The Busy Woman’s Guide to Self-Care

 

Wave handstand

 

“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly”

 

As a Beauty Therapist in a Day Spa, it is my job to pamper people every day and help them look and feel amazing. It makes me happy to see women come in for treatments who are exhausted and frazzled and then leave with a spring in their step. After a bit of self-care time, they look and feel like completely different people and are able to go home and be better partners, mothers, workers and friends.

As a Health Coach, I have to remind my clients that there are many different aspects to our health. In order to be healthy and happy, we have to achieve balance in all areas of our lives and address our physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and professional state on a regular basis.

Taking time out for self-care practices ensures that you are recharging your batteries and giving yourself the chance to perform tasks with energy and vitality. Each self-care plan will be different from person to person and will change over time depending on your needs, however everyone needs to make time for physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and professional self-care practices as all of these areas are interconnected and are necessary to achieve an overall state of wellbeing.

We have to pay attention and listen to our own bodies and hearts and take time out when required in order to be the happiest and healthiest women we can be. It is not selfish to take time out for you. We can’t be providers of care to others without being the recipients of nurturing and sustenance ourselves.

 

 

Here is a list of my favourite self-care practices that address all areas of health.

PHYSICAL SELF-CARE

  • Eat a healthy, balanced, fresh, wholefoods diet 80% of the time. Ensure that you are supplementing with the correct vitamins and minerals to fill in any gaps and try to include as many superfoods in your diet as possible
  • Try to replace coffee with green tea
  • Enjoy physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day
  • Take up a hobby such as martial arts, painting, cooking classes or dance lessons
  • Get regular medical care and check-ups
  • Take time off when your sick to allow your body to rejuvenate, rather than pushing yourself to work when you don’t feel 100%
  • Be more affectionate with partners, kids, friends and pets so that your body gets a boost of happy hormones
  • Get enough sleep. Aim for 7-8 hours each night
  • Spend time in nature each day. It soothes the soul. Read a book under a tree, eat lunch in the park or go for a walk along the beach
  • Take time out from technology such as Facebook, mobile phones and email
  • Take a trip to a Day Spa and enjoy a relaxing massage
  • Take a holiday on your own and go somewhere you have never been
  • Wear clothes you like every day. Wear nice perfume and make-up and pull out those sexy shoes that you have kept in your closet for a special occasion
  • Run a bubble bath with Epsom salts and essential oils
  • Spend time gardening
  • Treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure to get those paws and claws looking fabulous
  • Go to the beach and lay on the sand with your favourite magazine
  • Indulge in a favourite yummy treat. It’s ok to indulge if you eat healthy food most of the time
  • Stretch in the morning before getting ready to go out
  • Cook a new dish that you have always wanted to try
  • De-clutter your home. Give away any clothes or items you no longer need to the Salvation Army
  • Use Aromatherapy candles and oils in your home to create an environment that smells beautiful as aromatherapy oils also have therapeutic properties
  • Go and get your hair done professionally and try a new colour or cut

 

Bath

 

EMOTIONAL SELF-CARE

  • Spend time with others whose company you enjoy. Catch up with old friends or have a B.B.Q with family members who you have not seen in a while
  • Curl up with a hot cup of something you love and think happy thoughts
  • Stay in contact with important people in your life and cut ties with toxic people. The people in your life should be fountains, not drains
  • Treat yourself kindly and be mindful of your inner self-talk. Keep it positive and be as gentle with yourself as you are with others
  • Feel proud of yourself when you accomplish something, even if it is small. Always remember to pat yourself on the back and be your own best friend
  • Re-read favourite books and magazines that inspire you or watch a favourite movie that makes you feel good
  • Look through photo albums that bring back happy memories
  • Identify and seek comforting activities, objects, people, places and relationships
  • Allow yourself to cry when you need to. Don’t bottle things up. Be true to yourself and allow yourself to express emotions
  • Find things that make you laugh. Watch funny clips on YouTube
  • Play with children and animals. They will always make you feel warm and fuzzy
  • Surround yourself with as much beauty as possible. Pick fresh flowers, decorate your home and buy beautiful things that make you feel good
  • Plan something to look forward to. It could be a trip to a museum, the theatre, a mini holiday or anything that lights you up
  • Take yourself out on a date. Go somewhere nice and do something you have always wanted to do
  • Smile. It releases endorphins that make you feel good
  • Allow yourself a little luxury. Use those guest towels. Buy those bath salts. Treat yourself to something special, because you are special
  • Read a nice poem
  • Create a vision board with pictures of your hopes and dreams for your life. Hang it somewhere where you will look at it every day to keep you motivated and inspired
  • Refuse to please others at the expense of you emotional wellbeing, even if it means saying “No” to people who are used to hearing “Yes”

 

Dog bonding with owner

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL SELF-CARE

  • Have a session with a Counsellor to talk about any issue in your life that is causing you distress
  • Call Lifeline on 13 11 14. It is a free call and is available to anyone who wants to talk about any area of their life that they are upset about
  • Remind yourself daily that self-care is not selfish, instead it is self-respect
  • Write in a journal and record your thoughts and feelings
  • Read literature unrelated to work to create new neural pathways in the brain
  • Let others know different aspects of your personality and let other parts of you shine
  • Practice receiving from others and not just giving
  • Be ok saying “No” to extra responsibilities. Be ok saying “Yes” to things you want that you have been afraid to do
  • Notice your inner experience and be mindful of your dreams, thoughts, imagery, feelings and gut instincts. Always be true to yourself and be mindful of what these things are trying to tell you
  • Engage your intelligence in a new area. Go to a new art museum, performance, sports event, exhibit other cultural event
  • Volunteer. Helping those less fortunate than ourselves not only gives back to the community, but it makes us count our own blessings and experience feelings of gratitude and purpose and is great for our psychological wellbeing
  • Make a gratitude list and read it daily so that you’re always viewing the cup as half full. Optimists tend to experience better overall health
  • When you start to feel anxious or overwhelmed, take 3 deep belly breaths. As you exhale, make the choice to release anything that does not serve you

 

Drinking tea

PROFESSIONAL/WORKPLACE SELF-CARE

  • Take time to eat lunch
  • Choose a career that you are passionate about or every day is going to drain you
  • Take time to chat with co-workers
  • Make time to complete tasks
  • Don’t procrastinate
  • Make a ‘To-Do’ list, prioritise tasks and tick them off as you go so that you are more productive
  • Identify projects or tasks that are exciting, growth promoting and rewarding for you
  • Set limits with clients and colleagues
  • Study a new course that excites you
  • Balance your case load so that no day is “too much”. Delegate tasks to others where possible
  • Arrange your workstation so that it is clean, organised, comforting and comfortable
  • Get regular supervision or consultation where necessary
  • Negotiate for your needs
  • Arrange to grab a bite to eat with co-workers once a week after work

 

Beautiful work station 2

 

SPIRITUAL SELF-CARE

  • Take time for prayer, meditation or reflection
  • Spend time in nature
  • Treat people how you want to be treated
  • Participate in a spiritual gathering or group
  • Be open to inspiration, cherish your optimism and never give up hope
  • Be aware of the non-tangible aspects of life
  • Sing
  • Express gratitude
  • Celebrate milestones with rituals that are meaningful to you
  • Have experiences of awe
  • Appreciate the remarkable and unexplainable beauty around you
  • Contribute to or participate in causes you believe in
  • Read inspiring books about spirituality
  • Listen to inspiring music
  • Buy a homeless person some food. Helping others is food for the soul.

 

Girl looking at lake

 

Be Kind to Yourself

Love  Elizabeth