Have you read and heard a lot about self-care but not really sure what it is or how to go about it? Self-care is about self-respect, increasing your awareness, and showing love, compassion and understanding of yourself. Most importantly, it’s about doing what is right for you - prioritising your needs and putting yourself first so that you can flourish on your wellness journey.
Step 1- Make you the priority.
The first step to self-care is to recognise how important you are, and to accept every single about you. Make looking after you a priority. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Remember that you are unique and no one knows you better than you - there is no one else like you!
• Create the life that you want to live by doing the things that you want to do - don’t feel pressured into doing something just because someone else feels you should.
• Learn to honour and cherish every little thing about you, as they are the things that make “you”.
• Listen to your heart and be you who you want to be, not who you think you should be.
• Look after and nurture your mind, body and spirit.
• Have compassion for your weaknesses and don’t be so hard on yourself.
• Treat yourself with love, care and respect - talk to yourself the way you would a friend or loved one.
Step 2- Practice self-care everyday
Set aside some time each day to practice a self-care activity that you enjoy. This can be anything from making your favourite cup of tea, having a bath, binge watching Netflix or hanging out with a friend. My favourite self-care activities are watching Sex and The City, putting my pyjamas on and drinking herbal tea. What is your favourite self-care activity?
Step 3 - Create your wellness vision
A wellness vision is the picture that you have of yourself living your life the way you want it to be - a picture of you at your very best self. Your vision can be in any shape or form, a picture, a painting, bullet points or even a paragraph. It needs to be unique and meaningful to you.
Before you create your vision, ask yourself - what is the reason I want to be this way? What is the true meaning behind my vision? These deep motivators will help keep you on track during your wellness journey.
Grab a pen, paper, pens, pencils and any other materials you need - be creative! Find a space for you to display your wellness vision that will act as a daily reminder of who you are and where you want to be.
Step 4- Identify your strengths.
We rarely take time to reflect on our achievements in life. Identifying all the things that we are good at will boost our self-confidence, which in turn will help us on our wellness journey. Take some time today to write down your strengths, and reflect on the times where you have successfully accomplished something. If you’re struggling to think of any, try taking the VIA strengths survey.
Step 5- Enhance your self-connection.
Now you have a better understanding of yourself and the strengths, you’ll find it easier to connect with everything around you in a more meaningful way. This will also help you determine what you really want in life.
Here are five ways to enhance your self-connection.
1. Pay close attention to all of your thoughts and feelings. Pause, take note of what prompts a negative reaction and breathe deeply when a stressful situation occurs.
2. Take time to be free in nature. Smell the flowers, walk barefoot in the sand, listen to the waves. Tune in to all your senses. Be free.
3. Create a happy place. Find a place outside or create a space at home that makes you feel happy and content and that is special to you only. Try and visit this place once a day, or whenever you can.
4. Keep doing more things for you and set aside some time for practicing daily self-care activities that make you feel nourished and happy.
5. Nourish, move, sleep & listen to your body and heart. Your body is your temple and it’s all yours. Tune in to what it wants and treat it well.
Now you’re ready to start the journey to wellness! It’s certainly not an easy ride and it will be ongoing journey of growth, discovery and change. Identify your needs so you don’t feel the pressure to conform to situations and environments that don’t suit you, and learn to love and accept everything about you and most importantly never forget that you are one of a kind.