5 additional ways to practise self-care

Last week I promised I’d follow up with and additional list of ways we can look to practise self-care as we enter into this new year as well as a new decade.

  • Embracing new challenges and not waiting until something goes wrong before you make a shift or try something new: Too often we suffer form imposter syndrome and feel we’ll somehow be exposed as a fraud or ‘not up to snuff. This is just the negative self-talk we’re used to receiving either from our childhood programmers or from ourselves due to our insecurities.

Once you decide to take on a new challenge (and I mean start with something small) you’re-programme yourself, bit by bit for success because

  1. Even if it didn’t work out, you’ll realise the thinking about it was worse than the actual doing it and so making you less likely to hold yourself back the next time you’re faced with a new challenge and
  2. It may just work out, you achieve what you thought would be such a challenge and surprise yourself. This of course creates greater confidence, a ‘can do’ attitude for anything else that comes along in the future and so, my friends… WIN-WIN, you’ll be unstoppable!
  • Setting goals and planning how you’ll get from step A to step B: I’m not great at this. I can be a bit of a lone wolf and tend to just want to get on with things. I move fast too as does my mind, so no I can be impatient to see things materialise. It’s something I need to work on.

However, one of the best ways to ensure you keep your promise to yourself is to find an accountability partner. Once you speak it out loud to someone and set a deadline with someone who is a person you trust and you know they want the best for you, you feel duty bound to match the integrity of your actions to your words.

You get the thing done because letting them and yourself down harder that doing the thing on the first place!

  • Allow yourself to get enough sleep and relaxation: Another one being and educator means I’m so not good at, but I recognise is imperative if I am to be my best self.

All too often we seriously deprive ourselves of the opportunity to recover from life’s stresses by not getting enough sleep or relaxing sufficiently to get good quality sleep. I don’t know about you, but I’m often so tense I need sufficient time to relax before I can sleep.

There’s a critical time that I should take myself off to bed, somewhere between 10.30pm and 11pm, otherwise I find myself drifting and drooling (not relay) and sleeping like a pretzel on the sofa, waking at ABSOLUTELY the wrong time (usually an hour before my alarm), so not enough time to catch up on the sleep I need before the alarm goes off and feeling groggy and dissatisfied with the quality of the sleep I did get. Hardly a good start to the day now is it?

The best sleep is gained if you go to sleep before midnight, however as we age we often sleep less. The key is to have a consistent routine. Here are some tips if you find yourself still groggy or unsatisfied after sleeping:

  1. Follow a regular sleep schedule. Poor bedtime habits, such as going to bed too early (before you’re tired) or too late (when you’re overly tired) can make it more difficult to get to sleep and to sleep soundly when you do.  
  2. Avoid caffeinated beverages within four to six hours of bedtime, and alcohol within three hours of going to bed.
  • Become more self aware through writing things down and getting them out of your mind. This is a kind of mental de-cluttering. We have close to 70,000 thoughts whizzing in and out of our minds all day every day. By practising automatic writing or journaling we dump them leaving our minds clearer and sharper.

Most of what we write it will need binning, but occasionally there’s a real nugget that you discover and this could lead you directly to the next stage of you’re life’s development, you uncover your next great idea and develop a clearer focus with which to create it too!

  • Create time for yourself. I honestly think this is a very important one. In the rush and multitasking society we live in (and it’s getting worse) we are literally ‘on call’ 25/7. Many of us suffer from FOMO* so badly we are never without our phones and can barely have conversation without them.

This leads to an incredible amount of stress and not to mention a depressive state if god forbid we don’t get a message or phone call in a day, or we miss out on the latest trending Insta or Facebook story…

Time along allows you to re-charge and re-connect with YOU

It is vital, that you allow your senses time to shut themselves off and simply be quiet. I’m sure we’ve all seen movies where some robot or other is forced to over work and starts steaming and its circuits implode, well I wouldn’t ant that happening to you now would I.

Put your phone down at least and hour and preferably two before sleeping. Perhaps try implement a time in your schedule when you mute your phone and just allow your mind to wander or not do much of anything at all, you’ll be surprised at just how refreshed you feel and how much better you function as time goes on.

Even better if you can combine putting your phone down with my bonus for you:

  • Getting out into the fresh air for at least 20minutes a day. In the Northern hemisphere especially at this time of year, it’s and enough trying to get light in the outdoors, how much harder if all day every day you are indoors in artificial lighting.

Try taking a walk around the block at lunchtime (please don’t eat whilst you work, guzzling down a sandwich and chugging a cuppa), you are, surely worth and deserve 20 minutes of time to yourself?

If the call is important they’ll call back and as you begin to educate let clients/customers etc. into the fact that you take a break at a particular time of the day, they’ll stop calling at that time.

In addition, not only will you feel refreshed and sleep better, but some of your greatest insights and ideas, may well just pop into your head during this precious ‘ME’ time.

Remember, no-one EVER said: ”I wish I’d worked more” on their deathbed now did they?

Blissings and much love

Insightful Angel

Pauline Tomlin

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Self Care 2020

Happy New Year Everyone,

I know it may have been a disappointment that I didn’t post last week, especially as it was the first Sunday of the New year and Decade, but I decided to walk the walk and execute some self care and as most of us do at this time of year some reflection.

