“Self-care is how you take your power back” – Lalah Delia
At TAYDAY we look at nourishing and nurturing and finding that soul smiling feel good vibe. Why is it so important though and also why can it be tricky? When we look at self-care and the understanding of it, I think a lot of people feel overwhelmed by the thought because life is so busy as is and you’re so busy looking after everyone else that looking after yourself… well you will get around to it sometime…right?! Another thought might be that you will have to make BIG changes all at once and that is overwhelming in itself. Maybe if we look at taking small steps, making small actions and setting small intentions rather than a whole life overhaul, its makes the notion of self-care a little bit easier to implement on a daily basis.
But we need to look at self-care and its is challenges in three ways:
Well I know what you may be thinking.. I should be at the gym, walking the dog, on the yoga mat, squatting and lifting weights etc… I know the thought exhausts me too but what I have realised is that when we try and discipline ourselves to make small changes, maybe just a morning 20 minute walk or a quick night time yoga before bed, 30 minutes on the treadmill with your headphones on or a 15 minute youTube exercise video, that doing a small action is all you need, be small if you are starting but just start… YouTube has some great videos that I do myself at home as with having kids it’s not always practical to go out to gym or classes and I can roll out of bed and just do it in my pj’s if I want to with my toddler running around, trying to jump on my back while doing downward dog, not ideal but hey I’m trying and that is all that matters. You will notice a sense of clarity when you incorporate some physical activity in your day and also a sense of accomplishment. It is a small way to take your power back. It is not a competition so start small, find something that you like to do, if it’s a video on dance exercise, mini trampoline jumping, yoga, pilates, meditation – anything really but try it all to find what you like in the comfort of your home so there is no pressure and then commit to trying at least and then build from there. Keep it simple.
How long do you run around all day being really thirsty but putting your thirst aside because you are too busy, you can’t bare to walk away from your computer because you have 100 emails to do and kids to pick up from school and there is always a deadline so we let ourselves get dehydrated. If anything, commit to filling your water bottle up every morning and keep it with you, in the car, in your purse at your computer and keep sipping. Getting enough fluid in your day will hugely transform how you feel and how well you function. Even on intense days adding a hydrolyte is my trick plus I also like to mix it up and make it fun. Sometimes I add lemon and cucumber, squeeze some fresh orange juice in there, add some berries or ginger or I make my Unwind Tea add some ice and sip on that all day. Also, a tip is if you can do it, warm water is better for the body and has a lot of benefits. Drinking warm water can provide your body with the water it needs to replenish fluids. It can also improve digestion, relieve congestion, and even make you feel more relaxed.*
Just one small step making sure you get enough fluid is essential, keep your water bottle close!
The other thing to consider is that we all need something different, maybe you need a massage because your body holds on to tension, maybe craniosacral therapy, maybe a physio or acupuncture or a homeopath, give them a go at addressing health issues and your physical body, find something that you believe in to help your body. Self care means maybe finding alternate ways to care for the body and getting to the root of the health issues and pains you may have. There are so many avenues to take you might be surprised at what can work for you if you are open to it.
Another major part of physical self-care is sleep, so many of us are not getting enough sleep and while its not always an option for all of us especially if we have young children, it does mean accepting that some days you are just too damn tired to check everything off of the list and that we need to be gentle with ourselves and take it easy. Try and stick to a usual bed time and get into the routine of going to bed and waking at the same time. A great way is to set a little bedtime ritual, maybe some evening yoga, a cup of warm herbal tea and a nice warm bath will put you in the mood for sleep. When you cant sleep, if your mind just won’t let you, get up and write down what you are thinking about, see if there is a solution or a different way of looking at the issue at hand and decide to pick it up in the morning.
Something else to consider is to set a ritual for yourself, create a routine with meaning, nourish and nurture even if it is only for 15 minutes. TAYDAY is all about creating that ritual using great products, give yourself permission to treat and look after your body, if anything doing small things for yourself will at least change your outlook on self-care to a positive and a necessity and make it part of your daily routine.
