Self Care Inspiration

In my first blog post ‘Ten Life Lessons‘, my number one life lesson was “Self care is essential“.

I have fine-tuned my perception when it comes to certain needs of my body. For example; due to having long-term issues with my water works, it is vital that I do not overload my kidneys. The average person is advised to drink between two and two and a half litres of water daily to stay hydrated. One of my major issues is, that it is almost impossible to keep my hydrated. Therefore, I need to find a delicate balance between hydration and overloading my kidneys. This is where fine-tuning comes into play, I now am fully aware when I need to stop and start my fluid intake. This enhanced perception can be applied to all aspects of life and proves just how essential it is to self care and knowing when you need to take a break and focus on you.

Here are aspects of self care that I practise regularly. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I loved writing it. Please feel free to leave your self care tips in the comments section below.

  • Take a pint of water to bed with you at night. When you wake, your first activity should be to drink the entire pint of water to re-hydrate yourself from your nightlong fast.
  • Small and gentle stretches in the mornings can make a huge impact on wellness and ease any aches or pains from laying in certain positions during sleep.
  • Meditation or even just sitting quietly with minimal thoughts for ten minutes each morning, can give you a calm and positive start to each day. Equally, if you practise this same exercise for ten minutes at the end of each day, it allows you to leave the stresses behind and gradually slip into a relaxing evening. It has proven to help combat mental fatigue, depression and general physical and mental health issues.
  • De-clutter your environment. Each day remove your empty cups or bin the rubbish from your bedside table. Put clothes or towels in the laundry basket and making the bed. After these simple de-cluttering tasks become part of your daily routine, it will give you a clear and peaceful place for relaxation and sleep. This is also proven to help clear your mind and enable you to focus more readily.
  • Attempt to read two to three chapters of your book daily. Keep a record of your favourite authors, genres or novel series. It keeps your brain sharp and evolves your language bank.
  • Run a long, hot bath; light some candles, use your favourite bath products and scents, apply your face mask and hair treatment. Listen to an audio book or watch an episode of FRIENDS on Netflix. Bliss!
  • Go get a massage, just because!
  • Cocktails on Saturday night with your girls? Or maybe brunch on Sunday morning?
  • Mid-week mani pedi at your local salon or even do a DIY job at home, curled up in your pj’s with a glass of wine.
  • Has it been a long week? Have you worked really hard? In that case, enjoy your pint or takeaway, have that bar of chocolate and feel no guilt. You earned it!
  • Keep a journal; write notes or reminders to yourself, create a to-do list and stick to it, track your menstrual cycle and moods, plan weekly dinners and schedule your appointments, plan your monthly meal prep and organise your finances. If organising isn’t your idea of self care, simply jot down your deepest darkest secrets, your sheer happiness, wildest dreams and your greatest achievements. Dedicate your journal to you and your journey. It will always be your point of reference and you wont have to juggle all those thoughts in your mind.
  • Set yourself achievable goals. Everyone needs something to strive for, something to work towards and look forward to. It keeps you grounded and consistent, in turn making your more reliable and organised with your personal and professional affairs. If you succeed first time, then you have achieved something great and if you fail, then you either adjust your goal to something more attainable or simply try again with your new found lessons under your belt.
  • Laugh loudly and often. Period.
  • Power nap, who isn’t refreshed by a nap? Keep them between 20 – 40 minutes for optimum results.
  • Slow down and just be present. Social media can take over our lives and have us glued to our phones and tablets. If you are home by 6:30pm and dinner is planned for 8pm, make sure all your emails and social media interactions are complete before you sit down for dinner. Spending quality time away from a gadget is essential for your physical and mental well-being and allows your relationships with others to prosper.
  • Binge watch your favourite Netflix series.
  • Date Night with your other half.
  • Pamper night with your girls.
  • Game night with the lads.
  • Broaden you palette and try new healthy food/recipes at every opportunity.
  • Do an intensive cardio session one to three times a week for roughly 20 to 30 minutes at a time. This keeps your blood pumping and your cardiovascular system in peak condition, as well as keeping your weight in a healthy balance.
  • Quality sleep is a must, eight to ten hours (depending on each person) is the recommended time to rest overnight. Quality is often more crucial than quantity. If like me you find it difficult to drift off in complete silence, I suggest; you pop in your headphones, load up a podcast/audio book/TV show/movie, turn the volume down so you can only just hear it and place the phone/tablet screen facing down on top of the duvet. This will block the harsh light from keeping you awake, avoids the TV waking anyone else who is sleeping and will allow you to slip peacefully into dreamland. It is highly recommended that all screen time is stopped a minimum of 30 minutes to 1 hour before you go to bed in order to gain quality zzz’s.
  • Learn to enjoy your own company. If you cannot be at peace in your company, you will never be completely happy in a relationship because everyone must spend some time apart. It is vital that you learn to rely solely on yourself for gratification and solace, as some people will need more alone time than others. You need to learn to love yourself before someone gets to love you. It is also a great opportunity to practise self care!
  • Therapy/Counselling is a cathartic experience and I highly recommend it to anyone who is struggling.
  • Music is the window to the soul. No matter your mood or chosen genre there is a song out there for everyone. It’s something you can personally experience or share with a group. Make yourself various playlist (i.e. break up mix, Christmas classics, summer jams, ultimate timeless tunage, night out, empowerment/workout mash up etc.) and make it the soundtrack to your life. You can tell a lot about a person by there top plays.
  • Ultimately, do anything and everything that brings you joy. Start by doing it alone and once you’ve grasped that then you can pass it on to your loved ones if you wish, just don’t forget to take that time for yourself. No one is superhuman, we all need a little more love, care and attention. But lets be honest, we are so busy making sure our children, partners, bosses, extended family and friends are looked after, that we always come last by simply neglecting ourselves. You are just as important as everyone else – you cannot pour from a cup that is empty.

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Ella Hollis

Trying to find normality amongst multiple chronic illnesses.

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