body, living life to the fullest in your skin and inhabiting the world as you. We see images in the media which can look different to how we do - no one is immune to this pressure!
We all want something we don’t have. But learning to accept what we do have is incredibly powerful.Go back to the blog on dressing for your shape rather than your size and begin to understand how you can learn to love and style your body with pride and joy, no matter what your size!
And remember, when you are ready, the ladies at Ruby La La are available anytime to help you find something phenomenal which will make you feel incredible.