As a rebel, workaholic and nurturer I am prone to pushing the limits, working into the wee hours and giving freely of myself to others. And that can mean that I am way too hard on myself.
The pressure to achieve and be all things to all people can often take its toll. This is when the proverbial usually hits the fan.
Think meltdown, frustration, stress, headaches and all the things that come along with not making my self-care a priority.
Having lived that life for far too many years as a full-time teacher I reached a point where enough was enough. No longer was I willing to keep giving and hustling at the expense of my own mental health and wellbeing.
Something had to change!
That change was prioritising my self-care and wellbeing. Making intentional choices about my life and how I live it, rather than running myself ragged on autopilot mode.
Making a change like this was a challenge at first. The same thoughts of “I should be doing more” and “I am not doing enough” circled in my mind. Yet, I learnt that when those thoughts arose that it was my cue to:
Press the pause button.
Taking the time to listen to my body, step away from the noise and distractions to remind myself that I AM WORTHY of receiving the things that I give to others so freely.
And guess what? If I am worthy of receiving then you sure are too.
BEGIN YOUR OWN SELF-CARE PRACTICE
If you are still reading then you must be ready or, at least, curious about how starting your own self-care practice. So, let me share with you my personal inner and beauty self-care practices to get you started.
Use them, apply them and tweak them to suit your needs. Then enjoy putting yourself first and making your mental health, as well as your wellbeing more of a priority.
You are so worth it!
INNER BEAUTY SELF-CARE PRACTICES
Gratitude helps you to put things into perspective. Gently guiding your thoughts away from the hustle and bustle of daily life or all of the things that are or could go wrong. Gratitude reminds you of what is going well in your life and the amazing possibilities that are available to you.
FOCUS ON YOUR HEART SPACE
Lie on your bed, close your eyes and place your fingertips on your heart space. Imagine that your breath is flowing into and out of your heart space with ease. Believe it or not, this calms your body and your mind, as you are shifting your focus. In doing so you are opening and clearing your heart space. A space that we often close down when we feel stressed, frustrated, angry, hurt or resentful.
‘FUCK IT‘ LIST
Begin your day or your self-care routine by getting your thoughts and feelings out of your body and onto the paper. This is a great way of letting go of what is weighing you down before attempting to begin a practice such as heart space breathing or meditation, eliminating some of those possible distractions. Another beautiful variation of this is the ‘Morning Pages‘ where you begin your day free-writing and is a great way to connect you to Source energy.
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN A GOOD BOOK
This doesn’t have to be a book about spirituality, beauty or mindfulness. It could simply be a good fictional romance novel or whatever tickles your fancy. Just take the time to turn off ALL distractions, curl up and totally lose yourself in that book. Here are some of my favourite books for the soul.
Whilst working in a particularly challenging work environment this became crucial to my daily routine. As soon as I got home from work I would race to my room to complete this ritual of clearing away the energy of the day. I would use self Angelic Reiki, cord cutting meditations with AA Michael or channelling white light through my chakras. It’s a beautifully relaxing way of detoxing from the day’s events. Just remember to spend some time in gratitude calling in what you want to experience for the remainder of your evening or day.
JUST SAY “NO”
What I came to realise is that a big part of self-care is about saying “no“. Saying “no” to what doesn’t resonate with you, will deplete your energy and just doesn’t feel good at all. When you say “no” you free yourself from the obligation of doing something that really doesn’t resonate with you and leaving less chance for you feeling overwhelmed as a result of it.
OUTER BEAUTY SELF-CARE PRACTICES
PAINT YOUR NAILS
Or have someone else paint them for you. The great thing about changing the colour of your nails is that there is a nail colour for every single mood so you can choose a colour to reflect the mood that you want to experience at that time, eg: feminine, bold, sexy, mysterious….. Also, having a manicure is just such a relaxing experience that will take your mind off everything and give you beautifully manicured nails.
AN EPSOM OR HIMALAYAN SALT BATH
Reap the benefits of a long, hot bath with Epsom or Himalayan Salts. Both of which are known for the detoxifying and de-stressing properties. Not only is it great for your skin it is also great for leaving you feeling relaxed too.
MAKE YOUR OWN BODY SCRUB
I’ve been making sea salt and olive oil body scrubs since I was a teen in High School (and that’s a bloody long time ago now) and I love it. Sea Salt helps to deeply cleanse your pores, balance oil production and get rid of the bacteria that causes breakouts. It works wonders on ingrown hairs too and mixed with olive oil it’ll leave your skin silky smooth.
MOVE YOUR BODY
Stress, trauma, guilt, resentment and memories. We hold all of that in our bodies and over time it builds up and manifests itself in many different ways, including excess weight, anxiety, and even physical pain and poor posture. Getting that energy moving again through movement allows the energy to flow freely through your body, which helps you to feel energised and relieves some of that tension. Exercise, be it a YouTube dance or yoga video or joining a local class, down to taking a walk or jog in the park are all great ways to get your body moving. It also helps to refocus your mind too.
TRY OUT A NEW LOOK
Personally, I believe that makeup should be fun, expressive and enhance your natural beauty. So, why not have some play time and fun with your make-up collection. Try out a new shade of lipstick or a different colour on your eyelids to see how you feel. Lose yourself in having fun changing your look and enhancing what God gave you.
ARE YOU READY TO START MAKING YOUR SELF-CARE A PRIORITY?
If so, which practice will you begin with first? Decide a practice that resonates with you and make yourself promise to practise this on a daily basis. Maybe start with 7 days of doing this self-care practice then add to it, tweak it or keep going with it for another 10 days and so forth.
Don’t be discouraged if you fall off the wagon. I do frequently. Just cut yourself some slack and resolve to get back to it a while later or the next day.
It also helps to get yourself into the habit of listening to and responding to your body too. Your body will often send you signals that is time to slow down and your thoughts will certainly do the same, as mentioned before. It’s up to you to make the choice to take action and ask for help if you need to make your self-care time a reality.
I’d love to know your self-care rituals and how you get on, so please do comment below.