Spiritually, we are all on different levels, some of us are in deep healing, some of us are not in a place to heal yet. Some of us know there is something missing and are on their own journeys to becoming more spiritually aware, for others maybe not so much. Whatever path you are on spiritually we all can benefit from listening and connecting to ourselves.
Listen to your gut. That inner voice or knowing that is your guide, you need to trust it. Your inner knowing will whisper or sometimes it will ache for you to listen, to acknowledge. It is your own built in beacon saying, “hey stay clear of this situation” or “yes go for it”. When in doubt listen to your gut instinct, you might be surprised at how spot on it is and then learn to trust your inner voice more and more. The best way of doing this is to connect enough to yourself to feel what is going on. Is your stomach in knots, feeling ill, churning away, does your body feel drained and heavy, in pain or is their lightness and a sense of freedom? Practice understanding your bodies signs and cues and listen to them. Your soul will always try reach out to you so try meet it and connect, know your essence, know your depth, know your fear, sadness, happiness, joy, guilt, resentment, achievements, know it all, accept it, work on it and with it and listen when you need to. Listen to your gut and most importantly your heart. Your heart, your soul, the intricate parts of who you are and what makes you unique should never be ignored.
There are also so many great books, people, resources out there, even learning how to meditate and be still with yourself is a great thing to do. Practice your breathing, journal if you’re not sure what it is your feeling, write it out if you cant say it. Anything to connect is a step in a good direction. Small steps go a long way.
Mental self-care means looking at our thoughts, what are the negative thoughts and messages that you give yourself? How often do we check in and address our thoughts and feelings and internal happenings? Do you even know where you are at mentally or do you just know you are OK and you will just go on like that?
Mental self-care starts with awareness, there is no quick fix for addressing negative self talk, the impact other people have on your feelings and thoughts, what you believe in, what you allow yourself to believe but the first step is just being aware. Be aware of your thoughts and feelings, just acknowledging that you are aware is the first step to improving and finding a way to improve your mental dialogue. Your thoughts affect your behavior and vice-versa but awareness and also admitting to yourself that your current thought pattern and/or behavior is not working for you and your highest good is the first steps to making good changes, just the idea of wanting to make change occur within yourself will help you to catch yourself instead of being bulldozed by a barrage of ill thoughts and unintended feelings. Listen to what plays out in your mind, the stresses you have, the worry and concern, the good thoughts and bad ones, get to know yourself in that way and soon you will see where your patterns sit. Often our mental health is also a reflection of stress, usually we are overworked, sleep deprived and over committing in every which way, we cannot do it all and be it all without something giving and that something is usually a frazzled, exhausted mind and body. Think about the commitments you make and if you over commit yourself constantly, the to-do lists are growing every day and the thought if I just push through it will be fine will start to wear out. You can only push for so long. Emotionally this is when we become exhausted or overwhelmed too. Anger is usually the first and foremost response before any other emotion, if you find yourself short tempered, frustrated and just plain cranky it is time to sit down and start digging internally. Your mental worth is so greatly important and being in charge of where you are at is so fulfilling.
All these elements work together in self-care, try and address the most significant one to you and then naturally as you do and as you are open to self-care it will spill into the other areas of your life. Self-care is not selfish, it is not a waste of time, it is the most essential thing you can do for yourself and you deserve to do for yourself. A happier, healthier, contented you can only be a benefit not just within your own life but to all of those around you too. It’s a cycle and a practice and some days it is hard and other days it is easier but just do what you can do, even if it is a small action, it is a wonderful start and you should be proud and know it is all worth it and that you are worth it! ❤❤
I hope you find your practice or ritual whatever that might be, make it special, work at it and be proud of yourself for doing so.
Care for yourself.
Some helpful links:
https://yogawithadriene.com/ (one of my favorite yoga teachers, there is a video for everything and everyone)
https://www.ted.com/talks (some great people talking about amazing topics)