The Art of Self Care
How to find the time and space to practice self-care.
In the busy world in which we live, finding the time and space to practice self-care can be difficult. Competing priorities, family and work demands, and a world that seems to be constantly “on” with internet and social media feeds can leave you feeling depleted, overwhelmed and stressed. It is no wonder then, that whilst we are trying to juggle all these competing demands that we push ourselves further and further down the list of priorities. The result? Burn out, poor health, lack of fulfilment, anxiety, stress, depression.
So how can you turn this around? The answer lies in learning how to make space for you through practicing self-care.
Make A Commitment To Yourself
The first (and most important) step in your self-care habit is to commit to you. By making this commitment to look after yourself you are signalling to your mind that you deserve to be a priority.
Ditch The Guilt
One of the biggest barriers to maintaining a self-care routine is the guilt we often feel when we are prioritising ourselves instead of doing for others.
There is a saying that you cannot pour from an empty cup. You cannot give to others if your cup is empty and you cannot give to others what you do not give yourself.
When you start to feel guilt creeping in, remind yourself of the bigger picture. By practicing self-care you will be less stressed, more positive, motivated and productive, and better able to care for those around you. Win-win.
Find What Works For You
The 4 pillars of self-care are:
Look for activities that nurture these areas and also bring you a sense of happiness and peace.
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to practicing self care. Remember that your self-care is about you and what works for you - not what works for everybody else.
This one can be hard and may take a little practice.
When putting ourselves as the top of the list we need to learn to set boundaries and say “no” sometimes. Easier said than done right? But with some practice it is possible and can in fact be very liberating.
Try blocking out periods of time in your calendar/schedule for activities that are important to you. If attending a weekly yoga class is a must then block that time out and stick to it. Honour your commitment to you.
By having these times blocked out, you are ensuring that you are making the time and space for your self-care and if it’s scheduled then you are more likely to follow through.
If saying “no” is uncomfortable for you. Here are some alternatives:
“I’m sorry but I can’t”
“I’m sorry but that doesn’t work for me”
“I’m not sure that I can commit to that right now”
“Let me think about it”
“That sounds great but how about (another time)?”
Still finding it hard and feeling guilty about saying “no”? Go back and read Ditch The Guilt.
As you can see, making the time and space for self-care is possible. It just takes a commitment to yourself, practice and boundaries.