18 Dec How to Explore the Power of Self Care over Christmas
How to explore the power of self care over Christmas.
Traditional New Years resolutions can often focus on fitness and physical health but the start of the year can also be a great time to reset and improve your mental health too.
I’ve gone about my own research and asked women in business, full-time mothers and the ones that fall in between what they have found that works best for them.
What’s the first rule of self-care?
Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to incorporate all these tips into your day at once. Start by trying the approach of adding one per week or even one per month. I know only too well that overwhelm can cause burnout and exhaustion.
It’s all about baby steps. Maintaining change can be exhausting if it’s not achievable.
1. Start the day the right way
I cannot stress enough how important sleep is. We not only recharge our bodies but slow our ever-busy minds down while asleep. Rest in its simplest form is integral for both physical and mental health.
If you live in a house like mine where you have children and a husband, I find getting up before anyone else gives you that “golden” hour where you can plan your day ahead with a coffee in hand and a calmness around you.
We all know what happens when the rest of the household wakes up – chaos ensues and the volume rises and that’s when you feel like an elastic band, being pulled in different ways.
Also if like me, you have different parts of the family coming over on different days during the Christmas break it gives you that time to set yourself a plan and timetable for the day ahead.
2. include SELF AFFIRMATION into your morning.
I for one was not of the school of self-affirmation. It almost feels uncomfortable bigging oneself up. But slowly I’ve realised the importance of self-worth and self-affirmation. If we wait around for others to tell us how brilliant we are, especially from our loved ones we no doubt be waiting around for a while. Why is it then that we need this?
Affirming who we are and how brilliant we are is where we can change the way we think about ourselves. The more you put these affirmations out there in the universe the more they become real.
How many times have you beaten yourself up for things? It’s a default reaction which
instils any negative thoughts we have. It lends itself to any feelings of
unworthiness or ‘I’m not enough.
I remember my father telling me when I was a child he used to stand in front of the mirror every morning and tell himself – I am brave, I am handsome, I am kind, I am powerful. At the time I thought it was all a bit of a joke but even back then he knew the importance of self-care and the importance of self-love. And now when I stand and brush my teeth each morning and practice this self-affirmation I think of him.
To be the person who we truly are inside means that we need to nurture and nourish ourselves. Becoming more mindful of how we talk to ourselves is the key self-kindness.
3. Get away from Social Media.
We all know that social media although massively addictive is something we love to be apart of. Scrolling for inspiration, nosing into the lives of influences or indeed using it for business.
It can also have a detrimental effect on us, the compulsive need to pick up the phone and check on insta, facebook, Linkedin, snapchat I could go on, for updates is as bad as a drug habit.
Disconnecting from the constant stream of information that we are becoming increasingly dependent on will help to restore balance in your mind. It will also re-focus your attention to the things that are truly important.
4. Spend time in nature.
You know that feeling when you’ve been outside for a walk and its been either seriously windy or you’ve been caught in the rain? Your cheeks are flushed and you feel invigorated, albeit a little wet or windswept but the body feels amazing for being outside in the elements.
By trying to get out at least once a day regardless of the weather will improve mental well-being and will allow you to energise the body. Even if you just go out into the garden, close your eyes and listen to the birds and smell nature. Christmas can be a stressful time so it’s a great way to de-stress.
5. Forget about the opinions of others.
6. Know when to say yes and more importantly saying NO.
Knowing when to say “no” takes practise and guts.
Learning this skill can help keep you safe and allow you to build and maintain strong and healthy relationships. You are entitled and allowed to say ‘no’ whenever you like. Something that took me a very long time to learn. And even now I default to saying “yes” when I shouldn’t.
Begin to say “no” to things that will mentally drain you and try not to feel guilty for it. You are not here to please others.
Conversely saying Yes can be really positive not only for you but the person you’re saying yes to.
Saying ‘yes’ to the things which make you have a sense of worth without giving too much is a fabulous way to make you feel great!
Try asking yourself these three questions:
- Is this “yes” going to take up my valuable time?
- What makes this “yes” important to me? Does it excite me personally? Or is it an external desire such as someone will like me?
- If the “yes” is based on an external desire, what am I giving up in order to make this “yes” happen?
7. Focus on yourself.
Arguably the most crucial self-care step you can take is making time for yourself.
With family life, friendships and work all taking a toll on us having time on our own is vital for our well being and mental health.
Taking time to recuperate and do the things you love with your family over Christmas will bring you a sense of happiness. I always say the smallest things in life bring the largest amounts of joy.
Eat what you want, drink what you want, watch endless movies, laugh more, have more sex – do whatever makes you feel great!
And don’t whatever you do feel guilty about it.
Merry Christmas. xxx