In a world where everybody’s schedules seem overloaded – balancing family life, work and being absorbed in technology, it’s no surprise that we can find it hard to fit me-time into the agenda.
Personally, fitting time for myself in my daily schedule hasn’t been the easiest growing up. It was always the last (or absent) point on my to do list. The growing pressures throughout school, university and work life often engulfed my entire day. Daily responsibilities aside, there is truly no excuse for not setting time to look after ourselves. There’s always space to schedule in me-time if you consciously chose to. The practice of self-care is all about nourishing your mind, body and soul.
Unplug your mind from any tech at home for an hour. Turn off, disconnect, mute and airplane mode whatever device pings. The always-on mentality of our world can more often than not distract us from taking care of ourselves. We’ve become slaves to our gadgets, responding to their every ping, and it’s important to respond to your own cues on how you’re feeling as well. As incredible technology is, sometimes we just need to switch it off and listen to how we’re feeling.
Organise the pile of letters on your desk, sweep the floor or rearrange your kitchen space. Clearing the space around you is a powerful way to clear your mind. Although labelled by many as a chore, cleaning is a form of self-care. Clearing the space around you creates a restorative, calming environment for yourself in which your mind can relax. Repetitive cleaning like doing the dishes or de-weeding your garden can put your mind into a meditative state, helping to reduce levels of anxieties.
Our body runs off oxygen. Focusing on our breathing helps to slow things down and create greater awareness of our bodies. It’s a simple yet highly effective way to care for every single part of your body. Ensuring that each part of you is being nourished by every breath you take. Conscious awareness of this helps develop greater self awareness and love for the bodies we have. Have a go at this incredibly relaxing belly breathing exercise below for just 5-10 minutes a day:
Lace up those shoes and head out for a 30 minute walk. Whether this is done in the morning, afternoon or evening, find out which time works best for you. Going for walks is an opportunity to practice mindfulness, fully immersing yourself in your surroundings and enjoying the present moment. In our busy world, going for a walk is a chance for us to slow down, reflect and give our bodies a break from the pressures of the day.
“ In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” ~ Deepak Chopra.
In our busy daily schedules it can be tough to simply be still. I say simply yet it’s far from simple, with our minds constantly on the go, it’s in fact pretty difficult. Being still means being able to quiet your mind to focus on the present. Get cosy in any part of your home that you feel most comfortable, sit down, relax the muscles in your body and take in the present moment. Let your mind wander in those moments and allow your thoughts to come and go like waves until you feel completely still and present.
Write it out
Hear yourself out, listen to how you feel and the emotions you’re going through. Keep a small diary or book to write out how you’re feeling and the worries or troubles you may have. Penning out thoughts is a powerful way to connect deeply with yourself. Sometimes a mini vent can make all the difference. Self-care involves self-communication – being able to understand your emotions and being kind to yourself when things get tough.
Self-care is all about choosing to set aside time for your wellbeing, to care for yourself. Now before you think back to your busy schedule of things to do, always remember self-care is not selfish and prioritising your health and wellbeing is essential. It not only helps to rejuvenate yourself, but also provides you with the ability to give greater to others.