Creating a Self-care Habit

Woohoo, I’ve made it through the second round of the Whole30!! Being this was the second round I had a better understanding of the process and what to expect, but it was still difficult.  In fact, I think this round, on many levels, was harder than the first. Instead of looking for weight loss I decided to make a conscious effort to focus more on my bodies’ cues for eating and whether or not the were hunger-based or were caused by something else such as boredom, stress, anger, etc…  This was in line with my larger goal to make 2018 a  year of self-care.

You ask what is self-care?  Merriam Webster defines it as, “care for oneself.” The NHS England defines self-care or management as “a term used to include all the actions taken by people to recognise, treat and manage their own health. They may do this independently or in partnership with the healthcare system.”

So what is self-care, really?  I see it as any activity that we intentionally (and this is important) do to improve our physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and mental wellbeing.  It’s something we do to help make our mind/body connection stronger.  Sounds simple, right?  It should be, but it’s often overlooked and ignored by most of us – especially us mums.  Or we do something in the name of self-care and that isn’t really something that restores us. It instead makes us feel ill or lead to us feeling negative self-emotions such as guilt or shame.  Need an example, say you decided you are going to eat an entire pint of ice cream (that Ben and Jerry’s was calling your name) and at that moment you feel good but an hour later you feel ill and are feeling guilty for eating so much.

Make time for what

So how do you make sure you are practising true self-care?  Think about what you like doing, what brings you joy and what you’re passionate about.  Those will be the things that will be your self-care.  Remember it’s not a one-time thing.  It should become a practice.  Start small, maybe pick one and do it this week.  Then gradually increase to two times, then three times until it becomes part of your daily thought process – have I taken time for me today?

Check out the list of my top 20 self-care ideas  – many are little to no cost – to help you start a self-care routine.   Choose one or two and include them in your life this week.  Each week come back and add a new one.

“Self-love is asking yourself what you need – every day – and then making sure you receive it.” -Unknown

Top 20 Self-care Ideas

  1. Try meditation.  Meditation Oasis or Tara Brach provide free guided meditations.
  2. Turn off your phone and unplug from all the ‘pings and dings’ of email and social media.
  3. Listen to your favourite podcast.
  4. Take a class and learn something new.
  5. Say “no” if you really would rather not.
  6. Write in your journal.
  7. Have a cup of your favourite tea or coffee and really taste and savour the flavours.
  8. Read a book.
  9. Take a bubble bath or essential oil bath.  (My favourite is Doterra’s lavender oil with epsom salts.)
  10. Have a spa treatment  – massage, facial, or a try a new treatment you’ve never had before.
  11. Head to the gym or workout.  My favourite if I am stressed is a 30-minute HIIT workout.
  12. Take a yoga class.
  13. Do 15 minutes of stretching.
  14. Take a walk in the sunshine.
  15. Take daily vitamins.
  16. Drink more water.
  17. Get a manicure or pedicure (or both!)
  18. Cook a healthy dinner.
  19. Go to bed early.
  20. Volunteer.

It’ll differ for each person but the key is to find something you love and that energizes or recharges you and then spend time focusing on that, which in turn focuses on you. Remember it’s not self-indulgent; your doing this to recharge you because you’re no good to anyone if you’re running on empty!


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