As the year starts to get into full swing, now is the perfect time to take a step back, and consider where you are at on your personal development/happiness journey. How did last year go, in terms of you looking after yourself? If you found yourself to be overly stressed about work, tired or you faced difficulties in staying motivated, you may have neglected your self care just a little bit. Are you taking the steps now to ensure you're going to sail through 2020? It’s never too late to prioritise self care in your life. For some, even just putting 10 minutes a day aside to do something for themselves makes a world of difference in the long run. Let’s delve a little deeper into self care, and how it can help to guide you on your way to a fresh start on your personal development journey.
What is Self Care?
If self care is a relatively new term to you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Self care refers to a process of placing your own wellbeing at the forefront of your priority list and making decisions that help to affect your individual sense of self, self energy, self-esteem and self worth, in a positive way. Everything comes from being and feeling full, first. The more we look after ourselves, the more all other areas in our lives will be happier. Do you need to go to a spa to look after yourself? No you don’t. Sometimes, even just taking a couple of minutes to walk around the block, putting aside 30 minutes to read a chapter of the book you bought last December, committing to 7 minutes of a meditation app, or attending a yoga class for 60 minutes, can make a world of difference.
Your Journey is YOUR Journey
When it comes to your own development journey, and your efforts to reach new goals and attain the things that are important to you, it’s important to keep in mind that comparing yourself to others is not only futile, bit will do more harm than goo. Each of us are on our own paths, going about life at our own pace, with our own limitations and strengths. If you’re going to spend time comparing yourself to a health guru, who practices self-care for more than a quarter of their day, you may feel like a failure, especially if you’re already strapped for time as it is. Life happens, is happening to us right this very moment, and it helps to go easy on yourself when it comes to how you take some steps towards taking care of yourself. Kindness, kindness is everything!
Working Self Care Into Your Routine
If you’re motivated to start doing some more things for yourself moving forward, the first thing to do is to make a list of a couple of the things that you enjoy doing. These can be as “selfish” as you wish (note that we’re not talking about traditional selfishness), as long as these activities add value to your life, rather than acting as a coping mechanism. Choosing to drink more alcohol in a way to “treat yourself” might not be the best idea for your own health or those around you, but making some time to take the dog for a walk, to paint your nails, or to soak in a warm bath for 90 minutes may be better options to keep in mind. Slowly work these into your schedule, starting with just one activity a week, a building it to three as soon as you can make the time for it. Talk to you family about this, as this will help make it easier for them to support you, rather than making them unsure about what is going on.
Treating Yourself and Others When You Hit Your Goals
When you start to hit your self care goals, and you’re feeling better about your health, mindset and overall happiness, a great way to “treat yourself” is to consider a wellness retreat for a night or two. Take your spouse or a family member along, especially if you can think of someone who may be going through a hard time at the moment. Doing so is great for two reasons. Firstly, you’ll be starting a positive reward habit for yourself, especially in relation to your discipline towards maintaining your self care. Secondly, you’re using that momentum to help someone else get started on their own journey. Talk to them about it while you’re at the retreat, encouraging them to look at the things that make them take better care of themselves and to prioritise those too. You’ll be paying it forward without having to do too much, and pretty soon they will be doing the same to someone else.