Beyond the Bubble Bath

Unlock Your Wellbeing Blog

Beyond the Bubble Bath

The Basics – 10 ways to REAL self-care

In my course about Self-Compassion, we look at self-care.  Many people think that it means pampering and self-indulgence of some kind.  I am about to disappoint you. REAL self-care is none of those things – it is the hard, facing up to what you REALLY need to do – so it is going for a gym session when you are tired and want to collapse on the sofa. It is saying no to foods that are not going to NOURISH you, it is ring fencing your sleep so that you get quality RESTORATIVE sleep,
It might sound very unglamorous, challenging and tough – it is. Because real self-care means doing the RIGHT thing, not the EASY thing. Sorry!  But you will thank me when you get the rewards that will come your way from taking charge of your life.

  1. Move – Your mind as well as your body get a mood-boosting workout from physical activity. It releases feelgood endorphins and serotonin, reduces stress hormones and aids relaxation. Lots of small daily movements count so create reasons to move – go upstairs, put things at a distance so you have to get up. Great at home session on YouTube.
  2. Sleep – so VERY important for our wellbeing. One of the simplest (but also hardest) thing to do is go to bed and get up at the same time every day – for example bed at 10.30, up at 7.30. Every day including weekend. No daytime napping. Stop the box sets that keep you from sleeping (and no TV in the bedroom). And no doom scrolling, or any other screens for an hour before bedtime.  Difficulties sleeping? Sleep Hygiene can really help – attend a course with us – contact us for details.
  3. Spend time in Nature – feel the weather whatever it is. Wrap up warm and feel the wind, rain, snow as well as the sun, etc. Walk in nature – by trees, greenery of some kind and by lakes, rivers, sea. Notice the changing seasons and the delights of each one – just now the spring flowers are preparing for a riot of springtime colour.
  4. Eat well – That means reducing the number of processed foods you eat, reducing sugar and salt and fried foods as well as reducing caffeine after 2pm. Learn how to prepare good food that you are going to put into your body – lots of fruit and vegetables, eat a rainbow of different coloured foods. Make a wise decision to care for your body by giving it the foods it NEEDS.
  5. Connect – avoid loneliness and isolation. Covid left us all rather isolated and many people are still struggling to get back to pre-covid activities. Put the effort in to maintaining your inner circle and check in with people you’ve drifted from and wish to reconnect to. Tend your friends like you would a garden, give them the attention they need, don’t neglect them And even plant seeds of NEW friends for the future
  6. Cut down on Social Media – yes it can be great to connect with people, but heavy social media use has been shown to negatively impact our mental health, increasing risks of depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. Deliberately do things that bring you joy – leaving your phone in another room, turned off, silent.  Those “pings” can be hard to ignore – so only have notifications for important messages, and consider turning all other ones off.
  7. Be kind to others – this might be by giving people compliments, really listening to them, volunteering, acts of kindness, biting your tongue, offering help, including them in gatherings, spending time with them. Doing good does YOU good too.
  8. Understand your emotions – be curious about them, name them, accept them without judgement, rather than ignoring or being ashamed of them. Some emotions really hurt and if we don’t know any better, can lead us to behave in unhelpful ways, such as drinking, eating, fighting, etc. Learn how to deal with those difficult emotions – try our Emotional First Aid course.  Therapy can help us to discover why we do things that are unhelpful and find new ways to think/behave.
  9. Find your Tribe – get people around you who support you, help you grow. We all want to belong, to feel safe and secure. When we feel accepted it increases our self-confidence and makes us feel valued and validated. How? – get involved with a club or group activity that interests you. Where are your like-minded souls likely to be? Go there and find them.
  10. Be Creative and Curious – a curious mindset is a superpower against anxiety, it reduces stress and helps us cope better with uncertainty. Get lost in your curiosity – which could be many things – from learning a language, to creating your family tree and everything else too.  This is your life – don’t get to the end of your life and realise you forgot to live! Being creative, achieving goals, learning something new all delivers a dopamine boost.  Having things to look forward too also boosts our wellbeing – plan things, put good things in your diary, even small things
Start doing what’s right, even if it’s not the easiest option.

Remember: –

  • Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
  • Just because it’s easy, doesn’t mean it’s worth your while.
  • Do what’s right, not what’s easiest right now. It’s a less stressful way to live in the long run.

See our next Blog – Self-Care Part 2 for more ways to help you make your life better – yes, some more tricky things you need to do for added peace of mind.

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