Time to think of yourself for a moment. Free your mind and the rest will follow.
Because of Corona, a lot of things were on hold. Suddenly everything was quiet, but on the other hand, our heads were very busy. Stress, kids, working from home, husband, staff, ... Our structure was completely changed and the boundary between work and private life became more and more difficult to distinguish. And yes, we did go walking, cycling, running and more walking. But after the umpteenth hike, you've had enough. Your head gets full and you miss being able to look forward to something nice. Something really just for you. Away from all the stress. Because the mental impact is heavier than you think and in the long run it can really affect your work and your marriage.
So in these bizarre corona times, self-care is more important than ever. More and more people are experiencing burn-out, depression or simply a lot of stress. Taking good care of yourself is a must and secretly we all know that. But actually doing it is often difficult. Maybe we set the bar too high... What is the meaning of self-care anyway? How can you do more self-care, even when you're busy? In this self-care blog I share a lot of ways, tips, quotes, apps & book recommendations. Read on!
I always have to be there for everyone
I get no peace in my head
I want to perform
I cannot let go
First the others, then myself
Taking time for myself seems so selfish
Let's get rid of some prejudices:
Self-care is about learning good habits to take good care of yourself (what you do for yourself every day). This is not about self-love, self-love is about loving yourself as you are and accepting yourself (what you think and feel about yourself). Doing enough self-care will also increase self-love and vice versa.
Why is it so important to take care of yourself?
Think of it this way: if an aeroplane crashes, first put on the oxygen cap for yourself and then for your child. You can only take care of someone and radiate positive energy if you take care of yourself first.
More and more people are realising that they can take better care of themselves, and that is a good thing. It makes you more self-assured (if you take good care of your body and mind, you feel good and stronger).
It makes you healthier (stress causes illness and exercise is healthy, some examples of self-care).
It makes you happier (taking good care of yourself = feeling what you need and giving it to yourself).
What are the consequences if you don't do it?
All kinds of ailments in your body, pains
Inflammations of all kinds
Abdominal pain, bad bowel movement
Staying in a bad relationship
Being tired all the time
If you do not listen to your body's signals, your body will make you stop.
REPETITION IS THE BEST TEACHER
Save some nice quotes and read them every morning:
Become a priority in your life (it is your life, so you may be number 1)
You've got to nourish to flourish (you only have something to give, if you have something to give away)
Yes to yourself and no to others! (you can only use your time & energy once)
Selfcare is giving the world the best of you, instead of giving what's left of you (you see, not selfish at all)
SOME WAYS TO TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF
Have I convinced you to take better care of yourself?
OK then, take a pen and paper and write down what you are always putting off doing but what you really want to do. Going mountain biking, beauty care, seeing friends, reading books, wellness,... you name it. Anything that comes to mind, write it down. Then take a calendar and what's app your best friends/partner and plan it. See if there is a babysitter for the kids that day or evening so you can be number one again. Self-care goes beyond planning activities, it's about your body, mind and soul.
SPORT - Do a mini HIIT training or 7 min workout every morning or evening. I often combine this with the kids, on the trampoline with my daughter, playing football with my son, doing abdominal exercises on the mat with the kids, ... Or go for a little walk every evening with a friend or partner. What is also great fun is putting on really loud dance music in the living room on Saturday mornings and going completely crazy with the kids, your husband or all by yourself. Laughter guaranteed! These apps / you tube channels are great fun: Pamela Reif, pilates with Liesbeth Jacobs at Libeau, 7 minute workout, Seven, J&J official 7 min, workout trainer, fitstar sworkit, carrot fit,...
FOOD - You are what you eat, feed your internal engine with the right oil, go for 70% fruit and vegetables, nuts and 30% the rest. And drink lots of water every day! Give your body useful fuel that will increase your energy instead of decreasing it. There are healthy quick bites, believe me we don't have to eat sandwiches with cheese every afternoon 😊. Go for a healthy breakfast with yoghurt, seeds and fruit. Cook a nice big bowl of soup at the weekend so you can eat tasty vegetable soup every day. Get lots of variety in your diet and lots of colour on your plate. You are worth taking the time to prepare something healthy. What I sometimes do, especially in the summer months, is cut up a big bowl of yummy vegetables, mix it with quinoa or pearl couscous so you can take it to work the next day. Book that nice little restaurant that is just a little bit better, and let yourself be pampered. Every year I go to that starred restaurant with my best friend and let them pamper us.
DRINKS - drink a little less coffee, for example only in the morning and then go for green tea or ginger tea, which is much healthier and full of antioxidants.
