Looking after yourself is so important! Over these last few months I have learnt just how crucial it is to your wellbeing that you stop and take a moment for yourself, especially when life it tough. And truthfully, when isn’t it?!
After chatting with a beautiful friend the other day about how she was feeling burnt out and losing her love of something she enjoys and is really good at, I started thinking back on decisions I’ve made in the past to push my own needs to the bottom of the pile and deal with everything else first. I learnt the hard way that if you don’t take care of yourself – all aspect of yourself – then stuff gets so much harder, you feel overwhelmed and life is not what it could be. You’re just going through the motions, gliding through in autopilot.
After going through a really crappy season of my own life I’ve been provided with some overdue R&R time, I’ve been able to do some things I really enjoy as well as think about what I want out of life. Doing these things has gone a long way towards improving my mental, emotional and physical health. I have been able to put me first which is not my natural go-to move!
So here are my top tips for taking care of yourself…
- Laugh! I have put this first because I love to laugh and it truly makes things better. Having a good laugh makes the crappy stuff feel a little easier to handle. Whether it’s laughing with a friend or watching a crazy cat video or remembering something funny that happened the other day – it all helps! Scientifically there are also a bunch of health benefits, laughing is actually good for your health!!
- Make the time to do something you enjoy. This can be hard when life is busy. You feel selfish for taking that time but in the long run I think it is really beneficial, for you and those around you. Being able to relax and reset gives you the oomph you need to give your all in whatever it is you’re doing. So whatever it is – painting, reading, gardening, having a bubble bath, doing a puzzle, working on your car, baking a cake, going for a walk or listening to music – do it! Do it for as long as you can (even if that is not much) but try and set aside a chunk of regular time, maybe once a week, that you can really get into whatever it is you enjoy.
- Move your butt! This is one that I really struggle with but whenever I get my heart rate up I feel so much better. And I am sure my body thanks me for it!
- Get amongst nature. Spending time in the sun (be sun safe kids!) or in nature is always something I enjoy. Not only do you get to see some amazing creations – flowers, birds, animals, insects; but your body actually benefits from it (science backs me up on that one too!)! I’ve seen it in kids, when they are outside they are learning so much and resetting their minds and their bodies. The smells and sounds and things they can touch are so different from the stuff that is inside and they benefit from it! It is the same for adults, our inner being needs nature to be happier overall.
- Do something for someone else. This one gives me all the positive feels when I purposefully do something for someone else and I think that the world would be a much better place if we all thought of others more. Is there someone in your world having a tough time? Can you write them a card, make them dinner, mow their lawn or shout them a coffee? Is there a charity you really like that could use some help making phone calls or doing some shredding? Take a minute to think of what you can do for others and I think you’ll find that you feel better afterwards.
- Spend time with people you enjoy being with. Whether it is friends or family, spend as much time as you can with people who really add to your life. Not in a creepy, stalker way but in a ‘I like to spend time with you’ way 🙂 If there are people who are not bringing anything positive to your life then spend a moment to evaluate if they belong and deserve your time. This can be hard but I think it is worth it. Now I know that there are people who you might not have a choice about (like a colleague, family member or friends’ partner) and I am definitely not saying you tell them to stick it and never see them again! But make the choice to spend your precious time with those who you truly enjoy being with.
Now I know there are tonnes more ways to take care of yourself, as everyone enjoys different stuff, and I am certainly not an expert on any of it! But I think it is really important that we make a conscious effort to do at least one of these and put ourselves first once in a while. Is there any others that you find help you to relax?
Take a deep breath, find something just for you and enjoy your life.