Sharing a Chair
Bullet Blog | Self-Care
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'Self - care', it's happily replacing the term 'New Year, New You' and if you ask me (you didn't, but let's pretend you did) I'm all for it. I've spent far too many years being awful to myself, not taking enough care of my physical or mental health. In 2016 after the birth of my daughter something clicked and I took a leap in attitude to change this. With the help of the inspirational Bodycoach and unending support of my husband I lost a lot of body fat and fell in love with the Gym. 2017 was the year of the mind for me and I tackled some big hurdles with my anxiety and mental health. Now I know the two go hand in hand so this year I'm all about looking after myself, body and mind. Here are my tips if you want to get on board!
- Baby Steps - no matter how you plan to tackle your wellbeing this year, my number one piece of advice is to take it slowly. As soon as we say we're going to overhaul our diet, exercise or commit to completing a giant list of tasks (or all three), we are setting ourselves up for failure. Too much too soon. Take one thing and then break it up into bite sized chunks, making little changes that you build upon is much more sustainable.
- Add Something - I find adding to something I already do helps me to not feel overwhelmed. For example I help to walk my Nana's dog every evening, so instead of walking with her I now run with her and it doesn't take anymore from my day or my brain!
- Write it Down - Whether it's your nutrition or your house clutter you are tackling, things feel that much better when you write them down. When I do this I find it isn't so overwhelming and not as bad as I thought. I then have the satisfaction of ticking it off when it's done.
- Do Not Limit Yourself - Don't put a time limit on your change. If you say 'I'm going to get fit by summer', and then you don't quite manage that part of your plan, how are you going to feel about yourself? Only commit to things that are going to improve your attitude to yourself, and don't put limits - you have the rest of your life to achieve and slow progress is still progress.
- Take Baths - We can't all take a regular spa day, it's pricey and it's time consuming. What we can do is give ourselves a little pampering at home whether that is taking a bath, painting nails, looking after your skin with a little face mask or just simply sitting quietly in a room with some scented candles.
- Make Time - Leading on from the above it is important to find time. It's funny how now I'm a busy mum of two I realise just how much time I have in my day and I manage to fit a lot more in. I used to have an excuse for everything but now I know I can fit a little of everything I enjoy into my day if I prioritise my time and use every free minute wisely. It takes practice but if I can do it - trust me you can too!
- Read - You may not be a big reader, but I think reading is such a great way to unwind. So many people I speak to say they don't have time for a book. But we all find the time to scroll on our smartphones nowadays so if we cut back on this (good for the soul) then trust me you'll find an extra half an hour. If you don't believe me then download the app 'Moment', and see how much time you're spending on your phone, you'll be in for a shock! I find reading before bed helps me relax into sleep naturally rather than screen time which actually keeps you wired.
- Forgive yourself - This is a big one for me. When I first had children I struggled so much with not being able to keep on top of things. Before I would pride myself on a dedicated day to clean the house, keeping on top of washing, writing thank you cards and sending out birthday cards and gifts on time. I just don't manage this anymore and I consider myself a pretty organised person. You have to learn to forgive yourself the little things and let them go, we spend too much time measuring ourselves against an invisible standard. Set a new standard - one that ebbs and flows with the fluctuation of YOUR life.
- Clear the clutter - Have a good clear out of stuff. My mind feels so overwhelmed when my house is cluttered and all I can see is stuff everywhere. It's very cathartic to rid little corners of your home of clutter - it will have the same effect on your mind. Remember write a list i.e. under stairs cupboard, sort computer files, tidy bookcase, shred paperwork, and then just aim do one a month maybe even just doing a little bit each day when you walk past.
- Take walks - If you aren't one for the gym, running, or high impact exercise then just go for a 10 minute walk. I find even just going for a 15 minute walk around the block each day clears my head and gives me breathing space. Sometimes changing the air is all it takes and if you can listen to some calming music whilst you do it, then all the better.
So remember it's all about the little changes, over time these will have a big effect on your wellbeing and you may find there's a little room to make another change, and so it will continue like that. The more positive you are the more, the more you will welcome positive change.
Take care of you
Rebecca is running everyday in January to support Mind Charity and their R.E.D. January campaign.
You can show your support too by sponsoring Rebecca on her Just Giving Page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/reb-does-red2018