Beginnings Well-being

The importance of Self-Care

August 1, 2017
Lady swimming

Hi everyone, I’ve decided that I’ll drop the day count as I think it might be a reminder that I’m taking too long to simplify my shit!  So far since starting this journey I feel I have done plenty of reading and self-reflection but I still feel like I’m not taking enough action.  I’ve de-cluttered a couple of drawers…not exactly the life changing progress I was hoping for at the start.

However fear not my friends I have started the process so at least that is some progress.  I’ve also started physio and joined a gym.  I haven’t actually been to the gym yet as it was only yesterday but still positive moves forward.  I’ve been trying to put a bit more emphasis on self-care and trying to just relax more.

I thought I’d share some findings and resources from my research that might help you to improve your self care.

What is self-care?

Self-care is defined by Psychcentral.com as:

Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.

I like to think of it as anything that looks after our body or mind, and if I’m honest I do not think I’ve been doing much self-care for a long time!  That is why from now on I’m going to really try to carve time out of my week so stop and take care of me.

Why is self-care so important?

Self-care is hugely important to everyone.  When we feel overwhelmed or stress or that we are not coping, if we look at our behaviour it is probably is that we are not looking one aspect of all aspects of ourselves such as physical, mental and emotional care.

If you look after yourself you keep yourself healthy and fit it makes you feel good.  If you do not exercise you feel sluggish, lazy and unmotivated.  Ideally we should all be exercising 3 times a week…I had not entered a gym until yesterday for nearly 4 years since I first found out I was pregnant!  However physical exercise is so important to our overall happiness.

Self-care also gives you the opportunity to take some time out whether this is from working or your kids or your relationship.  Time away and time apart is really important to give yourself time to refresh, recharge and appreciating all the wonderful things and/or people in your life.

If we do not look after ourselves by practising self-care it is easy to become depressed or feeling like you are struggling or generally not being happy.  You must address this, take some time to make yourself happy.  Your family will thank you for it.

My 20 quick ideas for some self-care:

  1. Treat yourself to a magazine, make a cuppa or pour yourself some wine and just enjoy… bliss!
  2. Run a hot bath, get a book or kindle and soak…
  3. Order your favourite takeaway
  4. Watch your all time favourite romantic comedy – personal suggestions would be Love Actually, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones, Three Men and a Baby and Legally Blonde.
  5. Indulge with a good TV show, book or podcast (whichever your preference) and some lovely dark chocolate
  6. Shopping trip
  7. Go for a Massage
  8. A cuddle from kids, spouse, family or friends
  9. Put your favourite tunes on and dance round your living room
  10. Do something creative – write in your journal, colour, drawer, paint, make some candles…
  11. Go for a walk
  12. Meet friends for a wine or coffee
  13. Call a member of your family for a catch-up
  14. Volunteer – you will feel great about yourself and you’ll help your community
  15. Go to the gym or a yoga class
  16. Meditate – if you are a beginner try the app Simple Minds
  17. Go to a stand up comedy show – laughter is a great source of therapy
  18. This isn’t one for me (as I cannot bake) but I have heard a lot of people find baking therapeutic
  19.  Have a make over – maybe treat yourself to a new hair style or new makeup or new clothes which are different from your usual style
  20. Plan a holiday 🙂

Want to know more about the importance of self-care?

I have found a few good resources online that offer things like checklist to make sure you are doing enough self-care or for hints and ideas on how you can do more self-care, here is a list:

https://www.suicidepreventionaust.org/sites/default/files/resources/2016/Guide%20to%20self-care%20FINAL.pdf

Self-Care Checklist

https://www.ted.com/playlists/299/the_importance_of_self_care

https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2016/04/why-self-careis-so-important/

Self-care for Parents

Why Self-Care is Important for Your Physical and Mental Health

So hope that gives you plenty of reading to do.  I’m off now to relax with my ‘Breathe’ magazine with a glass of red and then sleep… sigh.

A very important note – I am not a health care professional so please if you feel down or depressed at all and need help or want to talk to someone, please call a professional – for Australia call Lifeline 13 11 14.  In other countries please, please, please go and see your GP or google some local support organisations who will be able to help.  There are always people to listen and support you.

