I am a huge advocate of self-care and always reminding my clients to prioritise it. You can’t help someone else if you do not take care of yourself - it will be short-lived before you burn out. Often this is easier said than done with the mounting expectations and juggling we do in our daily lives. Even now when the world seems to have stopped many of us are still feeling the pressure. And I include myself in this - particularly now as I grow my business with a two-year-old in tow, whilst running a home and caring for the small petting zoo we have adopted since my mother came to stay for quarantine and I adopted six chickens. It is not surprising there are days where finding time for myself and my own self-care practices have been hard.
Whether you’re still trying to establish new routines, working from home while caring for or homeschooling your children, dealing with the stress of becoming unemployed or losing loved ones, we all could use a bit of support right now.
So as a reminder to you and me. Here are some of my top tips on how you can take care of yourself and nourish your mind at the same time to be your level best.
- Sleep. 7- 8 hours of sleep is optimal for the best mental performance. It improves your memory and your capacity for strategic thinking. Sleep deprivation never makes for good decision making. It also happens to boost your immune system which is our best line of defence right now.
- Exercise. Again, it pumps blood to the brain improving our intellectual performance, enabling us to process information faster and improve reactions. Chemically it also floods our bodies with feel-good hormones that motivate us, that's why exercising first thing is a great way to start the day.
- Gratitude. Count your blessings, there is always something to be grateful for. No matter what your situation, there is someone out there who would change places with you but you wouldn’t want to change places with them. The impact of doing this on your mental state is phenomenal, so doing it first thing in the morning will set you up for the day.
- Take a breath When we are stressed and anxious it can feel like we are struggling to breathe, it is the reason many experience panic attacks. This is your mind in survival mode. Its response is to pump your blood to your arms and legs ready for fight or flight. In doing so, it takes blood away from your brain making it difficult to think clearly/rationally. By stopping to take deep breaths you interrupt the response and allow oxygen to flow back to your brain.
- Switch off We are all wedded to technology at the best of times but especially now when it’s our only means of communication. Being constantly connected often causes more stress and anxiety, impacts our sleep and our mental performance. Switch off, take time away from a screen especially in the hour before bed.
- Guard your mind. Our minds are incredibly susceptible to suggestion, it is why hypnotherapy is effective. Make certain that what you are exposing yourself to is serving you and not feeding your fear - supporting you in language and love!!
- Ignore the positivity porn. We are all having to adjust in times of uncertainty. These adjustments are honest, raw, ugly, hopeful, frustrating, and beautiful. Your journey is your own, do not judge it by others successes. On the other side of this is clarity, strength and resilience but be patient, allow yourself to be human, you will get there in your own time.
- Mindfulness practice. Whatever your preferred flavour - mediation, affirmations, yoga... Making time to step out of your day to centre yourself has a phenomenal effect on your wellbeing. It allows you to focus, is calming and will set intentions for the whole day.
- Be in nature. Being in nature releases the feel-good hormones oxytocin and dopamine. This chemical release has a calming effect on our emotional state making you feel relaxed and think clearly.
- Treat yourself. Our minds love to be rewarded, it is what keeps us going, and it motivates us more than anything including fear. Write a treat list of things you can do to reward yourself during this time - big or small. Keep note of what you have achieved in the day and make sure you reward yourself!
If you want to discuss your own self-care and how to get the most out of this time, please contact me to arrange a free consultation.