Have you ever noticed how a lot of people just aren’t really very good at taking care of themselves? While we often do what we can to make the lives of those we love more comfortable and fulfilling, we are often far harder on ourselves than we need to be, not to mention being far more likely to neglect and overlook our own needs. Attending to self care on a regular basis is key to having a balanced and fulfilling life. But what all does self care really entail?
Tips for attending to self care:
Make your physical wellness top priority.
Without your physical health the rest of your self care will have little effect. Ensuring your body is strong and healthy can feel like an uphill battle in our society that lends to inactivity with sedentary jobs and with exposure to environmental toxins all around us. But all is not lost! There are ways you can begin attending to your self care to ensure a healthy body on a daily basis.
You need to move your body, raise your heart rate and get your lungs breathing every day. And it doesn’t mean you have to slave at the gym. Schedule a brisk walk every morning. Take the stairs at work. Park the car much further from the store than you normally would. These small committed habits will make a big difference.
Eat your vegetables and choose an anti-inflammatory diet! Confused about what to eat? A lot of people are! Read this article for more info on how to do your research and be prepared for planning your meals.
Drink 1/2 gallon of pure water everyday. Stay hydrated.
If you are going to drink alcohol, keep it to a minimum, on special occasions or just once/week. Alcohol has negative effects on the health of your physical body over time so consider passing on the wine or cocktails all together.
If you work in a very noisy environment where there’s a real risk of permanent damage to your hearing, you should treat it as a priority to learn more about adequate hearing protection, and then take steps to acquire the best hearing protection you can.
Attending to self care means going to your health care practitioners on a regular basis. It’s important to have regular visits to your doctors to ensure your body’s health is being monitored because changes to your body’s wellbeing do happen over time.
Pay attention to your mental health.
Be aware and cautious about your self-talk as that alone can have a major effect on your happiness and your sense of self-esteem. Learn how to tune in to unconscious thoughts and beliefs that may be running the show without you realizing it. Choose to be more conscious of what thoughts are popping into your head and realize you get to choose which thoughts you believe and which thoughts you want to discard. You do not need to believe everything you think!
Consider reaching out for counseling services if you feel like you can’t find your way to mental balance and optimum health. There are many licensed mental health professionals who can help you with your emotions, thoughts and beliefs in your community.
Speak to yourself like you’d speak to a loved one.
If you had a beloved family member who was going through some tough times at work, what would you tell them? I am willing to bet you would be encouraging and comforting, right? After all, you are a caring person.
So, what would you say to yourself if you were in the same situation? Well, if you’re anything like the majority of people, your inner monologue would probably be critical of yourself, maybe even unkind. Monitor your self talk and choose to be kind to yourself.
Listen to your inner voice and consider what it has to say,
instead of constantly overruling it
Everyone has an inner voice which whispers true wisdom. If we really practice listening to that inner voice, we will hear clear guidance that will not lead us astray. This is the foundation of the practice of self care. We must learn to tune in and TRUST this inner voice.
By overruling your inner voice, you could be preventing yourself from discovering the path which would be right for you — the life course that would make you come alive and actually look forward to getting out of bed each morning
Ask yourself this important question every day many times …
Practice taking a deep breath, closing your eyes, and asking yourself, “What do I most need right now?” and then just rest in that question and listen for the answer. This is called “tuning in.” Pay attention to the signals your body gives you. Pay attention to thoughts that emerge, messages that may show up. If you see images or have sensations, this may be important information and inner guidance to heed.
Self care is the committed practice to TUNING IN on a regular basis, listening and paying attention to what the mind, body and spirit are telling you that you most need to do.
Learn to set clear boundaries.
It’s important to be clear on when and how to say no. It all starts with the above referenced skill of TUNING IN and listening to your inner voice. Just because someone asks you to do something or go somewhere does not mean the answer is yes.
There are myriad ways to politely or kindly say no. Part of attending to self care means knowing how to be respectfully assertive in terms of establishing where your boundaries are. When others push you to do something that doesn’t feel right or good for you, attending to self care means expressing clearly that you will not be able to do that thing. It requires practice but is a skill well worth practicing.
Reach out for support!
If you’d like to schedule a brief phone consultation to determine how I might help you establish a self care plan please contact me personally. I’d love to speak with you.