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Self Care Week 2018: What questions are you asking yourself?

Self Care Week 2018: What questions are you asking yourself? 

 

Of all of life's priorities, self care is the easiest to address, right?

Don't worry, I imagine that the vast majority of people also answered the same way that you did!

One of the challenges that we all face is that it can be difficult to focus on self due to our innate need to connect with others and to help, nurture and care. And for many, there are other people that rely on us to do this, whether that be in a work, social or family environment. It can become the default position to put others first (more information and discussion on this is available in the psychology sessions in some of the NowCounselling courses).

As ever, starting with self awareness we can change this default with positive action. If we can get beyond that part of the challenge, we are then able to acknowledge that rather than being an addition to everyday life, self care can be the crucial foundation to everything that we do, all of the time. The final step is then to prioritise planning some self care in to your day.

But we need not be overwhelmed by this.

For some it is more manageable than for others, depending largely on life circumstances, but it is always possible to do something. And the more difficult it feels to fit something in, the more important it is to make time to do it!

Largely, what you choose to do is very much down to individual preference, as is the variety and the regularity. It is all about what works for you. As long as it covers one or more of the areas mentioned below then it will not only feel beneficial, but it truly will be for your mind and for your body, which I believe are inextricably connected. Your self care action will help you to regulate your emotions and replenish your energy levels.

Nutrition, hydration, sleep, relaxation (including meditation and mindfulness), exercise, connected relationships, fun - and particularly laughter.

The need to satisfy some of these areas every day is non negotiable, they simply have to be addressed sooner or later, whereas others do not seem to be as urgent. Not devoting time to connecting with others, laughing and enjoying your favourite activity (from running, cycling or walking to learning, reading or playing) may not harm your health and wellbeing as immediately as a lack of adequate hydration or food, but the longer term impacts will be just as severe.

One of the my favourite self care activities is going to my local boxing gym. It provides an opportunity for an intensive workout for body and mind, working and learning whilst also connecting with friends and having fun. I not only notice the impact on my health and wellbeing shortly afterwards but over the following day, as long as I also fit in enough sleeping, eating and drinking of course!

These basic foundations should not be taken for granted either, life circumstances can complicate these areas but effort to make sure they are addressed adequately is never effort wasted. Notice the difference after a few nights of quality sleep or after quickly drinking 250ml of water at the water fountain, tap outside, at home or at work. Not all areas of self care are as straightforward to address as drinking water, but all are equally important to long term health and wellbeing.

So, how much have you drunk so far today?

Why not let that question be one that you ask yourself regularly. A question that not only prompts an answer but also becomes a prelude to further questions on your own daily self care checklist? Others for me are when will I next make time for a visit to my boxing gym, a run, a read, to cook a new recipe, watch a movie with my partner or think about travelling to a new place?
The key thing with self care is that the questions and the answers have to be uniquely yours. One by one, answer your questions with positive actions and before long your answer to the question that I asked at the start of this article will be very different. As will your overall health and wellbeing.

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For more information, discussion, advice and tips on self care for you, your team or your group then please see the current list of training courses available on this website. Courses can also be designed specifically to suit your needs and individual coaching and counselling is also available which can cover any or all aspects of health and wellbeing depending on your needs.