What the heck is self-care?

We are delighted to share a guest post from Women’s Business Networking member, Sharon Taylor, Complete Harmony.

Our focus on self-care should be high on our to-do list, but what the heck is self-care?

Self-care is often regarded as being selfish – looking after yourself first and not attending to the needs of others. Putting other people first is polite and appropriate at times. Pouring them the first drink, allowing them to enter the room first, etc. Self-care is different to this; it’s about doing things for yourself that support YOUR mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. Self-care is not being selfish. We all get a buzz from helping others, but you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Why do you need to practice self-care?

Add ‘me-time’ to your to-do list

The truth is, it’s good for supporting your mental, emotional and physical health and wellbeing. When you’re on a flight, the cabin-crew instruct you to put your oxygen mask on first. This allows you to be in a better position to help others. Putting yourself on your to-do list is no different from this, and it will have a positive effect on how you help others. Allowing yourself some me-time promotes feelings of self-worth and self-confidence. We all get a boost from doing something we enjoy.

Being proactive in your self-care gives you a better understanding and relationship with yourself and helps you to identify what you do and don’t like. Self-care encourages a positive mental attitude, allowing you to care for others from a place of personal fulfilment.

A lack of self-care can lead to turning your attention to over caring for others which too can affect you physically and emotionally and could lead to: –

  • Low self-esteem
  • Resentment of others
  • Feeling lethargic
  • Anxiety
  • Burnout
  • Depression.

Everyone is different

Many people would like to have time for self-care and have themselves on their to-do list, but they don’t know how to make this happen. I’m always sharing self-care tips with clients and help them to find things they can do that they enjoy and fits into their lifestyle. It takes effort and commitment to include yourself on your to-do list, and at times I too struggle to make time to address my needs.

It’s important to remember that not everyone’s self-care activities will look the same. Finding what’s right for you and what fits into your lifestyle is vital if you’re going to make it part of your daily, weekly or monthly routine. Sure, a friend may enjoy having a regular treatment, a relaxing bath, reading a good book, a yoga class or breakfast in bed as part of their self-care activities, but these activities may not be right for you.

How to get started

If self-care is new to you or you’re out of practice, start by taking a personal approach and make a list of all the things you like doing or used to enjoy doing when you had more time, energy and motivation. Set yourself some bold, realistic goals of what you want to do. Remember that a variety of factors may determine these. Factors including, what time of day is best for you, how much time you have, what you enjoy doing, your finances and your fitness level. Don’t let these factors limit you, use then to challenge you as to how much you want to do something.

I feel having some time for yourself to attend to your needs is so essential as it supports and your mental health, but it’s not always easy to make it a priority.

Self-care is not about being self-absorbed, it’s about thinking of and treating yourself in the same way and with the same level of respect that you would your best friend.

Five simple actions to get you started

  1. Start by making your list of things you would like to do. If you are time-poor, include one or two things that you can do within your current routine.
  2. Be prepared to make changes to your current routine to fit in time for your self-care. Wake up 5 minutes earlier and have your breakfast outside; prepare for bed earlier and read a few more minutes of your favourite book. If you want to learn to ice-skate, changes will need to be made! Write it in your diary and make it happen!
  3. Keep a diary to record what you plan to do and what you actually did. You’ll be able to see any patterns forming, and it will help you to see what works best for you.
  4. Create some accountability by sharing your self-care activities with a trusted, supportive friend. If it helps, include someone who can join you on an activity – say a regular walk in the park.
  5. Every day have the intention to nurture your mind, body and spirit. To do this, include in your daily routine, drinking water, eating regular healthy meals, getting enough sleep and rest, going outside and moving your body. Treat yourself with kindness through thinking kind thoughts about yourself and start practising being mindful in everything you do.

It’s time to start being your own BFF (best friend forever). When others see you respecting yourself enough to care for your mind, body and spirit, they will have more respect for you too. But why should I practice self-care? I hear you ask.

Why? Because you are worth it!

Don’t struggle on your own with your self-care. Download Sharon’s FREE guide today. It will help you to think about the self-care you can do today..

If you want to dive a little deeper, I’ll be releasing my second ebook soon. In this one I’ll be sharing with you the HOW, WHAT, WHEN AND WHY about self-care. It will help women to put themselves on their to-do-list without feeling guilty.

Use this link to be added to my waitlist and I’ll be in touch with you as soon as it’s out.

About Sharon

Sharon lives with her partner Geoff in Warwickshire and they have two adult children. She worked for over 25 years in an office environment, gaining qualifications to degree level in finance, business and management. While there Sharon witnessed and experienced many stressful situations and suffered illnesses which were stress-related.

Sharon was advised to make some changes to her lifestyle which included trying complementary therapies. After experiencing the benefits of complementary treatments, Sharon decided to retrain and to share her knowledge and experiences to help others recognise and manage their own physical and emotional stress and anxiety levels.

Sharon has been working as a complementary therapist for over 12 years now, and she loves helping people manage and reduce their stress levels, to feel uplifted, focused, positive and empowered about their lives.