Published: 22 March 2019

Self Care First

We all enjoy giving and receiving gifts and words of affection from our partners and admirers, but how often do you pay the same attention to yourself?

Great health starts with good nutrition and regular exercise, but what if there is more to it than that?

For a lot of people self-care is a ‘fluffy’ or alien concept, not just down to the lack of knowledge but also lack of time to fit in to their busy lives. But let me ask you this, do you have time *not* to look after you first? The media makes us all too aware of the pressures of our busy modern lives and ever increasing stress levels, with 3 in 4 Britons feeling overwhelmed by stress. But we are so used to busy ‘always on’ lives that often we don’t even notice the negative impact it has on our health and our relationships. So how do we combat this and unwind?

‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’

You know when you go on holiday and the cabin crew brief you to always put your own oxygen mask on before helping others? This is exactly the same for self-care. As an example, I had a client who felt bad going to her yoga class each week as she felt guilty for leaving the kids and not making her Husband dinner that night, guilty for taking the time to do something for her. But when we dug a bit deeper she realised she was doing them a disservice by NOT going to yoga each week. You see after yoga she felt refreshed, relaxed, recalibrated and was a more patient and energised wife and mother because of it. If she didn’t go to yoga and have a break each week she became increasingly naggy, frustrated and depleted.

If you feel that self-care is an unnecessary luxury, or you aren’t deserving of it, or you don’t have time then ask yourself, who isn’t getting the best version of you? Use them as your motivation to get some down time.

So what is self-care? Well it can be anything that gives you some time for you that you really enjoy. Anything from a long soak in a hot bubble bath, reading your favourite book, a spa treatment, cooking a nutritious meal, meditation or exercise class. It doesn’t have to be anything big, even just treating yourself to a sauna and Jacuzzi at the club after your workout will help you re align. Consider creating a ‘Personal Nourishment Menu’ where you make a list of ten self-care activities you really enjoy and leave you feeling relaxed and more like ‘you’ again. It’s really important to then schedule your self care time in first to your diary each week like this time is a sacred appointment to yourself, and fit in everything else around it. It can be 15 mins a day or two lots of an hour each week, whatever works for you. Then pick a different activity off your Personal Nourishment Menu each week and notice how your life begins to change.

It is proven that when we take more time out for ourselves we feel less stressed, less overwhelmed, happier, motivated and even feel more present and patient with our loved ones. You may even sleep better as a result and sometimes even lose weight easier as the body isn’t producing as much cortisol which ends up being stored as fat.

So, what will you try this month to show your mind and body the TLC it deserves?

Laura Butler, Lifestyle Intervention Consultant, Health & Habit Change Coach to busy women. Founder of the welLBe Transformation Systems’ and my website

Published: 22 March 2019