When we think of self-care, we typically think of those instagram worthy moments.
The bubble bath filled to the top with bubbles and candles burning gently in the background.
The hygge moment of candles and blankets whilst reading a book in front of the fire.
While those moments are self care, and we need lots of those moments to make us feel good and to help reduce stress – true self care is doing things that will help you live a life that you love.
And often times, those things can be quite uncomfortable or difficult and might not always leave you feeling calm and happy in the moment – but your future self will thank you for them.
I’m talking about things like working out what is causing you stress and actually doing things about them.
For example, if money is something that causes you stress – sitting down and making a plan or having a discussion with your partner about it probably won’t feel good in the moment, but it will give you a sense of empowerment feeling like you have control over your money and it will reduce stress over the long term.
It’s not fun and it’s not pretty – and you might even get upset – but it is so worth it.
Doing things for your future self
Think of the things that stress you out the most.
Maybe it is money or debt. Maybe keeping up with your home. Maybe it’s the rush of getting ready for the morning school run.
Whatever that thing is – make a plan for how you can make that thing better.
Sit down and have an honest conversation with your partner about money or sit down and make a budget.
Sit down and make a plan of what things you can do the night before that will make those school mornings just a little bit easier.
Go on Pinterest and have a look for cleaning routines and then actually make a plan of how that is going to work in your home with your life.
Whatever it is that stresses you out – make a plan and take action on it because your future self will thankyou for it.
Imagine yourself three months from now, when that thing that is stressing you out is under control or you are working towards eliminating it as a stressor in your life completely – imagine how amazing that would feel.
That is true self care.
Learn to say no.
Saying no can be uncomfortable.
If you are a people-pleaser then ‘uncomfortable’ might be the understatement of the century.
You need to know what is important to you and what your values are.
Your values are the things that can help you guide your life to what you want it to look like and that makes it easier to say no to anything that isn’t that.
For example, if one of your values is that you want to spent a lot of time with family – then somebody asks you to do something that is going to be taking up a lot of your time it will be easy to say no to that thing because you know that it does not align with your values.
Spending time with your family is more important than spending less time with your family doing something you don’t even want to do.
Get clear on what your values are and it will make it so much easier to say no to the things that do not align – Check out this post to learn more about values.
Set some boundaries
Boundary setting can be another uncomfortable one.
It can be another way of saying no.
The important thing about boundaries is that it allows you to have a better relationship with people. If someone does something and you don’t feel comfortable saying no then it is going to keep annoying you until it becomes a problem you can’t ignore – which could mean an argument or an uncomfortable situation.
Setting boundaries is a way of drawing an imaginary line whilst also making it clear that that is your line.
Examples might be:
‘I am happy for you to call in, but can you please call first’
‘In the evenings I spend time with my husband and kids so I wont be answering your messages then’
‘I don’t check work emails after 6pm’
‘If you phone me and I am busy I won’t answer but I will phone you back as soon as I can’.
Make your boundary and stick to it.
It may be an uncomfortable conversation – but protecting your peace makes it worth it.
Creating a life that you love
What do you want your life to look like? What would your ideal day look like?
If you aren’t dreaming up these things you need to be!
Work out what you would like your life to look like and make a plan on how you want to get there are then every day turn up and do the things that are going to let you live the life you want to be living.
Do it step by step, set a goal, work out what habits you need to implement to get there – and then work on that every single day.
Self care is creating a life that you don’t want to escape from.
So what is stopping you?