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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