Self-care sounds like a fairly straightforward concept, right? Despite this fact most of us struggle with taking care of ourselves. I mean, we know what we need to be doing but it’s much harder to practice. I know I need to drink enough water, get in some breaks, cut down on my Netflix, but usually, that doesn’t happen after a long stressful day. Most times when we are trying to juggle work, relationships, self-growth, and all the other commitments we have during the day, the first thing that takes a back seat is the time we set aside for ourselves.
But the funny bit is that self-care is what is supposed to help us not get overworked in the first place. Self-Care is about holistic care i.e. caring for our bodies, our minds, and our souls. It is meant to help us function in the best possible way and regulate ourselves so that we don’t always feel like we are riding an emotional roller-coaster. Self-care has become even more important in today’s world where everything needs us to be our best version. As coaches, we are always trying our best to do things that are going to help our clients, which is why we need to take great care of ourselves so that we can be our best version – for ourselves and the world. But where does one begin?
Don’t worry we have got you covered! Here are a few tips to start your self-care journey or just to update it:
- Spending time with your pets- If there is anyone who can teach us how to shower unconditional love it is animals! And what better way to forget all your problems than to spend some playtime with your pets. So if you have a fluffy friend, now is the best time to go play with it as a way to take a quick break and instantly feel energized!
- Meditation- Meditation not only teaches you to be present in a moment but also teaches you to be an observer of your emotions. Having a meditation practice helps you regulate your emotions on a regular basis. As coaches, this is a great thing as when you are present with clients, you can be better at holding space for them, you will also be able to understand where the emotion in you is coming from i.e. if you are empathizing with your client or if something about what your client is speaking is bringing up your own emotions.
- Journaling- Is a great way to express and process your emotions. It also helps you keep track of your thoughts, emotions, and patterns when practiced long term.
- Indulging in guilty pleasures- You don’t always have to be productive or do things that are contributing to your growth. Sometimes watching a show on Netflix or reading that fictional book that has forever been on your wish-list is the perfect temporary escape that you need to feel recharged. Beware! Do not overindulge though!
- Reconnecting with Nature- Walking barefoot on grass, feeling the different textures in nature, or just stargazing can be great ways to connect with your inner self.
- Reaching Out- At times when you feel tired, stressed, or even overwhelmed. It is always a good idea to talk to someone who would listen and maybe, provide you with some guidance or a warm hug depending on what you are seeking. This person does not necessarily have to be your near and dear one. Getting professional help from the right coach can help you understand yourself better.
- Communication with Self –The kind of language we use when we talk to ourselves is a very important part of our self-care. Try and be kind to yourself. Rephrase sentences so that they are gentle and help you in achieving what you want instead of words that are harsh and leave you spiraling into guilt trips.
- Community Care- Caring for oneself is great but thinking of care as something that we can do as a community or rather considering the community as a larger part of the self and caring for it is far more enriching and rewarding. Finding pockets where we can create collective rituals of expression, sharing, and growth is something that we should try and do together.
- Creating Daily Rituals and Practices- Having small mindful rituals throughout the day helps the brain to refocus on the present and are a great way of including self-care in our everyday life.
- Giving Yourself Permission- This one is an important one! Allow yourself to experience new things or go back to doing things you liked when you were younger, like swinging on a swing. It’s okay to look and feel silly if it brings you joy. Give yourself permission to have fun and take it easy ‘cos after all you are trying to do your best and that is good enough for now.
We need to keep in mind that self-care can look very different for every individual and it is only through trial and error that one can figure out the best self-care practice for oneself. We need to remember it doesn’t happen overnight and trying is what really matters. Baby steps towards finding ways to love ourselves better is a lifelong journey. And now is the best time as any to start it.