We hear lots about it these days. I know my social media feeds have self-care related posts sprinkled throughout my feeds almost daily. It comes up in groups I’m in, pages I follow, magazines I read and even in discussions at work.
Self Love is asking yourself what you need – every day – and then making sure you receive it. – Christine Arylo
But do I do enough of it? Do we all do enough of it?
Probably not. Well, at least I know I don’t. I’ve had to take a bit of a break from my blog over the last few weeks, and things have been pretty stressful for me. It has made me think more and more about how much I take care of myself, and what I do to recharge. Where do I see my own emotional well-being in the grand scheme of things? Too low down most of the time.
Of course, this has come naturally. Being a wife, a mum, a friend, working , volunteering, managing the house and life in general has meant that thinking about me generally doesn’t happen as often as it should do. It’s the same for most of us I imagine. Life has this thing of getting in the way alot of the time!
In amongst lots of stress at work, finding a new job, preparing little G for school, and dealing with some home issues, I realised that I wasn’t being the best mum/wife/friend I could be. And that was partly because I was forgetting about looking after me. It’s true that you can’t pour from an empty cup. So I took a step back, and thought a bit about the things I would like to do that were for me. That would help fill that cup back up.
Here are some of those things:
Journalling and Planning
Earlier this year, I started bullet journalling. I had high hopes of being able to plan my life, and use my bullet journal as a bit of a creative outlet. I loved doing it, setting it up, making it look pretty. But by February I had stopped. Recently, I’ve started it again – but this time, it is alot more “functional” and I don’t beat myself up if my spread isn’t as pretty as my earlier ones, or if I miss a week because, well…life! During the few months where I didn’t journal, I missed it. I wanted to do it. But I realised I was putting too much pressure on myself to make it look perfect, rather than using it as it was intended – to help me plan.
I’d love to have the time to be able to make it instagram-perfect, but right now I know that it won’t be, and that’s OK. It’s helping with the stresses of work, and I’m sure it will also get a whole new makeover when I start my new job next month. But first and foremost, the journal is for me, and whatever I need it to be.
This is definitely the one thing that I know will top up my self-care cup! Crafting is my absolute passion (well, besides my family of course!!) and it 100% takes my mind of any worries. Over the last few weeks, I have neglected my crafts and I know my emotional well-being has suffered because of it. This week, I’ve picked my crochet back up again, and made progress on a blanket I started back in May. It’s a simple granny square blanket, so I don’t have to focus too much on it, as the pattern is repetitive. I also love the colours, it reminds me of neapolitan ice cream and childhood fun.
I recommend crafting to anyone that wants to do something to escape from the world for a little bit. I learned to crochet about a year ago, following Youtube, and I love it! It’s cheap and easy to start up (although be prepared to become obsessed with yarns and patterns!). There is nothing more relaxing than sitting in the garden crocheting on a Summer day.
As a child, my parents always called me a bookworm. I loved to read and usually could be found “with my head in a book” as my Dad would say. As an adult, I read less that I would like, although I have started to make a point of picking up books more. I’ve signed up at my local library, and try to visit often. In the last few weeks alone, I have read two books and starting on my third.
I’ve joined social media groups to help find books I might enjoy, and I am making use of GoodReads – this is a fab site for checking out books in different genres, and keeping a list of books you want to read, have read etc. I started a challenge to read 10 books in 2018. I’ve now ticked off 2 of those 🙂 I try to read a bit each night before bed. Which makes me feel better straight away as I’m not spending that time aimlessly scrolling through social media!
I also plan on posting some book reviews on my blog soon – so keep an eye out for those!
Positive Thinking and Affirmations
I spend my working days with counsellors and therapists, and this comes up a lot. When preparing their training materials, I’ve noticed they place a lot of emphasis on how we think about ourselves. Sometimes just reading a quote or a meme that you can relate to at that moment, or something that can help you think a bit differently, can really help. I love quotes. I’ve started keeping a note of quotes in my journal, and also made a positive thinking Pinterest board with quotes, memes and ideas to help me think positively, or to think about me and make some time for my self-care.
I’m planning to also try and use them in a crafty way and make some home-decor with some of these quotes on. Perhaps some cross- stitch, or a print for my desk.
These are just some of the ways that I am trying to practice more self care. There are plenty of other, really straightforward ideas and I am going to plan to do a blog post of some of my favourite, simple, 5 minute self-care ideas very soon. What I need to do first, is do them myself. To take care of me, and take some time for me.
Because, do I do enough self-care? Absolutely not! And it is something I want to get better at.