The importance of Self-care for a Healthy Life

I’ve been thinking about my first blog post for a while and trying to decide what I wanted to focus on.  As it is my first post I wanted it to be something that was very important to me and beneficial to all my readers.  I came up with a long list of ideas and self-care is something that really stood out and is obviously really important for EVERYONE!

Self-care is something that we really need to prioritise.  Picture this, you’re a busy mum, loving wife and working part/full-time – it’s so easy to think “I have no free time to look after myself.” You’re always taking care of everyone else’s needs before your own and you probably think that self-care is being selfish.  However, when you’re tired and stressed as a result of putting other people first and in turn neglecting your own needs, this can lead to feeling low/down or worse and something a Mum dreads – getting sick.  That’s something we definitely don’t have time for.  We all know it’s so much harder looking after the family’s needs when all you want to do is crawl into bed.  But this isn’t just the case for Mums, this can apply to anyone with a busy life – self-care is always important!

We should not wait to get sick before we start looking after ourselves.  As busy women whether you are a Mum looking after a family or have a busy work/social life, we just don’t have time to get sick.  We need to prioritise self-care to ensure we look after ourselves more by having some ‘down time,’ eating well, sleeping well and ensure we keep moving.  Self-care and rest is vital for our health and well-being.

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We should all try and set aside some “me time” each and every day, even for just five minutes (I’m sure we all have 5 minutes to spare).  Self-care doesn’t have to be an hour long bath or massage (as good as they are but let’s be honest we don’t have time to do that every day).  We must remember that it doesn’t have to take up too much time or be expensive.  Take some time to think about some activities that you really enjoy and ensure you make time to schedule these into your busy calendar and recognize that you deserve it!  Please see below some of my favourite ways to take care of myself plus a few extra’s that may interest you…..

  • Gentle exercise – walking first thing in the morning before work or if you’re a mum before the kids get up or better yet, get your husband to get the kids up so you can get out in the morning for some gentle exercise and fresh air.
  • Yoga – there are lots of free yoga videos online and dependent on how much time you have you can find 15min or 60min classes. As a mum, I like to do yoga when my daughter is having her nap or if my husband takes her out for some father/daughter bonding.  Or join a Yoga/Pilates studio if you would prefer to get out of the house and need to commit to an exercise session.
  • Meditating – I like to do this first thing in the morning and before I turn the lights out at night. You can do this yourself or use guided meditations.  I’m currently using ‘Headspace’ which has so many meditating options.  Set your alarm 5-10mins earlier and use these extra few minutes to meditate.  Or if you are at work, take yourself away from your desk and into a meeting room.
  • Acupuncture – this is new for me. Something I never really considered but I love it and its so good to help you relax.  Obviously we wouldn’t look at doing this every day/week but it’s a good way to help with any aches and pains and also to help you unwind.
  • Reading – flick through a gossip mag for 10mins or read a book for half an hour. Make sure you put your feet up and depending how long you have, perhaps light some candles and/or make yourself a cup of tea.
  • Massage – again, too expensive to do every day but treat yourself every now and again or buy some massage oils and get your partner to give you a massage.
  • Cooking – not for everyone but I love having some time alone to create recipes – one of my passions. I’m never one to follow a recipe.  I love making refined sugar free treats for myself and the family.  It’s satisfying once you have made a successful, new recipe and if you still have time to spare, sit down with your healthy treat and a nice cup of herbal tea.
  • A bath – a long hot bath isn’t for everyone and I definitely have to be in the mood otherwise I don’t last very long. But I know a lot of women who love to have a long bath, light some candles and read a book.
  • Writing a journal – a nice way to put your thoughts down on paper and you definitely need time out with no distractions to do this.

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Here are a few tips for finding the time for self-care when you have no time:

  • Set your alarm 5-10mins earlier – and go to bed 5-10mins earlier to i.e. allow for some meditation first thing.
  • Schedule “me time” in your calendar and commit to it.
  • Convince your partner to take the kids out so you can have some “alone time.”
  • Disconnect from technology – why scroll through social media for 5-10mins when you could be meditating or reading a book etc?
  • Set a goal and hold yourself accountable

I really hope that this has helped you recognize the importance of self-care, given you some ideas that you can try and in turn look after yourself by putting your needs first.  Remember, self-care is not being selfish and often means we have more to give to others as a result.  It is so important to switch off and prioritse your own needs.

Do something good for yourself, ask yourself each day “what am I going to do for me today?”  Have one moment, one action that’s purely for you.  We deserve it!!

So how will you use this advice to take care of yourself this week / this month, what could you do for yourself  – let me know in the comments below.

Bridge xx

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