Taking time for you

Self-care has become a buzz word in the wellness world. Instagram has over 17 million images, hashtagged #selfcare. Self-care is “trending”.

 

But beyond Instagram-able shots of weekend getaways in picture-perfect locales and shots of perfectly waxed legs emerging from organic bubble bath, what is self-care and what role does it have in your health?

 

Is self-care just another wellness fad fated to go the same way as the celery juice cleanse?

 

No. Before it was a hashtag, self-care was an essential ingredient of a healthy lifestyle.

What is self-care?

 

Self-care is regular (daily/ weekly/monthly) lifestyle habits that you engage in to keep you feeling and operating your best. They should enhance your energy, restore your health and reduce your stress. Self-care’s end game is to increase your resilience to support your mental health. Self-care is “putting on your oxygen mask” before helping others. Self-care helps you to thrive, not just survive.

 

Self-care should not feel like a chore.

 

If it becomes another “wellness” item on your ‘to do list” that seems overwhelming and out of reach, like dry skin brushing or making your kombucha than it’s not self-care.

 

Self-care doesn’t need to cost a lot of money, or any money if fact. Many self-care items are free!

How to do it

 

Firstly there is no right or wrong way to do it. Self-care is personal – the clue’s in the name!

 

I find spending time in nature rejuvenating. Other people don’t and would rather have a day shopping. Both tick the self-care box if they don’t feel like a chore.

 

Self-care can also be about what you don’t do. The simple act of saying NO to things can liberate your mind and spirit.

 

What ways do you look after you?

 

Consider these four aspects of life:

  • Physical (Food, exercise, environment)
  • Mental (hobbies, interests)
  • Emotional (close personal relationships, self-development)
  • Spiritual (faith, religious practices)

 Do you have self-care habits across these areas?

Perhaps you exercise every day but don’t make time to catch up with friends. Maybe you spend a lot of time with your family but don’t pursue your hobbies.

 

Putting self-care into all aspects of your life gives balance.

Ideas to get you started

 

Self-care shouldn’t feel overwhelming or draining. You don’t have to do ALL the things. Chances are you’ll already know a few essential habits which recharge your vitality. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Catch ups with friends – in real life
  • Saying no and setting boundaries
  • Taking a lunch break away from your desk
  • Drinking a cuppa in the sun
  • Going to bed
  • Leaving work on time
  • Regular Massages
  • Asking for help when you need it
  • Taking time to prepare/buy nutritious food you enjoy eating.
  • Making time for health check-ups
  • Not checking work emails after you leave work
  • Resting when you are sick
  • Daily movement you enjoy
  • Making time for a hobby

 

Self-care is simple in concept but not always easy in execution. The shared resource you need for self-care is time. Sometimes time is something we feel we don’t have enough of. I encourage you to make self-care a priority. It’s not selfish. It’s a sensible plan for a healthy and happy life. By taking time for yourself, you can show up better for others.

 

(Instagramming your #selfcare is optional!)

 

What do you like to do for self-care? Comment below.

Need help with your health?

Norelle Hentschel is an experienced naturopath with a clinic in Crows Nest, Sydney who enjoys supporting her clients to reach their health goals.

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