According to the experts, self-care is “the actions that individuals take for themselves, on behalf of and with others in order to develop, protect, maintain and improve their health, wellbeing or wellness”. January is a time that we all reassess how we’re doing things and we think that there’s no better time to take a look at what we’re doing to look after ourselves and try to develop some new self-care habits.
Developing good eating habits is one of the foundations of self-care, and one of the best ways to do this is to ensure that you’re eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of the right nutrients. Try to hit your 5-a-day recommended intake of fruit and veg, avoid processed meats and try to include fatty acids via nuts and fish. You could also add a multivitamin, if you feel you need one.
Whether you’re the type of person who has a six-weekly hair appointment that you never miss, or you’re a little more low maintenance, ensuring that you make time to treat yourself is important. If you want to have your hair/nails/eyebrows done or simply indulge in a massage, make the appointment and keep it. You’re worth the time and money!
Learn to Say No
There’s a tendency for a lot of women to say ‘yes’ to everything, because we’re people-pleasers. This can sometimes mean that you barely have time to breathe between work, family life, PTA meetings, baking for a school sale, endless after school clubs, dog walking and finding even a moment to see your friends. Learning to say NO sometimes can feel absolutely revolutionary to a lot of us, and it allows you to take more time for yourself.
We aren’t suggesting that you rush out and join the gym or turn yourself into a crossfit fanatic (unless that’s your thing!), but getting regular exercise is a really important part of self-care. You’re making time to do something that your body needs and whether you choose to go for a walk, ride a bike, or something more high impact, exercise has a positive effect on both your body and your mental state.
There’s basically no such thing as self-care without an element of relaxation, but the key here is to learn what YOU find relaxing. For some, it’s reading a book and enjoying a cup of tea. For some, it’s hiking to the top of a mountain. Everyone has a different concept of relaxation, so take some time to assess what really helps you to feel at peace, and then make sure you make a regular appointment with yourself to indulge in your relaxation.