Happy own time
When was the last time you paid yourself a compliment, patted yourself on the back or gave yourself a shoulder to cry on? With busy lives and endless responsibilities it’s all too easy to overlook the person who may need the most tender loving care: yourself.
Looking after yourself isn’t selfish, it’s sensible. Once you’re feeling good about yourself - inside and out - you’ll have more love, care and compassion for others. Here are three little self-care steps which will see you well on your way to getting back on track to a healthier, happier version of number one (that’s you).
1 . Identify when you’re under stress
We can all function perfectly well with a certain amount of stress, but when our mind and bodies become overworked, levels spiral out of control. Too much stress can lead to anxiety, irritability, trouble sleeping, a suppressed immune system, chest pains - and, long-term, to faster aging and risk of depression. We each respond to high levels of stress differently, so it’s vital that you understand and learn to identify your own body’s signals.
2 . Tap into your thoughts and emotions
There has been much made of mindfulness and meditation over the last year or so - and although interest may have peaked, there are very good reasons why it’s good to increase awareness of our thoughts and emotions.
Without reflecting on how you are feeling, how can you choose the right self-care? It’s easy to do -just take some time out (evenings can be best) to reflect on your day, evaluate how you’re feeling about your goals, the future and of course, your day-to-day happiness. If there’s something you feel needs to change, write it down in a journal and revisit it when you have more time - perhaps at your allotted ‘me-time’ moment.
3 . Choose and use your ‘me time’ wisely:
Me time means different things to different people. For some, it’s feet up with a nose in a novel, for others it’s a manicure and massage, and for fitness aficionados, it’s a really great workout.
Good quality ‘me-time’ doesn’t have to mean being alone though, it’s all about doing something you love - and remember, new experiences boost competency and our connectivity with the world. If finding the time is a problem try one of these tips:
• Set your alarm to wake an hour before the rest of the house - then revel in the morning peace.
• Take lunch in the park - escape your daily habits
• Unplug from social media for an afternoon - read a book instead
• Take up a new sport - learn something different
• Make sleep-time your me-time - getting an early night will revive you