I am not a meditating gal. I sit there thinking ‘I am so bored’, ‘How long have I been thinking about that…’, ‘FOCUS ON YOUR BREATH!’.
But my best friend? She loves it. Thrives off it. It makes her focused, grounded, energised. The same friend loves a sweaty, active yoga sesh.
I couldn’t think of anything worse. I’m your rest and restore kinda gal. Give me a yin yoga class any day!
Over the last few years, the idea of ‘self-care’ has grown and we constantly hear that we should do it more. Our favourite Instagrammers are telling us to meditate, to practice yoga, to journal…
And just like exercise and nutrition, someone always thinks they know the right way to do it. The best way. The most reenergising way. The most grounding way.
And yes – they might know the right way… for them.
But just like snowflakes are different, so are humans… so it’s no surprise we have different tastes in self-care!
So don’t fret if you’ve tried to meditate and it doesn’t stick. Don’t panic if you’ve tried to force yourself to stretch before bed but you give in to diving straight into the comfort of your sheets. And don’t tell yourself you’re a failure because you can’t commit to something you don’t enjoy!
Self-care is anything that helps you care for your body, mind and self.
There isn’t one ‘right’ way of practising self-care. It’s all about what is right for you.
If you want to know more about why you should practice self-care, you can find some info here. But for now, how do you find what works for you?
Work out what lights you up
For some reason, we put more focus on what other people say we ‘should’ be doing and forget to focus on the things we actually enjoy.
This is what self-care is all about – doing the things that light us up! Take some time to write down all the things you love doing, all the things you’d like to try, and think about how you’d define a relaxing day.
Now take those things and voila! There’s your self-care starting point.
Trial and Error
Once you’ve worked out what you love doing and what you want to try, do it!
Commit for one to two weeks of doing that thing and recognising how it makes you feel (even if you don’t love it the first time).
If it is life-changing, keep it! If you have to force yourself to do it, maybe it’s not for you. There are thousands of ways to practice self-care, and there’ll be one for you.
Work out non-negotiables versus ‘extras’
This is something I swear by. I have ‘non-negotiables’ that I do every day because they make a huge difference to how I feel and think. And then I have ‘extras’ – the things that light me up but I perhaps don’t have time for every single day.
My non-negotiables include starting my day with a stretch and a warm lemon water. At the end of the day, it’s using a probiotic supplement and my magnesium oil spray. No matter how busy I am, these are always done, and I never get sick of them because I’m not spending hours on them.
My ‘extras’ include journaling, lying on my Shakti mat, grabbing a coffee with friends, outdoor walks and more.
Self-care isn’t about spending 3 hours a day meditating, journaling and stretching. It’s about making you feel at your best in a way that works in well with your lifestyle.
Add one thing at a time
Even the most on-top-of-it self-care practising people didn’t just wake up one morning and have a fully-fledged self-care routine.
Building a sustainable self-care routine that you love takes time. And it relies on making self-care a habit.
So each week, commit to adding one good thing. If it takes setting an alarm or putting up reminders to remember – do that. And once you feel like you’ve nailed one thing, add another. Before you know it, you’ll have a set of self-care practices you love.
Schedule YOU time!
This is the most important step to building a self-care routine that you love. Just like a meeting, exercise, coffee dates… they don’t happen without organising them first. So put them in the diary, and COMMIT TO THEM.
Court is an activewear-wearing, brunch-loving, dog-obsessed gal who you’ll usually find in nature, in a restorative yoga class, or sipping a lactose-free latte.
With her Life and Wellness Coaching hat on, she’s on a mission to help all women to realise their potential and to start living a life where they thrive in every moment. She also absolutely loves helping women with chronic pain disorders grab back the control of life and say ‘Heck NO!’ to letting pain define them.