Self-care is a current buzzword. It is possible to find endless articles on how to incorporate more self-love into our daily lives, however is a bubble bath or a walk on the beach the answer?
A Harris Poll recently revealed that 44 percent of patients believe self-care is only possible for people with “enough” time, and 35 percent believe self-care is only possible for those with “enough” money.
Yet, the act of taking some time for oneself, stepping away from the daily demands, even just temporarily, is important. We all need to replenish ourselves and restore our reserves for coping with the demands of daily life. Self care can take many forms and it shouldn’t require an endless pit of cash or days off work to be part of our daily lives. In fact, simple daily acts of tuning in, noticing and accepting are always within reach. It’s up to you. No one can do this for you. You need to decide that this is important. However, know that your wellbeing matters, for you and those who care about you.
Four Simple Forms of Self Care
Understanding when and how to say no
In our everyday lives we deal with many different forces that push and pull our time and attention. Many people struggle with the competing demands of work, families, friends, as well as the fear of missing out. All too often we are striving towards something, and being “busy” is the new normal in our time poor society. Individuals can feel an immense pressure to continually do and be something, and this can build to feeling tremendously overwhelmed.
Learning to say no in order to create more time for yourself can bring a sense of calm.
This may be rejecting a social engagement, not taking on extra tasks at work or stepping back from responsibilities even momentarily, can give you valuable time and space. Things are often not as urgent as they seem.
Place real value upon your own health
A healthy mind relies upon a healthy body, the mind and the body are interdependent.
Your health can be managed in simple ways that don’t involve hours or sweat and toil at the gym. A
daily walk, a healthy home cooked meal and getting enough sleep are just as important for our health and wellbeing.
Saying no to large quantities of alcohol and other drugs is also important.
Become curious about mindfulness
“All hype aside, ‘mindfulness’ simply means paying attention to the present moment.
Practising mindfulness can help you to cope with everyday life and deal with tough times. It
can also help you to concentrate, relax and be more productive.” – ReachOut
Essentially mindfulness is the art of being curious about your mind, and noticing the thoughts and feelings that arise over time. Mindfulness also involves accepting things as they are, not striving to change or control things. This can be particularly helpful when dealing with painful or difficult feelings. A focus upon the simple in and out of the breath can be very helpful to bring calm and stillness. Acceptance of things as they are is helpful within mindfulness practice, but can also be a powerful act of self care.
It is also possible to bring a mindful awareness to daily tasks, such as when eating, brushing our teeth or walking. Paying attention to the present moment is a powerful way to slow down. Many people also find yoga beneficial in this way.
Explore your interests and things that bring calm, meaning and connection
As we rush around in our very busy and hectic lives, it’s incredibly easy to lose touch of the simple things that can bring us joy. Babies and children have an easy ability to become absorbed in an activity with curiosity and delight, like riding a bike, playing with a toy or imaginary game.
As adults it’s very easy to push aside the things that bring fulfilment, to make way for our
busy lives, but at what cost to our wellbeing.
Take time to think about what brings you even momentary feelings of contentment, and see if you can create more opportunities to implement this.
Self-care means different things to different people, and it comes in varying forms. We all need time out to replenish our reserves and can not be endlessly “productive”. If you feel you might need some additional help with these issues, if you find it hard to unwind, or struggle to say no, or are regularly overwhelmed, you may benefit from the support of one of our clinical psychologists.
At the Centre for Clinical Psychology we focus upon the delivery of high-quality practice based on the translation of research. We believe that individuals can create meaningful and lasting changes in their lives whether this is recovery from trauma, transitioning well into parenthood or moving forward through anxiety or depression. We also assist people to build stronger relationships. We know that change is possible… Contact us today to book a session.