Self care

I wrote recently about the importance of self-love and I now want to say a few words about self-care. For me, self-care is part of self-love, but is specifically practical things you should do to ensure you are fit, healthy and happy. Self-love is more of a state of mind. Self-care consists of deliberate actions and behaviours you do because you know they are good for you. These things tend to take a little effort and are always good for us holistically.  Self-care is not selfish or bad, it’s an essential part of everyday life. Aldous Huxley (English writer and philosopher) put it very well when he said, “There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self”.

So, here are a few things you can do to care for yourself. Make time for yourself. Time to do things for yourself, be it read a book, watch your favourite TV show or just nothing at all. We all have demanding lives, but some ‘me’ time is essential. Similarly, find time to relax and perhaps meditate. Making time to calm your mind and take a break is always a good idea. It’s a time to reflect and think.

Make sure you get enough sleep. Sleep is the biggest factor that underpins a healthy lifestyle. We can all get busy or perhaps have a late night, but prolonged lack of sleep will affect your mental health and immune system, making you more likely to be unwell. 

Make time for regular exercise. Not every type of exercise is right for everyone. Find something you like that you can fit into your life. Be it walking, running, Zumba, Squash, the gym, swimming or even a few moments on an exercise bike in your bedroom.

Also, eat as well as you can. Avoid food that is bad for you and remember, everything in moderation. So be aware of how much fat, sugar and salt there is in the food you eat.

Stress management and prevention is also important. As with exercise it’s a very personal choice, so spend some time to find the one that is right for you. Spending time in nature, mindfulness or meditation are all things that can be very effective.

We all have to do things we dislike or find unpleasant from time to time. But plan when you do these things to reduce the impact on you.

Finally, spending time with friends and family are also very important. We all need to have some companionship and to have a laugh from time to time. Social connect is good for us and can be a useful way to share problems, gain a new perceptive or blow off some steam. As Leo Buscaglia (American author and motivational speaker) says, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around”.

If you need help or advice on self-care, then contact me.

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