36 Self-Care Ideas to Help You Fall In Love With Yourself
We are living in an age where is it not only acceptable to take care of yourself and to love who you are, but it is (finally!) considered essential to our well-being and the well-being of those closest to us. So why do we still struggle to do it?
Our self-worth, our self-belief, our self-image all impact how and whether we are taking care of ourselves and our upbringing will have had an impact for sure, a lot of us have been brought up being told that it is selfish to focus on yourself, we should put others first. But there is a huge difference between taking care of yourself, loving yourself and being selfish and egotistical. How are we meant to give to others, to take care of them when we are running on empty?
Making time to love ourselves, to be kind to ourselves, to truly take good care of our own self may well feel very alien to us if we’ve never really done it before or maybe it’s something we used to do well but lost it somewhere along the way. Juggling caring for our children, elderly relatives, loved ones that need our attention and care 24 hour a day takes so much of our time that the first thing most of us let go, without realising it, is self-care. And we feel guilty for even feeling that we want or need to do something just for us. We easily fall into a state of giving to others and neglecting ourselves and our own wants and needs. We get tired, lose focus let ourselves and our surroundings go until there’s very little left – then we burn out.
The good news is that we can learn or re-learn to be kind and to love ourselves. We can discover how empowering and re-energising it is when we make ourselves a priority, and not only does it not have to be at the expense of the people around us, they actually benefit too.
After going through a very difficult time, I was drained and burnt-out. It took me a long time to realise that I had completely let myself and my surroundings go. After realising this I slowly I began to take better care of myself. It felt selfish at first, and very self-indulgent. But it also felt good afterwards. Taking baby-steps I began to do more for myself and take time out. I started small with a walk to clear my head and buying myself a face mask. I realised that I never spent any time or money on myself. I now make it a priority, not instead of spending time taking care of my family, but along side it. I found things I could let go of to make time for me. The time is there to be used, I just found a more beneficial way of using it, which actually allowed me more time and certainly higher quality time to spend with and on others.
If you have people you love that depend on you 24-7 try to organise some ways to make time for yourself such as finding a baby-sitter/arrange a play date for your children (maybe you could return the favour and give another mum some ‘me’ time) or some respite care to give you time to rejuvenate yourself. I know it’s not always that easy to make the time, but the benefits for you and them will make it worth the effort.
Self-care is anything that makes you feel better, feel energised, worthy, lighter, brighter, happier, stronger, uplifted, empowered, invigorated, boosted, rejuvenated, healthier, restored, revitalised, relaxed, joyful, refreshed, recharged…
Whether it be sitting in the park with the sunshine on your face feeling the grass beneath your feet or making that phone call you’ve been putting off even though it’s playing on your mind.
Anything that lightens your load or makes you take some time out.
Pick at least one thing (it doesn’t have to off my list; they are just some ideas or things I do when I’m focusing on me.) Just pick something that makes your heart sing. If you have practical self-care to do such as make or attend appointments, take a little extra time afterwards and do something else that just makes you feel good, that makes you smile, releases the tension in your body and the stress in your mind. I’m lucky enough to live near a beach, and whenever I want or need time-out I head down there and sit for just 10-15 minutes watching and listening to the waves rolling in. My whole body seems to react to the calming sounds, my mind stills, and my muscles relax, sometimes I can feel my shoulders drop by an inch or two.
Self-care and self-love encompass our whole well-being, our physical, our emotional, our mental selves. The more we take the time to take care of ourselves, to love ourselves the stronger we become. The stronger we become the more we have to give to others, to the ones we love and care about.
Self-care is not just about getting outside and doing things we love or going for regular check-ups but how we treat ourselves internally. Have you ever taken the time to listen to how you speak to yourself? Are you kind with your words in your internal dialog? Do you tell yourself ‘that was a job well done’? do you forgive yourself when you do or say something silly? Or do you beat yourself up for saying the wrong thing, or making a mistake? Do you get frustrated at yourself because you haven’t managed to get everything done? Do you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see?
Negative self-talk is one of, if not the most self-destructive thing anyone can do, yet so many of us do it daily, hourly, minute after minute. It has become such a habit that we do it without thinking of the consequences. Try listening to how you talk to yourself, the words you use and the tone too. Then ask yourself – if a friend had made the same mistake, would you have spoken so harshly? Would you have used those words? Or would you have been supportive and made them feel better about the error?
If you wouldn’t say it to a friend – don’t say it to yourself. Why does your friend deserve your support, and your compassion but you deserve your wrath? How is that fair? You are just as deserving as your friend, you to, are human, and no human is perfect. Every single one of us make mistakes, say the wrong thing sometimes, misjudge the situation etc. It’s part of our make-up, it’s how we learn. So why are we so hard on ourselves?
‘I’m too fat, too thin, too ugly, too stupid, too small, too tall, not good enough, not clever enough, not pretty enough, not popular enough, useless, uneducated, not talented, an idiot, too scared, a coward, unlucky, a loser, nothing good ever happens to me etc.’
Compassion and understanding are two of the greatest gifts we give to those around us, isn’t it about time we included ourselves in that?
Next time you catch yourself talking harshly to yourself, or putting yourself down, stop, take stock and remind yourself that you are just as good as everyone else. You are YOU, and there is no-one else like you. You may not be able to do somethings as well as others but there are things you are good at that others cannot do. You are worthy of love and compassion.
Think about that friend that you would say kind words to and say them to yourself. Talk kindly to yourself every day. It may not come easily to you, however it is a skill you can learn, day by day until your self-talk becomes positive, understanding, compassionate, supportive and helpful to you. If you do it long enough it will become a healthy habit that supports you in every way. Try it for a week or two and see the difference it makes.
Self-love and self-care are doing whatever you need to do for you at any given time.
So whether it is sitting in the park or re-organising you wardrobe, getting your hair done or meditating, exercising or making a phone call you’ve been putting off, it’s whatever lightens your load or lifts your heart.
For more self-care ideas head over to my website and download my self-care word searches. https://www.positivethinkingforbeginners.com/ and click on Funstuff, choose your word search and print. Enjoy!
Thank you for reading my take on self-care!
I’d love to hear your favourite self-care activity!
Please comment below
Please remember this site is all about being positive, it would be great if we could all try to keep that in mind when commenting and only spread positivity. Thank you x