Can we get something out in the open? Something that bugs me no end? Something that I see every single day with my clients and that makes my blood boil and my heart break?
Here it is: Self-care is NOT selfish. In fact, it’s the OPPOSITE of selfish; it’s an entirely necessary practice in order to live your best life and be your best self.
I'm continually blown away, when I need to suggest to people that they must take time out of their day to recharge themselves.
Often when we are surrounded by other people, a never ending to do list, and constant demands on our time we can’t restore ourselves. Burning the candle at both ends isn't a long term solution, or short in my opinion.
Self-care doesn't need to be spending a day in a rose strewn bath or day spa, but I'm totally down with that too! Here some tips on how an everyday busy person (that’s most likely you!) can intersperse some self-care time into your routine.
- Take your breakfast and morning cuppa into the sunshine. Leave your phone, and other electronics, and bask in the daylight. The vitamin D hit, will also do wonders for your serotonin levels (Happiness levels) leaving you with a boost all day long. If you can’t do breakfast, then do lunch. The Fresh air will revitalise you for your afternoon work load too. Oh so many benefits!
- Earth yourself. Take your shoes off and connect with the earth. Even just for 5 minutes. Earthing is the practice of connecting your body with the earth, plug into mama natures natural energy supply. If you have more than a few minutes on your hand, a quick ocean dip would be even more amazing.
- Breathe. On a day-to-day basis its incredible how little we breathe. When is the last time you took a full inhale and filled your lungs? Take a few minutes and close your eyes – inhale for 4 counts filling your lungs, hold for 4 counts, and exhale for 4 counts. Keep this cycle going for a few minutes. It’s a great stress buster too!
- Meditate. There’s a great old Zen proverb - “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.” 20 minutes might just not be possible for you now, but even a few minutes focusing on your breath, and clearing your mind will feel so beneficial. Gabrielle Bernstein has a great backpack meditation as she calls it which is bring your thumb and forefinger together and think ‘peace’ then your thumb and middle finger together ‘begins’ then your thumb and ring finger and think ‘with’ and finally your thumb and little finger ‘me’ and repeat this for as long as you can. It’s especially beneficial if you find your brain just won’t switch off.
- Lie on the floor with your hips up against the wall and legs up the wall. This is a great pose, for increasing the blood floor to your brain, and relaxing your entire body and nervous system. One of my clients was a producer at a top radio show, and would often do this for a few minutes when feeling overwhelmed in her office!
It’s so important to have some go to tools to help you look after yourself. If you don’t look after yourself you won’t be able to support others as you need to. I hope you take these 5 tips and put them in to your self-care routine, or maybe use them to start a self-care routine. Most of them can even be done when on public transport – imagine arriving at work or home after a busy day calm and collected.