The Importance Of Self-Care
I never used to practice self-care because I used to think that being busy was the most important thing in life. If I had a diary full of appointments that meant I was achieving something right? Wrong! All it meant was that I was heading towards exhaustion and burn out faster than a train full of commuters heading to the city.
I worked a 45 hour week, had two children and a husband at home to care for and I was trying to start my own business too. At first I didn’t notice how tired I was, I mean show me a woman that isn’t exhausted! But gradually my mental health started to be affected. Instead of being able to manage problems when they arose, now I was panicking and struggling to hold back the tears each time something cropped up.
Instead of taking some time out for myself, I piled on more and more until it got too much. I was crying every day or getting angry and wound up over the tiniest little thing and I had the worst insomnia. I looked awful and I felt awful.
Mark, my husband, was the one who made me see sense. He knew that I needed to make time to practice self-care and made sure that it happened. He sent me up to the bathroom and told me not to come out until I had had a shower and washed my hair.
When I came out of the bathroom about half an hour later he had laid fresh pyjamas out for me and there was a cup of tea waiting. Even though it was only about 7.30pm he made me get in bed and I slept for about 10 hours that night.
When I woke the following morning I felt like a new person. I didn’t feel shattered and I was able to think more clearly.
I realised that taking time to practice self-care meant that I was able to relax. This meant that my mind wasn’t racing from one thing to the next. I was calmer and I felt in control.
From that point on I made it a priority to practice self-care every day. For me that means getting in bed early and reading.
The Benefits Of Practicing Self-Care
It Reduces Your Stress and Anxiety Levels
Focusing on yourself for just 10 minutes a day will help you to relax. As your mind and body relax you’ll be able to think more clearly. This will enable you to rationalise the thoughts causing anxiety or the situations causing stress. By rationalising the cause of your stress or anxiety you will find solutions for dealing with the problem.
Ever got into bed feeling exhausted but you can’t sleep because your mind won’t shut off? Practicing self-care before you go to bed will help you to relax and drift off into a natural sleep.
You Feel Better Physically and Emotionally
Once you start practicing self-care it will have an impact on your wellbeing. Going to sleep earlier will mean you wake refreshed and ready to take on the day ahead. Drinking more water will flush the toxins out of your body, helping you to stop feeling so sluggish. Getting some exercise will get the blood pumping around your body, which will release endorphins that will give you energy and make you more productive with your day.
Self-Care Strategies That Are Easy To Fit Into Your Busy Life
As you can see from the list above, self-care doesn’t have to be expensive nor does it need to take up lots of your time.
How To Practice Self-Care Without Feeling Selfish
Finding time for yourself isn’t easy, especially if you have children, a partner or a demanding job. But everyone can find at least 10 minutes in their day to focus on themselves.
For those of you that have children, get up half an hour earlier than them and make a cup or tea or coffee to enjoy in peace. If you don’t want to give up time that you would spend with your partner, then watch your favourite movie together. Demanding jobs can you leave you feeling exhausted, so spend your time commuting reading a book or listening to a podcast or your favourite music.
It doesn’t matter how much or how little self-care you fit into your routine, just do what is best for you. I suggest you start with something small, such as reading for 10 minutes a day, and build up from there.
If you would like to read more but don’t really know where to begin, try my reading challenge to give you some inspiration.
Adding Self-Care To Your Routine
It’s important to add self-care to your routine and make it a regular occurrence. If you don’t, as soon as life becomes hectic it will be the first thing you forget to do. So you’ll quickly start feeling tired, anxious or stressed again.
Block time out in your diary each day or week that is specifically for self-care and it will start to be a habit. Tell your family that you will be going to bed early and that they are to question you if don’t do it. This will make you accountable for your actions and will push you to do what you said you were going to do.
Once it becomes a habit you won’t need the prompts anymore.
Now that you have the tips and ideas for adding self-care to your routine it’s time to start doing it and feeling the benefits.
What’s going to be the change to your routine that gives you time for yourself? Tell me in the comments below.