As we head into the summer months, excitement is in the air, and many of us are gearing up to celebrate in style as social occasions begin to fill our diaries once again. After a difficult year, it’s tempting to brush aside our past troubles and go full-throttle into having fun – and while there’s no denying that it’s exactly what we deserve to do, it’s still important not to let your self care slide.
For some, taking time out to refill our cups has taken a backseat while we’ve been juggling home work, schooling, and seemingly endless lockdowns – while for others, making themselves a priority has proved to be a crucial coping strategy to get them through challenging times. Whichever of the two you are, it’s never too late to start integrating some self care strategies into your daily routine so that you’re better able to cope with life’s curve balls. Even if things feel easier at the moment, you’ll undoubtedly be faced with obstacles at other points throughout your life and you’ll want to feel better equipped to face them.
So, what exactly is self care? In short, it’s the process of nurturing yourself and your personal needs, giving yourself time to destress, decompress and come back to your true self. Shown to be effective in helping us to cope with anxiety, depression and the general stressors that are a part of life, it’s something everyone can benefit from – and women, who often have the tendency to put their families first and let their own needs suffer, should pay particular attention to ensuring they squeeze some me-time in.
If you’re new to self care, then you’re in the right place – because we’ve compiled some of the top strategies to get you feeling back to your best.
Recognise that self care is not selfish
Essentially, self care is based on the idea of taking care of your physical, emotional, intellectual and physical health. Despite the proven benefits and the fact that self care can act as a preventative to burnout, there is still a stigma around it, with some believing it to be selfish to take time for yourself.
In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup – and self care is of paramount importance if you want to remain on top form for your family and loved ones. So, it’s time to cast aside any doubts and understand that self care isn’t a luxury – in actual fact, it’s essential not just to your wellbeing, but to that of your family, too.
Spend time alone
Spending quality time alone is necessary for you to decompress after a stressful week, and will allow you to rest, refuel and regroup. Allocate a designated time slot each week in which you will take this alone time, and spend it doing whatever you feel will address your current needs. For some, it’s curling up with a self development book or getting lost in a fictional page turner, while for others, it’s enjoying a long, hot bath or meditating.
Nothing is off the table, especially as your needs at any given time depend on which area of your women’s health you feel you need to work on – emotional, physical, mental, or even sexual. Shop for some self care essentials to have on hand when you need them – from face masks to dildos, keep them in a drawer that you can access easily during your scheduled downtime, and do whatever you need to!
Get used to saying no
Are you a people pleaser? Saying ‘yes’ when you’d rather say anything but has become an all too common occurrence for many of us, but could actually be doing more harm to your overall health and wellbeing than you think.
Finding true balance is all about setting boundaries, and understanding when you’re taking on too much, so resolve to practice saying no to the things you don’t want to do or that you simply don’t have the mental capacity for – especially when you’re feeling stressed out or anxious and can sense that you need a break.
It might take some people in your life a little while to get used to it, but ultimately, they will respect you for it.