This has been a hot topic to say the least these days…self-care, self-love, me time, putting yourself first before others. No matter which way you want to spin it, it’s become a “thing”. But, here’s the definition of Self Care that I identify with the most:
“Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept, in theory, it’s something we very often overlook.
Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. It’s also key to a good relationship with oneself and others.”
What Self Care Does For Me Personally
I’ll add to that by saying that self-care is so incredibly important for me, as I find myself continuously in and out of flight or fight mode – as so many of us do! I’ve been a long time anxiety sufferer – although I really do hate that word sufferer.
I’m just a natural-born worrier, but I like to think of myself as a WARRIOR now – rather than a worrier 🙂
Interestingly, my chronic anxiety and depression is what actually got me into massage and yoga as a profession as I experienced the healing powers of both myself.
While I feel that prescription medications (antidepressants, etc) certainly have a place in managing mental health conditions, including depression & anxiety – I am also of the opinion that self-care practices really get to the core of our issues.
In 2011 I had a major depressive episode and landed in the hospital for a month. It was tough, to say the least – on both me and my family. I think it all came about as I had untreated postnatal depression after both of my children.
I kept on soldiering on, thinking that I could do it all – be a mum, wife, plus study AND work. Trouble was, I was ignoring all the signs that things were not great. Yes, I was practising yoga and seeing friends, etc, but I was not being entirely honest with myself – or anyone, in fact. I just wasn’t coping.
But, as women, we are meant to automatically be thrown into motherhood and just handle it, right?! To do it all…and do it well?
Even though this time in my life was extremely difficult, in some ways I’m grateful for the experience. I feel like I listen more to the signs that I need to take extra care…of myself. Like maybe a day off?! Haha.
I often hear people say that yoga, massage, and other bodywork is a luxury. Well, I certainly don’t see it that way at all – and not just because I’m a practitioner of those modalities! For me, it’s now a way of life. I know without a doubt, that I need to take care of my mental AND physical health in order to be the best version of myself.
By doing so, I am able to support my family and clients because I feel well more often than not. This is so important to me especially now that my daughter is heading into Year 9 and my son is starting high school next year. I just want to support them as much as I can – something I felt I didn’t have for so many years.
In this case – self-care was truly lifesaving for me, and I can honestly say that I’m a better parent (and practitioner) because of it!
My idea of the perfect balance of self-care & me time:
Me Time now consists of a daily movement practice – yoga, pilates and walking. Although simple enough – those are my faves.
Adding to that…
- Tea catch-up with my close friends
- Catch-ups with my big sister and I would love to see more of my family if they were closer 🙂
- Regular bodywork sessions: massage, osteopath & acupuncture
- Speaking to a mental health professional (psychologist &/or counselor) can be a critical piece of self-care as well. I’ve always thought everyone could use a mental health pro in their life!
- Fave authors for self-care/self-love:
1) Dr. Kristin Neff “Self Compassion” – this has been a bible for me
2) anything Brene Brown! “The Gifts of Imperfection” is on the top of my list
3) Pema Chodron – I love listening to her audiobooks whilst walking around the Bay
How To Put Your Own Self Care Plan Into Action
The first step to establishing your own self-care routine is to schedule it in!
Yep, you have to schedule it as if it was a daily appointment. While that might seem a bit rigid, if you don’t, let’s face it – it simply won’t happen with all of the other “business” that we have to tend to on a daily basis.
I know this firsthand, and it was only when I started making self-care a top priority in my own life, that I felt like I could really handle doing what was needed to grow my health & wellness business while juggling my other full-time job as a busy Mum of a teen and tween!
45 things you could do to incorporate more Me Time into your day
This is a list compiled by one of my top-visited websites: Tiny Buddha. Just check out the first 3 and you’ll know why I love this list so much!
- Start a compliments file. Document the great things people say about you to read later.
- Scratch off a lurker on your to-do list, something that’s been there for ages and you’ll never do.
- Change up the way you make decisions. Decide something with your heart if you usually use your head. Or if you tend to go with your heart, decide with your head.
Are you ready to put self-care first in YOUR (w)holistic health routine?
By the way, I would love the opportunity to be part of your health optimisation team.