I put some time aside yesterday to reflect upon my self–care needs, professionally and personally.
As I was writing down my thoughts I became aware that although a lot of what I was thinking was, of course, specific to me, it would most likely also resonate with many others. I therefore put together a slightly edited version and shared for all you lovely people.
I hope you find it helpful! It is currently up on my fridge as a reminder of what I need to do at the moment to take care of myself.
Perhaps you would find it useful up on your fridge too.
1. Waking up in the morning think of five things you are grateful for, whether something very small or big. Even when life is very difficult, try and pick out a few things that you feel blessed to have in your life.
2. Take some time to look inside and get in touch with the real and authentic you. What works for one, may not work for another, we are all on our own unique journeys. Be guided by those around you, but remember to connect with yourself thinking about what YOU truly need.
3. It is okay to take your foot off the pedal from time to time. Whatever it is you're trying to achieve, take a break, and ground yourself again. As long as you keep taking small steps forward, even when they go backwards, you will be okay. Set your own pace, and move forward in a way that works for you.
4. Try not to compare yourself to others; none of us truly know what is going in each other's lives. The only person you have to compare yourself to, is yourself, being self compassionate along the way. Aim to be the best version of yourself, and if you falter don't worry, there is always tomorrow.
5. Have goals, dream big, and reach for the stars if you want, but remember to frequently bring yourself back to the moment. The moment is all we have, and if you continuously live in the future of the past each moment is lost. The easiest way to do this is to bring yourself back to your breath, the one continuous thing in your life.
6. It is okay not to be okay. You are human, allow yourself to be vulnerable, allow yourself to make mistakes. Whatever journey you are on, there will be ups and downs, emotions will come and go like the weather, and when the weather is stormy be kind to yourself, love yourself and tell yourself that is okay to feel what you are feeling and to let it out if you can.
7. Put the stick away. we talk to ourselves in ways we would never talk to another human being. Remember there is a child inside you still needing to be taken care of, and you are the one responsible for taking care of it. Be patient, compassionate and kind, allow your inner child to make mistakes because you will learn from them, the adult you will pick them back up and begin again.
8. Take a breath, ground yourself in the moment and think 'what do I need?' Yes, you may not be able to get what you need right now, but maybe you could get in touch with something you need at some point in the day. A few minutes to yourself, time to meditate and be mindful, grab a cup of tea and a biscuit and sit down. Whatever it might be that you need to help YOU get through the day, taking care of yourself as best as possible along the way.
9. Reflect upon your night-time routine. This is important not only for children but for adults too. At the very end of the day try and bring yourself down. If you can, disconnect from the world, resist from checking your emails, doing that last bit of laundry, going on to social media if it is related to work, or writing that report. Give yourself an hour or so before bed to come back to you, rest, relax and let yourself slow down getting ready for sleep. Spend time connecting with your friend/partner/children/yourself, meditate, watch one of your favourite TV programmes or read a book. Get in to your pyjamas and let your body and mind relax, thanking them for allowing you to do whatever it is you did today.
10. Trying to take care of yourself can unfortunately at times be, pressure in itself, the desire to get it right, to do things a certain way, to be your best. Central to everything we do in life is the need be loving, kind and patient towards yourself. As much as you may wish it so, as human beings we do not have all of the answers, we try, we learn, we make mistakes, we learn, we try again.
In October, I have four amazing guest bloggers who have experienced mental health problems, lined up to share some of their experiences of what has helped them take care of themselves and cope with whatever life experiences they have had. So watch this space!
In the meantime I hope you enjoy!
Why not take some time when you get a chance, to make a note of what YOU particularly need in this moment to look after yourself in the way you deserve. It is amazing how much making small changes can have a huge impact on our day-to-day lives.