The very beginning of a “self-care” journey starts with a thought, a promise to love yourself.
The phrase “self-care” has become very glamorised of late. People now have a preconception that self-care means a gym membership or a weekend away at a spa. But “self-care” starts much smaller than that.
The very beginning of a “self-care” journey starts with a thought, a promise to love yourself. To dedicate some amount of time to yourself, each day. To prioritise yourself in some shape or form. Even as a small as a quick check in each morning and asking yourself “How am I feeling today?”
Looking after yourself has never been more important. With more of us suffering from stress and burnout than ever before, taking time out to replenish your mental wellbeing isn’t merely a luxury – it’s a necessity.
5 easy ways to practice self-care that won’t cost a cent:
Start each day right
Try to start every single day positively. With some meditation, yoga, a short workout or even simply writing in your gratitude journal. Write down three things you’re grateful for and why. To make it even more simple, give yourself 5 or 10 minutes extra in the morning and focus on your breathing and even just list three things you’re grateful for in your head. Focusing on our breathing is an extremely powerful tool that we have available to each and every one of us. Practising some breathing techniques daily can help with anxiety and depression.
Decide to be kind to yourself
Being kind and compassionate with yourself is a decision you have to make. It’s not easy at times but to practice self-care, we must first decide to love ourselves. Faults and all. It is not always easy to accept the difficult parts of ourselves but as soon as we make that conscious decision to focus on ourselves and love ourselves we have made the first major step in self-love.
Schedule your self-care
It seems crazy to schedule in some self-care but with our lives getting busier and busier it makes sense to add in your self-care into the diary. Our own needs can fall to the bottom of the list of priorities very easily. So putting aside some regular time in the diary will give you some breathing space to do something just for yourself. If it’s hard to think up what to do with time for you’ve set aside, create a pampering list to refer to – this can be as simple as having a bubble bath or watching your favourite film.
Eat well and properly
Eating a balanced diet, which is full of healthy fats, carbs and protein, will ensure you’re fuelling your body properly. Not only does this mean you’ll have enough energy for the day, but eating healthily will help your brain to function properly. If you have to schedule this in too to make sure you stay on top of it, do that too.
Real change happens with consistency. When we are serious and consistent with our habits. Small changes may not feel like a lot but 10 minutes each morning, every morning is so much more beneficial than an hour a week. If you have decided to do a gratitude journal every morning stick with it. Do it every day and don’t expect huge changes in a week. Habits take 21 days to make. Be patient and consistent and you will soon see the benefits of your self-care.
Laura Doyle, Mum of 4. Kyle 9, Noa Belle 4, Briar 2 and Milla 12 months. Breastfeeder, co-sleeper, coffee drinker. Staying positive and inspired by the chaos of it all. Follow her on Instagram.