5 (realistic) Top Tips for Self-care
… get more done by looking after yourself first.
We’ve all heard the usual advice for self-care around “eat well”, “exercise”, “make time for you” – and mostly we get it. However, the biggest thing when I speak to people in this day and age is their “busyness” and “lack of time”, and so when you’re faced with as much as we are in this modern world, what gives? And with the busy women I know, that’s usually YOU!
I get it – this was me too (and sometimes still is) … but this is how I’ve been able to create more time and energy in my life, to ultimately get more done, by looking after myself first! After all, how am I going to fill others glasses when I’m pouring from an empty jug?
- Multitasking is a con…
It’s sapping your energy, not saving you time! As much as we hear how women are great at multitasking, this actually puts a huge amount of stress on the body, and ultimately our immune system, which can make us very sick in the long term.
Why are you needing to multitask – is it because you have too much to do? If that’s the case, then it’s time to call in some help (and I know how hard that can be for us as women to ask for it!). Whether it’s hiring a cleaner or a virtual assistant or even batching your tasks e.g. emails – only answering them twice a day for 30 mins a time at 11am and 4pm say, will mean your brain is not constantly pulled in 13 different directions while you’re trying to do something
- Sleeping too much, may be making you tired…
It’s a fallacy that we all need 8 hours sleep … did you know the amount of sleep you need is actually more to with your sleep cycles. Work out what your sleep cycle is (there’s apps for this or your smartwatch can help you). I’ve worked out mine is 1.5 hours, and as adults we need 4-5 sleep cycles a night for adequate rest. It’s why you’ve maybe gone to bed later and woken up earlier, but not felt groggy and tired?
That’s because you’ve woken up after a completed sleep cycle. Wake up in the middle of it, will leave you feeling worse. Top tip: Work backwards from your alarm time, and that’s when you need to go to bed to complete 4-5 cycles.
- Who are you spending your time with?
We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time … so who are these people for you? Maybe they’re colleagues who constantly moan, or friends that complain and sap your energy … you know the ones I mean, the ones where you walk away from feeling like you’ve had the life drained out of you.
Now I appreciate you can’t start cutting all the mood hoovers from your life in one fell swoop, especially if they are your family … however being mindful of surrounding yourself with people who inspire/motivate and lift you up, will go a long way to your overall mindset, wellbeing and ultimately your self-care!
- What sets your soul on fire?
When we were younger we proactively pursued what we loved to do – we got messy, we created, and we played. But then as we become adults we became “sensible” and many of us ended up taking “proper jobs” that were maybe in less creative fields, which leave the other side of our brains untouched. The research for having a creative outlet is overwhelming in terms of the benefits for wellbeing.
You don’t have to be an artist … but this could be anything that makes you happy … a bike ride, a good book, getting out in nature, baking/making a meal. For me, it was taking a 6 week Interior Design course at my local college one night a week, which opened up a whole creative outlet for me, which led me to feeling happier and more fulfilled.
- Pace yourself …
We can’t keep going 100%, 365 days a year – we will burn out. Fact! The human body can just not sustain it, no matter how much of a superwoman you are (by the way, she was a fictional character). Think about the school holidays as an example of this… children go to school and it’s intense for a few weeks, then they get a short break at half term. Then they go for a few more weeks, and they get a bit of a longer break at Easter/Christmas … then the same again with a half-term break, and they finish the school year with a long Summer break to replenish their energy.
Could you have kept going at school 365 days a year? So why impose that on yourself as an adult. The body is just not designed to do this! Build in regular breaks – every 12 weeks is optimum, even if it’s just a long weekend, where you can have some time away and to digitally detox!
However, my top tip from all of these tips above is to pick 1, maximum 2 of them to start slowly implementing into your life. We can’t boil the ocean, but we can make a small incremental change each day, which compounded over time leads to massive results! I hope this helps you in creating more time in your life, by putting yourself first!
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