Self Care Rules 101

Updated: Mar 18, 2021




Lets talk about Self Care!


I want to address this because even I have had to re-address my self care and the rules that I use for myself. The last year has admittedly been a tough one for us all and even some of the most efficient people I know are struggling with self care at this time.


So lets clarify, the definition of self care varies from industry to industry, but for me, the underlying principle of self care is to intentionally engage in activities that improve my overall wellness and being. It involves my whole person and the extensions of me such as my spirit, my environment and the people in my life.


This can be a range of things that are personal to me that bring me happiness, joy, comfort and love such as sea salt baths, singing along to my favourite music, watching some big-belly-laughter comedy shows and having some treats.


Self care can also mean that I explore the darker side of myself such as the things that make me scared, the unresolved traumas from my past and what triggers my heightened emotions that I am presently working on.


I engage in shadow work to address the parts of me that I want to improve by practicing to cultivate a more loving and wholesome relationship with myself - this is important in optimising my overall wellness and being.


That includes exploring the justifications I make for having the things, being in places, being involved or making choices that I know that I shouldn't have as well.


My lightbulb moment was realising that self care is giving myself what I need in that moment, for the betterment of myself




Many people have had to adjust or even dramatically shift their usual means of self care because the usual options of leisurely activities such as spas, restaurants, night clubs, gyms and many places of worship are currently revolving doors or cease to exist.


Even some of the simple self care habits have been tough to maintain. I talk to the people around me, friends, colleagues, and people on social media, everyone is feeling burnt out, even while trying to maintain their self care.


Falling in and out of sync with things that makes them feel good, again myself included. Even some of the most grounded and centered individuals I know are struggling to manage, let alone optimise their overall wellbeing.


What ever circumstances you have endured personally, be it job loss, bereavement, sickness or struggling with balancing homeschooling with remote working


Self care can often go right out of the window and we don't even realise it until we feel run down!

Despite the years that I have engaged in self care practices, I realised that I needed a set of rules that I can refer back to, when I am practicing self care well, but also when I am not attending to my needs at all.


These are a set of 8 rules that can help to improve and maintain a good momentum of self care, whatever activity you engage in to attend to your needs.



 

You can listen to an audio version of this blog here



 


1. Be patient with yourself


Patience is such an important factor when embarking on a journey of self care. There will be some promises we break to ourselves, some tasks that we fail to fulfil and more time, we fall back into old habits as a default.


It can be frustrating, feeling as though we have let ourselves down. Be patient with the pace of your unlearning. You are going through a process of learning to recognise when you are in need of due care, attention and affection.





You are training yourself to stop and attend to your needs, which I find is more difficult when you are stressed.


Self care can be easy when you are in a good place mentally and emotionally, but you are also learning how to confirm that you deserve this treatment even when you are not at your best.


Be patient with yourself while you are re-learning how to pay attention to your mind, body and soul.


 


2. Allocate time for your self care tasks



Simply put, schedule a meeting with yourself! Make the intentional time, as you would for a work meeting, to attend to your self care needs. You are the only person who is able to carve out and allocate yourself the time to do something uplifting and nourishing just for you.



We can all make excuses

Push that well needed break to the side while immersed in day to day or work life activities - telling ourselves "if we can just make it to the end of the day" and even then spend evenings attending to the needs of our family, doing house work, updating ourselves on the missed social media from the day and so much more.


It may seem like you do everything you are doing, but eventually that energizer bunny moment ends and you will need to recharge.


Rather than running on empty until you burn out, I try to secure small pockets of time throughout the day, every day, just for me.


Put it in your calendar, set a reminder, out it on a post-it note. It is imperative that you do this. When you are at risk of damaging your wellbeing, you either have the intentional choice to take the time out or your health will make the decision for you.



 


3. Speak and act in kindness



The way you speak to yourself kind of determines the likelihood of you engaging in any self care practices, so it goes hand in hand with act in kindness too. Being kind involves an element of consideration, gentleness, empathy and care.


Speaking and acting in a kind manner is treating yourself like you would a friend, someone whom you cared deeply for and wanted nothing but abundance for them.


Treat yourself like your best friend not your worse enemy

Monitor your thoughts and speech, ensuring you attempt to filter out the negativity. We can be our own biggest critic at the best of times, learning to be compassionate, tender and patient with ourselves are also elements of kindness that are required throughout any self care practice you decide to engage in.


Personally, I think it is of most importance to emphasise that kindness needs to become a state of being. One way I find helpful is to talk to yourself as you are talking to your inner child, the 5 year old version of yourself.


This may help you to let go of the frustrations, expectations, anger or guilt you may feel when trying to develop a self care practice - remembering that we all have an inner child that needs loving guidance while we are learning. Remember to be kind to yourself