Self-care is vital, and one of the least selfish things you can do to improve your life. When you invest time in caring for yourself, you’ll reap the benefits and return on investment in almost every area of your life. You may notice improvement in your physical and mental health, your relationships with yourself and others will likely improve, and your productivity increases. It enables you to become the best version of yourself, able to give more to the people and projects that are important in your life. It allows you to truly blossom.
How can self-care benefit me?
What is Self-Care?
Many people seem daunted by self-care. Some people over complicate a self-care act and think it means allocating a whole day at an expensive day spa. It doesn’t need to be this extravagant. Self-care can be as simple as taking a moment to remember to breathe. So let’s practice together right now…
Take a long, slow, deep breath and feel it filling your lungs and into your belly. Hold it for a few seconds, then release the air through your mouth.
It’s like releasing a steam valve. By taking the pressure off, you prevent it from “popping its seal” or “overflowing”. The secret is regularity. So make self-care as simple, enjoyable, and easily repeatable as possible. Creating lifelong habits, to support your physical and mental wellbeing.
What Self-Care Activities appeal to you?
To support you with actively implementing self-care into your daily lives, we’ve created a self-care list for you. It’s vital when creating a self care routine or habit that you choose something you enjoy. It needs to work for you and uplift you.
Here’s a list of some of our favourites self-care activities:
Go for a walk or run
Immerse yourself in nature, either in the bushwalking or along a beach
Stretch, even gentle stretching will get your body moving again, boost circulation and ease achy joints into action
Read a good book
Listen to your favourite music – create a playlist.
Create something (baking, sewing, arts and crafts, a piece of furniture)
Start a journal
Play with Pets
Talk to a friend
Take a bath.
You can make it a luxurious one, to make you feel extra special and nurtured. Try using:
- Epsom salts or
- Essential oils such as
- Lavender to relax
- Peppermint to soothe tired, achy muscles, or
- Eucalyptus to refresh and clear any sinus challenges, particularly in the cooler, dryer autumn and winter weather.
Moisturise your entire body.
Choose something that feels nourishing. Nurture your body and make it sing with pleasure.
Watch a movie
Meditation is a favourite of mine
If meditation isn’t for you, do an activity in a mindful, deliberate way. By this, I mean clear any distraction and be fully focused on one small task. It might be over a simple cup of tea, for example. For these few moments, focus intently on your senses: can you smell the aroma of the tea? What is the taste as you sip? Can you feel the warmth of the cup in your hands? Stay in the moment as long as possible.
You can press acupressure points on yourself at home to strengthen your body, mind, and spirit. They can help release emotions like sadness, grief, or loss, as well as boost your personal composure.
Especially during Autumn, when the meridian channel of metal is in its element, (for more information click our blog). These metal points can help you let go of anything you no longer need. This practice releases physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual tension, as well as strengthening you from the inside out.
You can activate these acupressure points by stroking or pressing on the points. Let’s do it together now. See the diagram: Large Intestine1 (LI1) and Lung 8 (Lu8).
Large Intestine 1 and Lung 8:
These points clear and calm the mind, to revitalise you. They clear stuck energy and emotions.
- On the radial (also thumb) side of the index finger, about 0.1 finger width posterior to (towards the back of the hand) from the corner of the nail.
- Stroke your lower arm upwards, in line with the pointer finger, towards your body
- To invigorate the energy further, press the point gently – 3-7 times
Release old thoughts that no longer serve you.
This has the additional benefit of releasing any habits that also no longer serve you. Then, deliberately bring in new ones, which support and uplift you.
- One habit I recently explored is a tool I learned from mindset extraordinaire, Ben Elliott. He describes a simple process in which, if something happens, a trigger, something that would usually set you off or upset you in some way, you can decide to react differently.
Here’s an example of how I practice this new habit. When something happens that I’m not happy with, in the clinic or more often, in myself, I choose to refocus my attention on anything that I’m grateful for. Here’s a few that work for me:
- Simple – Having two feet that work and support me well
- Personal – Receiving a thoughtful phone call or text from my step-children. Or the cosy feeling of being loved supported and surrounded by my wonderful hubby and family.
Sinking into that feeling of appreciation and warmth, helps me regain my composure, refocus my energy and stay strong.
This process does take practice before it becomes automatic. Moving from being “triggered” and reacting , to deliberately choosing a better response (thought or action). Simply put, this formula is: “When X (trigger), Do Y (new response)”.
Ask for help
If you notice any niggles as you implement some of these “at home” self-care activities, consider complementary professional assistance, this too is an act of self-care.
- e.g. if you feel physical aches and pains, consider booking an appointment with your favourite Osteopath, Chrio, Accupuncturist or Massage Therapist. Or consider salt therapy rooms, an infra red sauna or float tank.
- For mental and emotional support, consider a Counsellor, Psychologist or Mind Set Coach.
This self-care list is just the tip of the iceberg. Select activities which make you feel stronger, refreshed rejuvinated or nurtured. After a while, you may be inspired to try something new. We strongly encourage you to do so!
When you do, we’d love to hear about it. Please let us know how you go, in our Facebook community group.
Our specialised Remedial Massage Therapist and Osteopath offer a fully integrated approach which assesses and addresses the specific issues in your body.
With a clear understanding of your goals, we treat both mind and body to help you live your best life.