How Can I Practice Self Care (that actually helps)?
What actually is self care? I'll admit it. I have drawn a ridiculously bubbly, warm bath after putting my baby down for a nap, snapped a photo and posted it on my stories with along with a hashtag "selfcare". It's a perfect example of an instagrammable but potentially meaningless self care activity. However, its really what that bath represented that was self care- it was me taking a guilt free moment to just relax and do nothing. To pause the endless self imposed to do list that revolved around care for others and achieving goals. THAT is what self care is. It's recognising that what you need to do so you don't burn out, so that you can actually show up for the people you care about, so that you can be your best self and actually achieve your goals.
If you are asking yourself how you can practice self care, googling self care ideas or feeling the same after popping on a face mask whilst sipping champagne, consider the following self care ideas:
- Setting boundaries. Whether that be boundaries around work/life balance, family commitments or social commitments. Be aware of what boundaries you need to keep mentally well and keep to them.
- Understand your actual needs. Take time to reflect on what you actually need to make you feel good and healthy. Think about times in your life when you felt your best and think about what may have contributed to that- was it a healthy diet or having time after work to go for a walk?
- Be assertive. You can be hyper aware of your boundaries and needs but it will mean nothing if you say yes to everyone and everything and let everyone else's needs and wants come first. This one is a hard one but be kind to yourself and be okay with saying no to things or pushing back on things that encroach on your boundaries.
The above are not easy nor are they quick but they can go a long way in helping you actually practice self care. If you need support with any of these ideas, The Thrive Program can help you.