Self-love or self-care is a popular term at the moment. But it’s not all facemasks and candle-lit baths. Here is what self-care is actually about.
What Is Self-Love?
Self-care is all about looking after yourself and learning to prioritise your needs. It is too easy to get caught up in the hamster wheel of work, friends, family, partners and realise you have not stopped and taken care of yourself in a while. Because the definition of looking after yourself is so broad, many types of care can fall under this category. It can take the form of slowing down and taking time to relax (face masks and candle-lit baths) or securing your future through retirement planning or end of life planning. Read on to learn how to practice self-care.
How Can I Practice Self-Love
The essence of self-love and self-care is making time for you. It is scheduling time for things that are important to you or improve your life. It is also about creating an environment where you will flourish. Here are some ways you can practice self-love.
Scheduling Unwind Time
Life is stressful, and you need time to relax and unwind. Ideally, you should schedule some unwind time every day, but you can also schedule a big chunk of unwinding time once a week. What you do with this time is up to you. You can do facemasks and painting your nails if that is what helps you relax. You could meditate or do yoga or just put your favourite music through noise-cancelling headphones and take 10 minutes to shut out the world. This is your time to disconnect from the noise and chaos of the world and calm yourself.
Taking Care of Your Health
Your health should be a huge priority and something that you safeguard. When your health starts to deteriorate, the rest of your life starts to crumble a little too. You do not need to eat clean 100% of the time and always get 8 hours of sleep, but you should aim to make healthy decisions most of the time. Eat mostly healthy, get 8 hours sleep most nights, do some sort of movement every day, drink plenty of water most days. You should also get regular check-ups with health professionals in order to catch any health conditions early and try to reduce your stress.
Managing Your Time
Time management is one of our favourite self-love tools. We don’t mean packing your day down to ten-minute increments; we just mean scheduling your day in a way that works best for you and not overbooking your calendar. As much as many of us would like to believe differently, we cannot be in multiple places at once and cannot work uninterrupted for 8 hours straight. Be kind to yourself and realistic about your time. Feeling overwhelmed is a huge reason for procrastination.
Creating a Pleasant Environment
Your physical environment can impact your mental health. It is easy to feel stressed and overwhelmed if you look around yourself and see things that need to be done. Make sure your space is clean, tidy, and organised in order to improve your mood and productivity. Spend 5-10 minutes every evening doing a “reset” where you return your environment to its tidy state. Put away things you used in the day and wipe down any surfaces that got messy.
Being in a space you love can also have a huge impact on mood and productivity. Having artwork or plants can give your space a boost to turn it into someone you genuinely love to be.
Surrounding Yourself With Good People
The people you have in your life have more influence than you know. If you surround yourself with positive, supportive, and successful people, you will subconsciously take on more of those traits. If you surround yourself with negative people who complain and treat other people poorly, you will take on more of those traits. So, surround yourself with people who support you, care about you, and who you admire. Relationships should be a two-way street, and you should, on average, get as much support as you give.
Plan For Your Future
Looking after yourself includes looking out for future you. No matter what age you are, you should put some time aside to do:
- Retirement planning
- End of life planning
- Take out insurance policies
These do not need to be mammoth tasks. Put aside an hour or two one weekends a month to tackle one piece at a time. Having these tasks handled will mean a lot less stress for you and peace of mind that future you is taken care of.
Setting aside regular time to do hobbies that you love is a huge aspect of self-care. It is really easy to feel burnt out and unmotivated when you feel like all you do is work, eat, and sleep. Spending time on hobbies and things you enjoy can help you get back your joie de vivre. It doesn’t matter if you are out doing classes and group activities or staying at home knitting, do something that is just for you.
Working on Goals
Goal setting, when done correctly, is a form of self-love. It is a sort of contract to improve your life and get you a step closer to your aspirations and what you value. When you work on your goals on a regular basis, you are prioritising the things that are important to you and working towards being the best version of yourself. Break your goals down into bite-sized pieces so you can work towards them on a regular basis.