Self-Care - It’s more than food and exercise. Five ways to find more balance in your life.

 

Self-care: it’s a current buzzword.


Wherever you look we are bombarded with options on how to administer a little self-love.

But are endless images of bubble baths and a book really the answer?


A Harris Poll recently revealed that self-care isn’t deemed a ‘priority’ for over 44% of the

respondents. The majority felt like self-care was only available to those with either the spare time, or for the most part, the spare money.  


Self-care comes in so many forms that don’t involve buckets of cash and leisurely

afternoons. We need to understand that looking after yourself and your mental health

should be part of our daily routine.


Let’s look at a few simple ways you can treat yourself and find balance every day to avoid

burnout.


Five Simple Forms of Self Care 


1. Organisation - Keeping Order in your Life


Research confirms that disorganisation and clutter have a cumulative effect on our brains. We all value order, and when we are constantly battling mess and confusion it will have a knock-on effect on our stability.


We don’t all need to be Marie Kondo, however taking a few notes from her way of

thinking could help. A tidy bedroom, making sure the laundry is in control or even buying a

planner - these are simple effective ways to bring order to our lives.


2. Protecting Yourself - Learning to say No


In our everyday lives we deal with different forces that push and pull our time and

attention. From work, to families, to the fear of missing out, we all strive to be busy and

fulfilled through activity. Too much of this means we put an immense amount of pressure

on ourselves.


Learning to say no or creating more time for yourself to complete other tasks can bring a

sense of calm. 


Do you have to go to every social engagement? Do you have to take on the extra task at

work? Identifying what you can put off till another date can give you valuable time and

space to just be you.


3. Value your Health


The saying goes “look after your body, it’s the only one you gave” and they aren’t wrong!

However, we are so surrounded by adverts for gyms, social media influencers, tv

commercials about diet programs - when does it ever end?


We now add so much pressure on our lives by paying hundreds on gym memberships and

downing green smoothies because we think we must. 


Your health can be managed in simple ways that don’t involve blood sweat and tears. A

daily walk, a home cooked meal and getting enough sleep are just as important for our

health and are less likely to give us an extra burden.


4. Mindfulness 


“All hype aside, ‘mindfulness’ simply means paying attention to the present moment.

Practising mindfulness can help you to cope with everyday life and deal with tough times. It

can also help you to concentrate, relax and be more productive.” – ReachOut


Essentially mindfulness is the art of just listening to yourself and being aware of your

feelings and emotions. It’s about understanding that some thoughts and worries are

passing, and it’s being able to let these negative thoughts come and go.


Mindfulness is not about hours of yoga and meditation, it should be a daily activity to help

us be calm in our environment. 


Not sure where to begin? Headspace or Smiling Mind have some easy to follow apps that

can walk you through some simple techniques.


5. Finding contentment in simple things 


As we touched on, we have incredibly busy lives with conflicting responsibilities and it’s very

easy to lose touch of the simple things that can bring us joy.


As youngsters how many of us just loved riding our bike? Or maybe it was jigsaw puzzle?

When was the last time you tapped into the feeling of contentedness?


As adults it’s very easy to push aside the things that bring fulfilment, to make way for our

busy lives. But it’s about time we focussed on bringing back the joy in simple pleasures.

Take time to work through what makes you content and set a plan to implement some of

these activities.


Want to draw? Buy some blank paper. Want to play rugby? Find your local team. Love a

French film? Whack on the Netflix.


Do what makes you content and fulfilled, not what you think ‘should’ make you happy.


Final thoughts


Self-care essentially comes in many varying forms, and we should never be made to feel

guilty for giving ourselves time, space and a bit of fun to help us operate as functioning

human beings.


I challenge you find your joy and what brings you balance, plan and then implement. You

will never regret it.

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