“ An empty lantern provides no light, Self care is the fuel that allows our light to shine brightly. “Unknown.
What is self care? We have self-care weeks when mental health bodies ask us to implement self care. What does that entail? We often hear the phrase “ You take care of yourself.”
When asked, “In what ways do you take care of yourself?” — well, that’s where we really need to have our “bag of health tools” at the ready.
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 the key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. It’s also the key to a good relationship with oneself and others.
“ I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival. “Audre Lorde.
Self-care isn’t a selfish act either. It is not only about considering our needs, it is rather about knowing what we need to do in order to take care of ourselves and thus be of service to others as well.
In a few words, self-care is the key to living a balanced life
Where do you start?
Here are some fundamental rules:
- Stick to the basics. Over time you will find your own rhythm and routine. You will be able to implement more and identify which particular forms of self-care work for you. For example ,using an early morning gratitude journal, followed by a healthy breakfast, followed by a walk in nature or a lunch break sports activity. Or a weekly self care event could be something like a special bath night where you use candles, essential oils, bath salts and play your favourite music.
- Self-care needs to be something you actively plan, rather than something that just happens. It is an active choice and you must treat it as such. Add certain activities to your calendar, announce your plans to others in order to increase your commitment, and actively look for opportunities to practice self-care.
- A daily routine is very helpful . A routine where you consciously incorporate things that make you feel good. For example, feeling good at the food choices you have made, preparing a lovely meal and sitting to eat it in a pleasant setting whilst appreciating every mouthful.. In other words however mundane or daily an event is, if you don’t see something as self-care or don’t do something in order to take care of yourself, it won’t work as such.
Although self-care means different things to different people, there’s a basic checklist that can be followed by all of us:
- Promote a nutritious, healthy diet. You can find some great tips on that in My Food Journal.
- Get enough sleep. Adults usually need 7-8 hours of sleep each night. This is often easier said than done at certain points in our life and we need tools to help us. This again can be meditation, writing a gratitude journal, or as we do, using CBD oil infused with melatonin. I also make sure I am diffusing or wearing essential oils such as lavender and frankincense to help me calm down.
- Create a “NO” list, with things you know you don’t like or you no longer want to do. Examples might include: Not checking emails at night, not attending gatherings you don’t like, not answering your phone during lunch/dinner.
- Do at least one relaxing activity every day, whether it’s taking a walk, listening to music, or reading a book.
- If realise you haven’t had much to laugh at today, find a TV programme or film that you know will make you literally laugh out loud! My go to shows are Frasier and Friends, I’m sure you know yours.
You can see that immediately I know where Essential oils and CBD oils help me in my self care routine, alongside being with plants and hugging trees that is!
To help with sleep I use a CBD oil that is infused with melatonin.
Of an evening to get ready for bed I use “Calm” roll on or an inhaler with Frankincense.
Another self care routine I often mention is my bath time with Epsom Salts and Essential oils.
During my yoga practice and indoor exercise, I often diffuse stimulating oils, such as ones used in the “ Focus “ blend : Peppermint, Rosemary and Atlas Cedarwood.
Set up a 15 or if you can a 21 day self-care routine and see how you feel before and after. The My Body Journal is a great way to keep track and really monitor what serves you and what no longer does.
Keep shining your light!