Self care is something so many of us are struggling with.
After one of my recent blog posts, I mentioned about my struggle with anxiety and depression. The amount of messages from people feeling the same way was huge.
It’s something I have always struggled with, but more so around the 6 month mark of having my babies.
This is usually the point where shit hits the fan, as I have been seriously neglecting self care. Oh dear….
I am an empath too, which affects me A LOT and also just generally sensitive to things, what I eat, where I am, what moon phase it is!
I sound so much fun don’t I?!
This is something I have found difficult for a long time and I’m sure all of our reasons for not looking after ourselves vary.
I think I can assume a big reason is we are all tired is from looking after others so much (especially our little people).
It’s so hard to find time for ourselves when we struggle to find time to actually fit in the things we deem more important …..all the boring stuff like cleaning the house, washing the clothes, etc.
Here is something I shared earlier In the week that resonated with me so much….
Imagine if we actually did this?! How much better would we feel!?
Now I feel like like a bit of a fraud sharing my self care routine, this is a weekly struggle for me to stick to…but I am trying my best.
When I stick to this simple plan I feel so much better and anxiety is much lower and my depression is kept at bay.
It is a constant work in progress.
This is my basic care plan for myself….when I am top of these things I feel good.
When I feel good it allows me to work on my self spiritually, and live magically….I’ll do my next blog post on my spiritual care plan.
First and foremost get yourself a book/ diary and write your list of what you need to survive and thrive.
It may look similar or very different to mine.
Each evening look at your list and make sure you have done everything.
If you haven’t don’t worry, it takes practice and time to make this into a habit.
Just each evening sitting for a few moments ( that is all it really needs to take, so no excuses!) brings your awareness to what you need and how you have been looking after yourself.
I also have a list of how I feel when I feel good and balanced….how different I feel and how my life flows better when I am tending to my own needs too. If anything this will give you encouragement for the next day.
I also write down one thing good about today (you can write a whole list of you like!)
I also write down what I hope for tomorrow, for example, be a more mindful parent.
My Journal is very basic.
I have looked in awe at some bullet journals but know that for me personally the pressure (from myself!) to keep it up and looking so pretty, would prevent me from sticking with it.
It may help you to create a beautiful bullet journal (check out Pinterest for self care bullet journal ideas)
This would also be a great creative outlet.
2. Be in Nature
No matter what make time to be outside in nature.
If you can find time to go for a walk in the woods, or any nature spot that soothes you, excellent.
Even if all you can manage is to step out side for a few minutes and breathe in fresh air, so be it (just do it as often as you can)
On days I feel low/ anxious I know nature will help. If I’m lucky to have no plans for that day I will make a basic lunch and a flask of tea for me and the kids and plan to be outdoors for a while.
Sometimes all I can snatch is 2 minutes alone, where I must make it count.
3 Express myself creatively.
This is essential to me. You don’t have to be an artist, or have any particular hobby.
There is lots of things I love to do creatively, I enjoy knitting/ crocheting, felting and writing.
I love making mandalas, if I can get chance to be outside alone making them, two birdies, one stone, haha!
Even if you use this time to fill in your journal, just create a space for yourself.
I also have a vision board that I work on…more about that in the next post.
I have a table set up with my crafts, my journal and my oracle cards etc but it can just be a basket with your journal, a candle, and whatever else soothes you, to take out each evening.
Just allow that time for you to do as you wish, even if only a few minutes.
3. Look after my body
This will obviously look different for everyone.
I like to have a salt bath daily and I body brush.
Pink salt is cleansing for my body and my energy field and keeps my skin soft.
I also like to make sure I shave my legs every few days. If I leave my legs get too hairy I feel uncomfortable, this is a sign for me self care is lacking.
This may seem silly to some, but it’s mine, lol!
Some people may feel it important to have freshly painted nails etc.
It’s finding out what you enjoy and what’s important for you to feel good, and realistically what you will make time for.
4. Spiritual Practice.
This is also a very personal thing but whatever religion or spiritual practice you have take a few moments to honour it.
Pic of unicorn looking suitable spiritual…
This is something I plan to go into more detail with on my next blog post as so many of you have asked about daily practices.
My spiritual practice works best when I am mindful and it blends naturally through my day.
I begin my day (by that I mean after a suitable amount of coffee!) with a little grounding meditation. A little visualisation of how I want my day to go, what I hope for etc. This can take just a few moments with practice. I may choose an oracle card.
A cleansing visualisation with my salt bath.
I also burn sage for its energy cleansing properties a few times per week.
These would be done as part of my basic self care plan.
5. Move your body.
Firstly I hate forced exercise. I wish I didn’t but I do. If you don’t and this is something you do anyway good for you! I wish I was more like you, LOL!
Moving your body is obviously good for you and has a positive impact on your mental health.
I make time everyday to do one thing.
This may be incorporated into my time outside. We may go for a long walk, I may have carried Arthur in the sling etc.
I may do yoga or hula hooping.
It may be simply setting a 10 minute timer on my phone and stretching.
The most important thing for me is that it is there for me to check off everyday and I am carving time out especially for that.
6. Eat Well
I can neglect to feed myself properly if I am busy, then overeat/ eat unhealthy.
I don’t have to be feeling down/ anxious to not feed myself properly. I could be really excited and working on something I love, so it won’t be top of my list. This obviously would have a knock on effect, to how I am feeling if my body isn’t fuelled properly.
Now when I say eat well, I don’t mean any special diets, clean eating etc.
I mean this in the most basic sense. Feed yourself! Just like you would if you were looking after a child.
If your child was sad would you stuff them full of pizza and chocolate? Would you let them go without breakfast and lunch?
I’m sure you try your best to make sure they have a balanced diet, we need to do this for ourselves too.
Plan accordingly so you can do this. Write meal plans, get the food in you need. Don’t leave yourself any excuses.
10 minutes of meal planning per week IS self care if it helps you.
This is another important one for me.
Write it into your schedule to declutter once a month. I time it around the new moon, so I am beginning the cycle clearer and lighter.
This also means don’t buy unnecessary things.
I feel much much better living this way and I think if you lean towards an eco friendly/ less waste lifestyle then this will come easily to you.
For me this means going through the kids clothes, passing on our out grown ones, passing on read books that I don’t intend keeping, old letters etc.
8. A clean and tidy space.
Now this is one I can feel resentful about, sometimes I enjoy cleaning but mostly I find it exceptionally boring. I feel much better if my home is clean and in order, so actually cleaning my home is an act of self care, for me.
I write a basic cleaning schedule and stick to it as best as possible.
If you have decluttered it should be manageable to keep on top off it.
Sorry this is a really boring one, but on those days when you feel crappy, to have days loads of washing to sort and things to clean will send you further down the spiral towards depression. It is self care maintenance.
That’s it! If I live by this simple checklist, It manages my depression, anxiety etc.
Also I sometimes forget that its really normal to just have a shit day….for a huge number of reasons…I find if I’m sticking to my list to have a day where you do away with everything is fine, as long as those days don’t lead into a week, then longer.
Checking into my journal is key for me.
I’m sorry if this seems basic to some, but I hope it helps you if you are struggling too.
I could actually talk about this for hours but I’ll save it for another post.
I’d love to know your thoughts and how you manage self care.
Thank you for reading!