Having written about the need to be kind to others, I thought a companion post about being kind to ourselves was in order. To be able to look after others properly, it's important to look after ourselves physically and emotionally. It also helps us set standards for the way we want to be treated by others.
It's not always easy, especially if you've got lots going on. But it's a good habit to get into. It won't make problems and issues go away, but may make them easier to deal with.
Self-care looks different to everyone. For some, it's taking time away from devices. For others, it's a moment to themselves without the children in a coffee shop. For another person, it'll be getting outside.
Here's some ideas:
- A good night's sleep - an early night. Things usually look better in the morning.
- Making sure you drink enough water. When I get dehydrated I feel tired and cranky. A cup of tea and coffee are also comforting.
- Eating right. Filling up on nutritious stuff always makes me feel better and more energised. But a little cake or chocolate are also good.
- Having a wash may seem a bit basic, but it's tempting to stay in my PJ's and comfy sweatshirt for most of the day. Having a shower, putting on some clean clothes and a bit of make-up makes me feel better. It also avoids that moment when you realise that the smell isn't the cat's litter tray.
- Distraction. With a good book, a game, a film or an episode of a favourite TV show. Or a good tidy. Or putting some music on and dancing like nobody's watching. Going to find or make some fun. Whilst you're doing that, you're not worrying about that annoying piece of work or the huge list of chores.
- Simple pampering things like having a bath or a shower or doing a face mask.
- Treating yourself is a more controversial method of self-care as spending money to make yourself better can lead to other problems. But a small treat that's within the budget, that's okay.
- Getting outside in the fresh air, going for a walk or just standing in a field watching the sky is great. Other people go running in the fields or to the gym down the road. Bringing the outside in by buying some flowers or a plant. (I kill plants, but flowers are cool).
- Cooking really relaxes me. It's great to try out new recipes or new techniques.
- Calling a friend or a family member.
- Planning something to look forward too. I always find it helpful to have something to do and somewhere to go. Even if I decide not to.
- Writing down a list of things you love or are thankful for.
- Be kind to yourself. Instead of telling yourself that you're not that good, try praising yourself for who you are and what you do well.
- While being selfish in all areas of life isn't good, sometimes, doing things because youI want to - or not doing them because you don't - is okay sometimes.