Self-care 101: what not to do

By September 23, 2015 Blog
September 23, 2015 Blog

Hello again from the Island of the Gods! Sitting at my desk in Bali again after a whirlwind trip to Europe. It’s been so nice to see much loved and missed friends and family again, and I realise how lucky we are to be able to come back to a warm nest. Having said that, I have definitely learned a few lessons on the art of traveling back home – or rather what not to do.

Firstly, thinking it was possible to continue working while traveling through Europe and seeing as many friends and family as possible was a stretch – by far. The result: feeling slightly overstretched on all fronts and not feeling like I did either half-decent. Secondly, do not underestimate the effects of jetlag and travel. Sheer exhaustion due to lack of sleep has the ability to turn me into a soppy cow or raging madwoman in approximately 5 seconds, rendering rendezvous with loved ones into potential disaster zones. Thirdly, wanting or daring to say no to yet another coffee, lunch or dinner is a must – yet I’m not very good at it. Quality over quantity is perhaps the motto in future. And last but not least, my so important self-care went out of the window faster than a Formula 1 race car on the track. The result: a brilliant mix of tiredness, irritability, and stress.

Well, this all sounds fun no?

It’s really not that bad, but I can tell that I’ve pushed a little harder than I should have, stretched a little more than I really can, and have generally not listened to my body. It has made me realise all the more, how important my self-care routines are and that rain or shine, these need to take priority over anything – so I can be the best version of myself each and every day. Not the soppy cow version.

So what is self-care?

Different sizes fit different people, but for me it’s a set of daily routines that set me up in the best way possible physically, mentally and spiritually so that I feel my very best and can do my very best work. It means taking out essential time each and every day so that I’m well nourished, have exercised and that my mind and spirit are open and balanced to take on the day. Good food, plenty of rest and exercise are musts, and my self-care practice usually includes a morning routine that includes some of the following:

  • Waking up early and setting my intentions for the day. Now granted, bouncing out of bed is a little easier in sunny Bali, but waking up early and creating that sacred stillness of time to start off the day is really important.
  • A 15-20-minute meditation. For me, there’s nothing better than to sit and check in with myself and see what I really need that day. Personally I really enjoy doing the guided meditations led by Tara Brach (website or check out her podcast on Itunes), but there’s a wealth of techniques and teachers out there, go and check it out. There are so many benefits to a regular meditation practice, ranging from decreasing stress and anxiety levels, increasing focus and attention, increasing creativity levels, boosting your immune function, and increasing wisdom and giving extra perspective. In health terms, this is great Return on Investment.
  • Getting my gratitude on. Write down or shout out loud at least 3 things you are grateful for. It’s deceivingly simple, but it really helps you to (re)focus on the positive and makes you aware of all the good stuff happening in life!
  • Journalling. Just spending some time getting my thoughts and feelings on paper gets things out of my system and actually helps me think through stuff. Again, there’s no need to sit for hours, but just spending 15 minutes with a piece of paper and a pen can really help you to process and inspire some creativity.
  • Last but not least, my green smoothie: oh how I’ve missed you, you green wonder. So it took a little while to get used to the colour, but the taste is awesome and there’s just something about knowing that you’re putting a load of healthy nutrients into your body in the morning. Basically, a green smoothie is a combination of leafy greens, some fruit, and a liquid base. Check out this website for more inspiration.

Rest assured that the coming days for me will be all about re-installing my self-care practice as I get geared up for the last quarter of this year.

If you’re interested in learning more about self-care practice amongst others, stay tuned as in the very near future I will be offering you a very special deal on Carl Massy’s 30-day Happiness Challenge. As one of Carl’s coaches, I can run his 30-day Challenge, which is basically almost like a happiness makeover that focuses on teaching you a wide range of fundamentals in creating a happier, healthier and more successful life. It’s a combination of a daily online programme matched with a set of coaching sessions focused on your specific needs and helping you to be your best self!

Spark your interest? Want more info on the Challenge, have a look here.

Stay tuned, more to follow soon….

In the meantime, what does your self-care practice look like and how do you ensure that you stick with it when the going gets tough?

With love as always, and looking forward to hearing from you!

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