RELAXATION - read a good book, go to bed early, listen to a nice podcast, do an online yoga or meditation session, take a nice hot bath with all the pearls or get a massage, get a haircut.
WRITE more of what you think and feel, sometimes you don't know what's wrong and just starting to write on a blank page can bring solace.
Write down what you are THANKFUL for every evening
Self-care is about clearing your head once in a while and allowing yourself to feel more than think, we do too much of what we think we should do. Instead of I must, go to I want. The gut feeling tells you more than you think (= take it literally).
CREATIVITY - start with ceramics or painting or drawing or tinkering or brainstorming, making jewellery,...
NATURE - What nature does to you, nothing or nobody else can do. Go for a long walk in the Ardennes, by the sea or close to home, after two hours of walking so many happiness substances are released and you can almost put everything back into perspective.
Book that beautiful trip you've been wanting to take for so long. Why wait?
Stop suppressing emotions, laughing them off or posting them. Take on those traumas and start processing them. Everything that is repressed and stuck in your soul makes life more unbearable than it is. At times, these things keep popping up and causing all kinds of ailments, frustrations and deep sadness. Seek help for this as well, for you cannot do this alone. Forgiveness is not for the other person but for yourself.
Get out of a bad love relationship with someone who constantly makes you feel bad energetically. You know procrastination, unfortunately we often postpone the most important things because the decision has a heavy impact. And yet, that tough decision can be the most important step in self-care and self-love.
Say more 'no' to others and 'yes' to yourself. Dare to say no and don't count yourself out so much. Assertiveness and authenticity set you free.
Change jobs. If you have the feeling that you have to drag yourself to work, that you ask yourself every day, "What am I actually doing here? Or if you are in a job that frustrates you endlessly, then just leave. Choose something else and have the guts for it. Very often you destroy other relationships because you are constantly complaining about your work. Others are going to find it irritating that you don't do anything about it. Either you change your mindset or you leave. But don't get stuck in something that brings you down.
Clean up: minimalism really is a form of self-care
Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Do you know those 'friends' who actually suck you dry, "the energy vampires"? Finally make the decision to end this relationship. Friendships come in good and bad days, not just the good and not just the bad, both are the perfect combo. Make a list of real friends who give you energy and send them a message expressing your gratitude for the years of friendship together.
Get to know a stranger. New people give new energy.
Social media detox: not on your phone during the weekend and focus on the really important things
Plan 1 day of NOTHING in your agenda and then feel what you need at that moment and do that!
Where one person finds peace by exercising, another finds it by meditating. That's why it's good to try things out and see what they do to you.
Does it give you pleasure or satisfaction? Does it give you energy or inner peace? Then you are in the right place.
THIS IS NOT WHAT I CALL SELF-CARE
Being on your phone all day: this seems relaxing, but it costs you energy and it lowers your self-esteem
Watching TV every day: this seems chill, but what remains of it the day after, what positive energy does it really give you. Once in a while it is wonderful, but keep it to once in a while. A good book, brings more creativity and imagination.
Emo food, or a lot of processed prepared food... or junk food. You drink to relax, why do you run away from it?
Overloaded agenda gives stress
Too much exertion (sport) also causes a stress reaction, learn to relax
BUT I DON'T HAVE TIME... 6 SELF-CARE TIPS TO BUILD IT IN
If there's one thing I hear often, it's that many people feel they don't have or make time for self-care. Everyone else comes first. And they forget about their self.
It really is possible to build it in, even if you are busy. Here are some tips:
Make a list of things you really want to do for yourself or change. Start today, now, instead of tomorrow. You have your life and your freedom. Guard it at all times.
New routines take time, do it at least 90 days to make it a new habit.
First of all, make the conscious choice to make more time for yourself from now on.
Then set priorities: what do you really need to do today and what can wait?
Know that it doesn't have to take long. Even getting up 7 minutes earlier for your workout will help.
Does your agenda fill up quickly? Just schedule half an hour of me-time and stick to it. Never let your work precede your me-time moment.
Ask yourself the question when I am lying on my deathbed, what would I regret that I did not do something? List this and plan it. Preferably now rather than never.
Really never have time? Keep track of what takes up your time for one week and see what it brings in. Can you delete some?
Make it a morning or evening routine, so it becomes a habit in your system.
I'm guessing that with the above ways and tips, you can make a great start to taking (even) better care of yourself.
As I mentioned above, the 'how' will be different for everyone. But look consciously at what makes you feel good and what doesn't. I would like to hear your reaction. I'm curious to hear your reaction, feel free to share your opinion or ideas about this.
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Personal development and business coach