I’ll be reading more myself and then coming up with a list of self-care lists that I am discovering and finding useful which might help you too.

Please comment below with your self-care ideas – favourite feel good movies and music!

Take care, until next time.

Natalie

 

  • Reply
    Bekah
    August 17, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    #15 is my thing right now. I love to do weight training but also yoga. It’s nice to shut your brain off and put all that energy into something physical.

    • Reply
      Natalie
      August 17, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      Wow well done, I do want to get back into Yoga, its on my to do list but I really feel like the tutor and class vibe really needs to make me comfortable. I will try more soon!

  • Reply
    Danielle
    August 17, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    I scheduled a massage, facial
    , and eyebrow waxing for Friday of next week and I can’t wait. Sometimes you just need to take time for yourself.

    • Reply
      Natalie
      August 17, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      Exactly right and I think we get so caught up looking after everything else that we forget about ourselves – which can lead to crash and burn!

  • Reply
    Keri|flipflopweekend
    August 17, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Thank you for the excellent reminder. I know when I run myself ragged, I always end up getting sick. I have tried to start taking more bubble baths, which really help me wind down in the evening and take a breather.

    • Reply
      Natalie
      August 17, 2017 at 11:04 pm

      Keri I’m the same if i keep going and going and going I can guarantee I’ll end up a cold or migraine. So important just to take some time out and relax.

  • Reply
    Tara
    August 17, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    My favorites right now are going for walks with my dog and reading a good fiction book! I am also trying to get into a meditation practice, but not having much luck being consistent. It definitely helps when I do it though! Thanks for your post!

    • Reply
      Natalie
      August 17, 2017 at 11:03 pm

      Hi Tara I’m the same with meditation. I REALLY want to make it part of my daily routine but it is hard to be consistent. I am using a good app at moment called simple habit.

  • Reply
    Alex
    August 17, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Thanks for sharing this- so important to take care of yourself! I love running and baking to destress!

    • Reply
      Natalie
      August 17, 2017 at 11:01 pm

      I have heard lots of people find baking relaxing, I enjoy eating cakes if that counts! 😉

  • Reply
    sarah
    August 17, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Great Read! Self care is so important and so many people do not take time to take care of themselves. My favorite is reading a book with a glass of wine 🙂 Thanks for the other articles on self care! Can’t wait to read more on this.

    • Reply
      Natalie
      August 17, 2017 at 11:00 pm

      Yes reading a book with a glass of wine is great 😉 I might add some book recommendations to that point too.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    August 17, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Self-care is so important. It’s so easy to spend all our time looking after everyone else and forget to take time for us. We all need to take the time to recharge our batteries and unwind – and to not feel guilty about it! Some great ideas on how to up your self-care – I definitely find baking therapeutic, I also love to spend a couple of hours in a good bookstore searching for items to add to my never-ending reading list!

    • Reply
      Natalie
      August 17, 2017 at 10:59 pm

      Sarah you have hit on one of my favourite too – browsing in book stores – I love it!! Especially with a great coffee in my hand. I cannot believe I missed that off the list!

  • Reply
    Jessica
    August 17, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    I love this! I’m a huge advocate for self-care!! You can’t pour from an empty cup. I think my favorite self-care activity would be going to a book store or reading!!

  • Reply
    Millie
    August 18, 2017 at 6:39 am

    Love this post Natalie! Super important to look after all aspects of yourself. For me, I love reading. It can a bit of an escape but also feeds my mind with new information which I love! x

  • Reply
    Shell
    August 18, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Self care is definitely important but can be quite difficult to get… especially if your a single parent…

  • Reply
    Allison
    August 18, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    I love this list! Self care is so important!

  • Reply
    Stacie
    August 18, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Self care is truly such an important task that so many people decide to neglect… you offer some great ideas for self care, and there are still so many more people might never think of.

  • Reply
    Jenelle
    August 19, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Some great ideas in here! I agree, taking time out to think of looking after yourself gives back in energy and renewed focus.
    xx Jenelle
    http://www.inspiringwit.com

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