Oh the timing....
It’s been a while since my last post, over two months in fact. An old back injury re-surfaced, forcing me to take time out this summer to recover and really practise the self-care I am about to preach.
Once I got over my initial frustrations and upset at having my back give out on me again, I realised that this was a message to really take care of my well-being; properly this time.
Quite brilliant timing considering this post was always going to be about self-care.
I was literally knocked down to test everything I had learnt over the years
…and in turn sharing it with you. Dr. Edward Bach frequently came to mind during this time. Dr. Bach would often suffer the emotional state he was working to heal and his personal struggle and sacrifice culminated in the world-renowned holistic system most of us are familiar with today – Bach Flower Remedies.
In my “Living inside-out” post I write about seven things that you can do to increase the love you feel for who you are. This post addresses the seventh item on that list – the importance of taking care of yourself.
Now I don’t just mean giving yourself a bear hug now and again, with a feeble pat-on-the-back for special occasions when you “did good”.
I am talking about an all-out “I am going to put myself first” approach, where you build in some time for your well-being EVERY DAY.
Yes, every day.
I was cheating with this and my back has always been the one area in my body that will let me know when I am not taking care of myself.
In the past, I would give myself Reiki, take some painkillers, visit the Osteopath, do a few prescribed exercises and then carry on as before until the next spasm.
This time I did all the above but instead of carrying on as I did before, I looked back at my daily routine and committed to make some changes. Changes that I knew held great benefit but I hadn’t incorporated into my daily routine for one reason or another.
As Pema Chödrön says
“When you have made good friends with yourself, your situation will be more friendly too”.
So I vowed to do just this. Make good friends with myself. That means I have to make self-care a priority every day.
Below is a list of my most important self-care techniques. I have split this into ‘Evening’ and ‘Morning’. I have found greater benefit in how I feel during the day if I practise these techniques during these specific times.
However, if there are different times of the day that work better for you, then just go with your preference.
Please keep in mind that I didn’t start doing all of these things in one go. I started one thing, did it for a while to see if it had any benefit to me and then made it part of my daily routine.
I then gradually introduced something else until it built up to the list you see below.
This is particularly important if you are a parent/carer and suddenly find you have little time on your own and a time limit on absolutely everything else. Just pick one item from the list (or try something that resonates with you) and try doing it consistently for a couple of weeks before you introduce anything else.
Seena's Self-Care Practice
Meditation & Breathing
Feel-good musicThe first thing I do when I come downstairs to prepare breakfast, is to play my favourite music so that the sound fills the house. I play mantra music because it always makes me feel really good, it’s believed to carry powerful healing vibrations and I’ve grown up with it so it’s familiar to me. But it really doesn’t matter what you play, it’s how the music makes you feel which is key. Think uplifting, invincible, joyful and you can’t go wrong. You don’t even have to understand the words, as long as you feel good, then just go ahead and play it.
Do something you loveIt doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. You may have always loved to paint. Commit one of those TV free evenings to do a little painting. Or you may (like me) love to dance. Find out about some dance groups in your area. Or you may have always wanted to build, make, try something. Learn a language? The list can be endless. What isn’t endless is your time here on Earth. So why wait?Obviously there will be days that you fall out of routine for one reason or another. It doesn’t matter. Once you get into the flow of your own personal self-care routine, you will naturally find that you want to keep doing it and it becomes as familiar to you as brushing your teeth.
You will be forgiven for thinking I am a pretty mellow, sombre person after reading the aboveThe opposite is in fact true. I love dancing and partying (yes with a few drinks) and I can be a little OTT when I get going. You will find me whinin’ on the dance floor to Drake or Sean Paul or popping my stuff when an old skool garage track blasts out of the speakers. I laugh really, really hard (and sometimes snort) at the rudest of jokes. I occasionally swear, have a penchant for shopping and I’m not a vegetarian.I tell you this because my deepest desire is for self-care to become completely natural to all of us (in particular to the next generation) regardless of the kind of person you are.
Monday to Thursday; TV-free evenings
Yep, I started with a tough one. I can hear some of you saying “whaaaaaaaaat, girl you crazy“. Trust me, I find this one difficult sometimes too. Especially with the new BBC Bodyguard series gracing our screens. There are also days when the kids are in bed and I want to do nothing but just flop down on the sofa and watch some crap.
But I don’t.
The Right Stuff?
You don’t need to fit a certain mould.
You don’t need to be an Om chanting, serene person.
You don’t need to be religious in any way.