Self-care. A hot button topic these days. Why? I think because the world is slowly realizing that in the quest for happiness one cannot ignore the need for self-love. And the reality is that taking care of yourself is absolutely necessary and the furthest thing from being selfish or rude. Now, I’m preaching to myself here because I have all but forgotten myself since having children and working for a living. But I am getting on the train and trying to figure out my self-care routine. I’m starting with three things and wanted to share them with you.
I think that the number one thing you can do to take care of yourself is to sleep well. Sleeping recharges your body and your brain. Sleep is a beautiful thing…when it’s easy and there’s lots of it happening! For a few years now I have been having a terrible time getting to sleep, and so have created a habit of staying up late watching Netflix because I don’t want to go to bed and lay there frustrated.
In response to my self-induced sleep deprivation, my fiance introduced me to white noise. I was skeptical at first because traditionally for me, I enjoy total silence when trying to sleep and have been known to rip the batteries out of a ticking clock at night. The white noise was exactly what I needed. Sleep came quickly and it was actually restful. So here’s my first self-care suggestion – download an app and try it. There are tons that are free, and even more that are paid. I like an app called White Noise Free – this is the icon: . It has lots of options for sounds, timers and best of all it’s free!
Another thing you can do is meditate. For me, meditation has never carried any weight because I didn’t understand it. And I still don’t fully but what I do know is that there is a lot of merit in taking the time to stop and think or clear your mind. Meditation comes in many forms and disciplines.
There’s yoga, deep breathing and colouring to name a few. Colouring has recently gained a lot of popularity with Zentagle® books and adult colouring books flying off the shelves at Chapters and Amazon. There is something incredibly relaxing about putting colour to paper and having something new when you’re done. For some it clears their mind, and for others it allows them to solve a problem. Either of those things can be considered self-care and for that reason, meditation through colouring is my second self-care suggestion. Pinterest is full of patterns with step by step instructions on how to create Zentagles®. Many other sites online have downloadable colouring pages, and book stores have beautiful adult colouring books. Check it out and see if it helps you!
The last suggestion for self-care that I have for you is journalling. There are numerous benefits to writing or recording your thoughts once a day which include problem solving, stress reduction and increased self-esteem. Another benefit is the ability to look back and see inside your past self. A journal can have many forms in today’s world and you might have to try a few before you find the one that works for you. Some people record their thoughts through video, some through pen to paper writing and now there are journalling apps. One that I’ve discovered is called Journey – this is the app icon: . This app lets me make a picture diary which is great for my visually-driven self.
I’ve only just found this app so there’s one entry so far, but I am excited about the process and being able to put my thoughts down instantly with a picture to remind myself how I was feeling at that moment.
In the end, self-care is a personal activity and what works for me might not work for you. The good thing is that a great self-care plan just needs to have 1 thing. Something that you enjoy. Take a minute and think about this: If you had an hour of free time, what would you do? When I ask myself this question the answer is to go to the library and read. Sometimes that isn’t possible and so I will be able to use colouring or journalling in place of library time.
What things do you do for self-care? If you are drawing a blank, check out our Pinterest board on Self-Care for ideas.