So…

I pottered around my home, meditated, concocted a delicious smoothie and immersed myself in a loooong bath, you know the ones where you detox and shave and trim and emerge feeling band new? I then cooked some delicious vegan food and took to my bed at 5pm!

My Deeeelicious Smoothie

Please understand I wasn’t sick, I just realised I hadn’t exercised self care for a while and I just wanted to be with ME.

The responsibility of writing… the thoughts of “they’ll be ‘expecting’ a post,’ lay heavily until I reminded myself

  • I do this for pleasure.
  • I do this in order that one or two others may benefit from my experiences…

And the last thing I want to draw in as we enter a new decade and New Year, is the energy of ‘SHOULD’

Before we get into the ‘rhythm’ of the year 2020, I would urge any of you with whom this resonates, to take a look at one of the ‘shoulds’ or ‘must do’s’ in your life. Is there one of them that you can dispense with, break the cycle of obligation and instead replace it with something you ‘WANT’ to do?

It’s surprising how much more energised you feel and satisfied. Because you’re signalling to your subconscious mind your belief in your worthiness in what you deserve and what life should bring to you.

It doesn’t have to be big…

Perhaps it’s just a bath and a detox, or a healthy smoothie day once a week, a walk or run once or twice a week…something to break the cycle of must dos and should dos and to invigorate you.

Deeeetox! Ahhh…

If, for example, your car stalls and you tried one method in order to get it started, there’s not point continuing with the same method is there? So you gotta change your methodology.

I’m naturally creative; a writer, singer, jewellery maker, a knitter & I can crochet…I was a dancer. Everything I do to relieve the tension and add zest to my life is invariably creative and I do so because I enjoy these pursuits. So, I told myself, ” let go any feelings of responsibility” (I know I’ll get back on the horse again when the time is right) and put myself first.

This is the energy I would like to start the new decade of 2020 with.

After a day I realised that putting myself first and for nearly 24 hours forgetting about the house and the income and the work and the cleaning and all the other ‘shoulds,’ had created the following benefits:

  • I was alive with inspiration as to my next step in life as my subconscious mind had been given time to explore and imagine and desire
  • My vision was becoming clearer

-Who I wanted to be

-What I wanted to do

-What I wanted to have in my life

  • My purpose was being revealed to me
  • It was becoming clear what support and training I needed to achieve the next step
  • The divine whispers were getting stronger…I could hear them and became more determined to follow their guidance

Just over a week later and those ideas are beginning to take shape and universal support has begun showing up to help me step closer to my purpose and vision. For you too answering these questions will bring you closer, regardless of who you are, what you did before or how old you are, or to the life you want to live if you’re looking for a change.

Now I’ve mentioned that some of the consequences of exercising self care are that you :

  • Give yourself space to acquire a clearer vision,:
  • You become more inspired about your life and where you want to take it as well as signalling to your subconscious mind that you appreciate yourself and deserve the best.

Our minds can’t actually tell the difference between the real world and the imaginative one, so if your focus is on what you want to create in your life, your subconscious mind will create scenarios and situations in order for that situation/opportunity to be realised.

So what other ways can you put yourself first?

Setting Boundaries

Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

Another way to practise putting yourself first is in the setting of boundaries and speaking up for yourself. In order to stay with the new vision for your life there will be times when you have to say ‘No,’ which for many of us is the most challenging thing to do, especially with family and friends.

Saying no is simply being assertive, communicating in an assertive way and creating boundaries; which shows others, whether family friends, colleagues etc. the expectations and values you have with regards to how you should be treated or what you expect. This isn’t often thought of as self-care, but it’s the strongest signal you can send yourself of your value and what you deserve.

When you set boundaries or find the courage to say ‘I’m afraid I don’t think it’s possible for me to do that at this time,’ (It may not mean for ever); You’re defending your time and your right to be the one who discerns where your time, attention and energy should be directed.

 Exercise & Diet

Our increasingly sedentary lives or indeed if you’re like me and on your feet all day, can mean our bodies are static for far too long. We all know when we need to exercise, yet all too often we lament that we do not have enough time. The time exists it’s just a matter of making this a priority and it’s the same with our diet.

These are vital self-care practices.

It’s well documented the physical and psychological effects of regular exercise, but don’t panic, start slowly and just do whatever it is once or twice a week, then build up. Just the freedom (especially if you simply go for a walk outdoors) provides a clarity and opening of the lungs that creates a sense of well-being and you feel better able to tackle the day.

Similarly with diet, we’re aware of the changes e need to make, but again here, start slowly…eliminate sugar from every other tea or coffee you have, drink some water before each meal if that’s where you need to improve…eat a plant based diet once or twice a week of you need to reduce meat consumption.

Poor diet leads to poor health and this in turn leads to an impairment of your physical and mental functioning. No realising your vision if you have a foggy brain eh?

There are of course other ways one can exercise self-care and I’ll outline these and their benefits next week. Between these posts, you’ll have a manual for improving how your year takes shape and improving how you think about yourself too.

The upshot is, that self-care is critical in every aspect of our lives if we want our lives to function well. It’s especially crucial if you’re a person wanting to make a change in your life.

Why not let 2020, the start of new decade as well as a new year be the year you focus on YOU.

Make Self-Care your ‘buzz phrase’ and just see what wonderful new and more aligned opportunities show up for you.

Blissings and much love

Pauline Tomlin

(InsightfulAngel)

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