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The term self-care is misunderstood as many assume it to mean selfish over indulgence or excess pampering of oneself.

Quite the opposite is true. Self-care is taking care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually.

The odd massage, facial or lie in is not what we’re talking about here, rather the ability to get what you need in all three areas of well-being so that as opposed to being selfish, you are able to be more self-less because you’ve invested in a healthy mind, spirit and body that gives you resilience and strength.

Self-care encompasses many things, when you put them into practice you will feel happier and this will strengthen your relationships with everyone around you.  Basically you have more to give to others because you are fulfilled and self-validated.

  1. Food Fuel your mind and body with good food, the more natural the better. This is the basics of self-care, if you’re not doing this, forget the rest until you master what you’re eating. Start with a protein rich, nutritious filling breakfast and keep hydrated with at least 6-8 glasses of water throughout the day.
  2. Sleep – You will not catch up on lost sleep. Not getting enough of it affects everything else including your ability to think clearly and concentrate. Unplug at least two hours before bed, phones are the greatest culprit in reduced, quality sleep.
  3. Be spontaneous – Don’t be a slave to your to do list. It’s never ending so it’s up to you to break the mould now and again and do something for you. The world won’t fall apart by you stepping off the mundane ‘must do’ treadmill now and again.
  4. Get with the now – We have one life, no dress rehearsal. Learn to experience the joy of now, not looking to tomorrow or next week. The happiest people find enjoyment in every simple moment, every chat, and every cup of tea. Don’t rush the rewarding things, mistaking the big events as more important. People and connecting, these are the real joys in life.
  5. Time out – Quiet is something we don’t get as much of with multiple TV’s and iPads and devices in our homes. This constant interruption can affect our ability to understand what’s going on in our heads, we need to switch off the noise, go somewhere quiet and still our minds. Take a few minutes to meditate, if this difficult start with deep breathing and just being still for 5 minutes. If you struggle with stilling your mind check out a meditation or yoga class. This is proven to reduce stress levels and can help you feel calm.
  6. Listen and learn – Your body will tell you when you need to take your foot off the accelerator. Ideally you don’t want to get to the point of aches and pains, but if something doesn’t feel right try to work out why. Sitting too long, carrying too much, straining your eyes…Make it better and aim to be proactive rather than reactive with physical ailments.
  7. What’s right for you – Not attending every event in town is a must now and again. Don’t push yourself when you know you haven’t paced yourself and need rest. Replenish your energy by saying no to one or two things. You’ll emerge with charged batteries rather than dragging yourself around just because you’re afraid to say no! On this note pampering yourself is crucial and pays dividends in making you feel good. It is not selfish, it is essential to go for coffee, get a pedicure, or read a book, whatever you enjoy. Make some time for you, after all no-one else will.

For more great tips on improving your health and well-being click here.

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