What is self-care? 5 practices to reset body & mind

Self-care is any activity that we do to intentionally take care of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self.

It's not just a mani-pedi (for me this feels like a chore, not self-care) unless you feel recharged after it.

It doesn't even need to be time-out or a massage but something as simple as having boundaries in place that honor you i.e.saying no when your cup is empty.

No matter how busy we are, if we don't carve out time to take care of ourselves we'll eventually feel rundown, burnt-out and unhappy.

If you go full tilt all week without self-care to replenish you, you're going to have a personal deficit.

Every day involves mental problem solving, physical work and personal interactions. To have the energy, and the pleasure, to do all these things you need to replenish your reserves intentionally and regularly.

Through self-care and attending to our own needs we make ourselves more available to those around us.

If you feel guilty about taking time for yourself, read 12 Reasons Self-Care Is Not Selfish.

 

What Self-Care Does For Body and Mind

 

Giving your body time to recharge and restore each week will counter-act the harmful effects of stress.

Relaxation turns off the fight-or-flight response and turns on the ‘rest, repair & digest' response aka our self-healing mechanisms.

When we rest our body releases beautiful healing hormones that rebalance our energy, reset our metabolism and restore mental calm and clarity.

Taking time to rest will also help you become more grounded, and in touch with your intuition and wisdom.

Our personal wisdom is the source of guidance and direction in life. Taking time to stop and rest will give you instant access to your own inner advisor.

 

5 Self-Care Practices That Can Change Your Health & Mindset 

 

1. Rest

Stop any physical activity, sleep is the best form of rest. Even kicking back on the couch with a cup of tea and good book or magazine. Work on a jigsaw puzzle. Soak in a lavender oil bath. Watch your favourite movie. Get a facial or massage, or both.

 

2. Serenity

Serenity is inner rest – mental and emotional quiet. It doesn't mean that your circumstances need to be peaceful in order to allow that mental state – serenity is something we practice. It's a discipline where we deliberately shut out the outside world and demands of life. Through meditation, prayer, visualisation, or getaways to the ocean or mountains.

 

3. Solitude

Spending time on your own, without ANY technology or distractions.

Often we avoid our own company because we feel lonely. Wayne Dyer once said, “You're never alone when you like the person you're alone with”.

Find a quiet time to reflect and to re-center. Solitude is a pre-requisite for creativity. Boredom has been shown to increase our imagination, problem solving and capacity for new ideas. I get so much inspiration when I spend time on my own.

 

4. Creativity

Creativity allows us to express our inner life in the outside world.  Psychoanalyst Carl Jung said “Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself”

It fulfills our desire to contribute something of value, make a difference, to express our passion, share the beautiful things we create to others in the world. This could be art, sculpture, cooking, writing, caring for animals or volunteering in the community.

 

5. Fun

This should be the easy one, but most of us schedule fun out of our lives. Fun is an antidote to stress. Laughter can heal and can be very good for your heart. Fun motivates us to be physically active, spend time with other people and enjoy activities like tennis, sports, catching up with friends, participating in a book club, taking music lessons – these activities replenish us.

 

Weekly Prescription 💊

Add one of these practices to your weekend, take note of the difference you feel in energy and inner calm.

Journal what you notice.

 

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