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Self-Care and what does it really mean?

We always say to our friends and loved ones to take care, but are we taking care of ourselves? Or maybe are we doing enough to take care of ourselves?

One of my clients who took one of my courses said to me “Oh my gosh, Jenn, the number of times I’ve heard people say: “Oh, you just need to reframe that, but nobody ever bothered to teach me how to do it” and that conversation gave me an idea to tackle self-care at the same level i.e. provide more details on what it is and how to do ensure you include it in your life.

Self-care is any activity that you deliberately do to take care of your mental, emotional or physical health or well being.

For those who prefer to watch, or listen to videos, please skip ahead to the bottom of the page where you can hear me chat about this topic and give you some pointers.  If you prefer to read the information, then please keep going 🙂 

During a recent session with my physiotherapist, she asked me to create a ‘needs list’ or things that I need to do, and ‘wants list’ or things that I want to do. The things I included on my needs list are things like working on the computer, cleaning the house, etc, while on my wants list, I included attending yoga class three times a week, jog ten kilometers, etc. Then, my physio told me that some of the activities on my wants list, should actually be on the needs list.  What my physiotherapist was implying is that we must put some pleasurable things on the needs list. 

If we continue to only focus on things that are not pleasurable to us (ie chores, paying bills), we will just feel that our life is pretty pointless because there’s no pleasure and there’s no sense of achievement.  Also, you will not be the best version of yourself so the flow on effect to that is, you are not in the best position to be there for the people that are important in your life. 

I have created a simple checklist that should help you start to think about what you could do, how you could do it, and how often you could do it:

  • Create a NO LIST 

No list is basically things that you decide that you’re not going to do anymore because you don’t enjoy them and they take up too much time or they are having a detrimental impact on your life. eg attending work social functions, checking emails before bed or as soon as you wake up.

  • Sleep

Sleep is very important both physically and emotionally. Ask yourself “are you getting enough sleep? Could you get more sleep? And what could you do to ensure that you’re going to bed earlier each night?”

  • Plan some social catch-ups 

The important thing about this is you are going be with people that you truly enjoy being with, as opposed to you feeling obliged to see them.  To start with, this might only be once per month but you can increase this as you start to decrease other things eg on your ‘no list’.

  • Do one pleasurable activity each day 

I know this is hard for a lot of people but think about it in a different way, some pleasurable activities are not time-consuming like sitting in a garden with a cup of tea, or a glass of wine. Any short activity that can give pleasure to you.  If every day is too much to start with, then try maybe every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday for example. Increase it to every day once you start realising how important it is to make time for Self-Care.

 

Check out my video on this topic below:


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