Self-Care Is Not Selfish!
Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. It sure sounds like a simple concept in theory, but it is something we so very often overlook in our day-to-day lives. Self-care has been proven to help improve our moods and to also reduce anxiety!
Self-care is so far from being a selfish act. It’s not just about considering what we need. It is so much more than that. It’s about knowing what we need to do in order to take care of ourselves, so that we can then keep our cups filled and take care of others in our lives.
Self-care is the foundation of living a balanced life.
In my many conversations with fellow teachers and educators, the one question that tends to come up is ‘Where do you even start when it comes to self-care? ‘
Here are my three tips to implement self-care practices in your own life:
- Start small. You will find your own rhythm and routine over time. You will also find what forms of self-care work for you and what don’t! Don’t be too hard on yourself, especially if you are just starting out.
- You must actively plan for self-care! It is not just something that happens. It is a conscious and active choice. Start with scheduling one self-care activity a week. Write it down in your planner, and don’t be afraid to let someone close to you know about your plans so that there’s an extra element of accountability!
- Don’t stress if it takes you a while to find what works for you and what doesn’t. Experiment, see what sits well with you, and never ever feel the need to compare your own self-care to someone else’s!
5 Well-being areas that benefit from self-care:
There is such a strong connection between our body and our mind. When we care for our body, we think and feel better too.
Physical self-care includes how you’re fueling your body, how much sleep you’re getting, how much physical activity you are doing, and how well you’re caring for your physical needs.
- Are you getting enough sleep?
- Are you taking charge of your health?
- Are you getting enough movement and exercise?
The way that you think and the things that you’re filling your mind with greatly influence our psychological well-being. Mental self-care involves doing things that help us stay mentally healthy. For me, self-compassion has been something that I have been consistently implementing this year to maintain a healthier inner conversation and dialogue with myself, especially through lockdown!
- Are you spending time on activities that mentally stimulate you?
- Are you consciously working on building a healthy mind?
It is crucial to have healthy coping skills to deal with all the emotions that come our way through our lifetime. Emotional self-care includes activities that help you acknowledge and express your feelings on a regular basis. This could be in the form of writing in a journal, or talking to a partner or close friend about how you’re feeling.
- Do you have healthy ways to process your emotions?
- Do you incorporate activities into your life that help you recharge?
Close connections are important to our well-being. The best way to cultivate and maintain close relationships is to put time and energy into building your relationships with others. It is so important to figure out what your social needs are and to build enough time in your schedule to create an optimal social life.
- Are you getting enough time with your loved ones?
- What are you doing to nurture your relationships?
This can involve anything that helps you develop a deeper sense of meaning, understanding, or connection with the universe. To me, yoga and meditation have been two things that have helped develop my spiritual well-being greatly!
- Are you engaging in spiritual practices that you find fulfilling?
- What questions are you asking yourself about your life?
- Are you spending time connecting with your inner self?
If you are interested in developing your own self-care practice, and would like some self-care ideas that you can implement, please feel free to download my FREE ‘The Flourishing Teacher’s Self-Care Guide’.
If you would like to have some extra support and help with introducing more consistent self-care into your life, I also have some spaces for a 3-month coaching series, or a 90-minute package to set you up well! More information here, and please feel free to get in touch if you have any further questions.