My Self-Care Seven.
If you’d have asked me a few years ago what my needs were, you probably would have been met with a blank stare. I wasn’t particularly unhappy but I also didn’t have a proper handle on what I needed in order to feel good, or how to manage my emotions if I was having a difficult time. My coping mechanisms were primarily drinking wine and online shopping. ‘Having my needs met’ was not part of my vocabulary. I can’t remember ever hearing my mum asking for anything from my dad; this just wasn’t the way that we talked in my family of origin.
I’m pleased to say that following a lot of reading, listening to podcasts and ditching alcohol, I now have a good handle on what I need in order to feel good. These are basic things that cost next to nothing that I do to ensure that I am operating at my best or that I turn to in times of stress or emotional turmoil that help me to move through these periods without self-sabotaging or trying to bury my feelings. These are my self-care seven;
I wrote a whole post on this here, so I won’t go into it again but meditation is a game changer and everyone should be doing it. It creates calm and space where once there was none and I don’t think I could now live without it. The great thing is that it’s free and you can do it anywhere. Even if it’s only for 5 minutes.
There is something about having a long hot shower or a bath with oils, washing your hair, shaving your legs and getting into clean pyjamas and bed linen that just makes me feel relaxed and gives me a micro-boost to my worth.
Getting out in the wild is one of my favourite things. I say ‘wild’ to mean anything outside my front door.. If you’re outside you can find nature. Slowing down to walking pace means you get the chance to take it all in. As long as you have the right clothes on the weather doesn’t matter. I love to get out and feel the air on my face. Walking with podcasts, walking on conference calls, walking with friends. It’s all good.
A little more of a serotonin boost with this one. Long runs in the countryside help me to feel happy. I love the feeling of my muscles having been used and running is part of my holistic approach to exercise. Also good to know that you can keep going for a while if you ever get chased by a bear.
This is my de-stressor when my mind is too busy to meditate. I love the feeling of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) as it means that I’ve worked and I am a lady approaching 40 so it’s good to know that I’ve been working on my bone density. Weights are my first love exercise-wise. Also great for being able to carry the shopping in from the car in one go and move furniture around single handedly.
I like to be alone. Especially if I’m not feeling good. I need the time and space to work through my emotions and because of my make up I can get overloaded quite quickly when in conflict or difficult emotional situations so I need space to process.
This is my creative outlet. My garden is an expression of my self and also ticks the ‘out in the wild’ box. The things that I love most about gardening are that it is a constant reminder that everything changes and that there is always something to look forward to.
Those are the things that I need to do in order to function. What are yours? If you’re happy to share, leave me a comment; I’m interested to hear. If you don’t know yet, spend some time thinking through the things that put you in a state of joy. When do you feel your best? When have you felt most alive, calm, relaxed, connected? Write them down and use them when life throws a curveball in your direction and knocks you off your game. Use them. They will pick you up.