Why do we desperately need to get real about self-care? For one, we are more depressed than we have ever been. With a whopping average of 80% of us hate our jobs, and even suicide is on the rise.
Let’s get real about self-care. It is not just a bubble bath or a day at the spa. Real self-care is a choice, it’s deciding to look after ourselves. It is a about prioritising and making time for what is important.
Maslow established a hierarchy of needs that can guide us. However, I do believe we need to focus on all these areas at the same time rather than completing one area before moving on. I also believe that it is very good to remember that we are all a work in progress and to enjoy the journey.
Let’s get started with our physiological needs.
- What does that mean? These are the physical actions we can take they can be a great foundation to self -care.
•Keeping hydrated. We all know that our body needs water to function and to remove waste products and toxins but did you know that our brain is 80 % water too. We need water for our brain to function properly, for us to think clearly and to be able to make decisions.
•Moving your body. Being able to move our bodies is such a privilege. It’s something we often take for granted. The key here is to find something fun that you love and make time for it. Not only will this reduce those stress hormones like cortisol, but it can also boost your mood.
•Food. One of biggest changes that have happened over the last 100 years is that we have become so focused on things being fast. And the truth is. fast convenience foods are killing us. Instead, we need to focus on eating and cooking with fresh produce. The less items on the label, the better.
•Rest. Sleep is that special time in which we allow our body to recover, to rebuild and recharge. Unfortunately, our current era of the hustle, exhaustion has become something we are proud of. I can’t even count the number of times I have heard someone brag about how little they have slept. Guys, It’s not a badge of honour! We need 7-9 hours’ sleep, or our bodies will start to suffer.
•Mediation and mindfulness. Meditation and mindfulness are like a secret weapon. Something we can keep in our pocket and pull out when whenever we need it. Meditation is like giving our brain an IV filled with vitamins. Used together with mindfulness we can learn to enjoy the present with a clear mind and less judgement.
- We also need to create a safe environment.
• This may look like a home safe environment or a work environment. If we are in a constant state of worry about losing our job or home, this will negatively affect our state of mind and our stress levels.
•We can also look at our boundaries. Creating an understanding of what is ok and what is not ok. So, we know when to stand up for ourselves.
- Love and belonging are vital in establishing our self-care.
•Human beings are built for connections. It’s not a nice to have, it is a need that we have. Part of this is trust. I remember sitting in a psychologist’s office. My husband and I were doing pre-martial counselling. The Dr asked me how I feel about trust. It was soft spot for me, and I explained how, I believed it would come with time. She stopped me dead in my tracks and said Michelle, “trust is a verb.” “It’s something to do, it doesn’t come with time.” This was a game changer for me and my marriage.
•Having trust within your family and friends’ circles is vital to creating a great loving and belonging environment. Trust is also visible in loyalty. Pets can show us loyalty in the most special ways. I remember seeing a post on social media of a dog that lost its owner in a car accident. The dog had waited in the same place for 80 days. Is there anything more loyal than a dog?
- Building a positive Self -esteem starts with looking after yourself. We need to prioritise a self-care routine that works for us. We also need to take control of our thoughts. We have on average 60 000 thoughts in a day and on average 90% of those thoughts are repeated day after day. Robin Sharma says in his book, The monk that sold his Ferrari, that we should not give in to even one negative thought. Paying attention to one negative thought can be like a flame in a wildfire, spreading at an incredible speed. We also need to learn how to reframe these thoughts. Robin Sharma calls this opposite thinking. It’s not magic and will not change how you feel about yourself automatically but with time and consistency you will start to see change how you feel about yourself.
- Self-actualisation is basically living our truest potential. We can do this by not living for others but rather getting to know ourselves better and learning what we want. We can set goals based on what our personal definition of happiness and success is to us.
Need a bit of help with creating some habits? Pop me an email here for a free discovery session with me