In the lead up to Christmas, I started sharing a self-care tip every day on Instagram because I felt like we needed those little reminders more than ever to survive the holiday season.
The reality is, we always need those reminders. I know that I personally do. We always need a little dose of inspiration to nudge us back on the right path—to lend perspective—to shift our thought patterns—to remind us what’s really important.
Sooo, with the exception of a few lazy days here and there, I will be sharing a self-care tip of the day on Instagram, pulling inspiration from my personal experiences and the experiences of those around me as well as podcasts, books and blogs.
I’ll also be sharing a fortnightly roundup here if you missed our stories!
Figure out what version of self-care works for you
Figure out what self-care activities you personally enjoy/receive the most benefits from. What works for me might not work for you, so it’s about tuning in and learning what works best for you. This is a game of trial and error, so be patient with yourself.
Remember, self-care is such a personal thing. It’s not a “one size fits all” concept. There is also no “wrong” way of practising self-care. As long as you’re listening to your mind and body, respecting your limits and doing what is right for you, you’re doing it...you’re practising self-care!
Do one thing today for your future self
Do one thing today that will make life easier for your future self. This might be planning your meals in advance, so it’s one less task you need to do every night, during the week.
It might be baking a healthy treat to satisfy your afternoon sugar cravings. It might be ironing a few items of clothing so you don’t have to do it in the morning before work. Just think of something small and manageable that you can do today to take the pressure off your future self.
Enjoy your own company
Enjoy your own company. Be okay with the silence. Enjoy the quiet time. See it as an uninterrupted opportunity to rest or think—to just be with your thoughts and have the time and space to address those thoughts you would otherwise ignore or suppress.
Remember, knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom and these nuggets of wisdom often emerge when you give yourself the time and space to reflect.
Try subtracting instead of adding by default
Next time you catch yourself saying ‘I don’t have time’, consider it a reminder to start subtracting instead of always adding to your schedule
We only have a finite amount of time and energy each day, so adding more to our calendars isn’t a sustainable strategy.
There are times when you’ll need to subtract in order to create space for yourself. This might be saying no to certain events. It might be breaking bad habits that are eating up your time.
Ultimately, it’s about respecting that you can only do so much in one day, so try subtracting instead of adding by default.
Step outside of your comfort zone
Try new things. Say yes to new adventures, experiences and opportunities and don’t let dated assumptions about things that you had as a kid prevent you from stepping outside of your comfort zone.
You never know what you’re going to learn and discover about yourself. You never know what other opportunities it’s going to lead to and what doors it’s going to open up for you.
Embrace the beginner mindset
Be okay with being “bad” at something you’ve never done before. Go in with the intention of learning instead of trying to impress. I know that whenever I’m trying something new, I often want to be GOOD at it straight away instead of listening to the logical part of my brain that tells me—it takes practice—every single expert/teacher was once a beginner too.
Show yourself compassion and kindness on your bad days
Show yourself compassion and kindness on your bad days. It’s so easy to love ourselves on our good days but we need that same love, kindness and compassion even more when we’re feeling down.
Speak to yourself like you would speak to someone else who is having a bad day. Use the same words you would use with someone you love and care about. Channel your inner coach and remember—this, too, shall pass.
Focus on progress, not perfection
Progress is what gives us the confidence to keep moving forward whenever we experience hurdles or setbacks. Striving for perfection on the other hand adds unnecessary pressure and can also hurt your self-worth and confidence.
It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve slipped, what matters most is how you recover. What truly matters is choosing to get back on the path and try again.
Let go of the idea that “doing more = accomplishing more”
It’s such an outdated definition of productivity that just celebrates being busy. It’s a mentality that makes us reluctant to slow down, rest and practice self-care. Before we can truly honour our needs and embrace the idea of slowing down, we need to let go of the old school definition of productivity.
All because there is no direct output from the time you’ve invested in something, doesn’t mean it isn’t productive. Consider the long-term impact, long-term benefits, your wellbeing, happiness and sense of fulfillment when judging what is and isn’t productive.
Compliment and validate yourself
Give yourself the compliments, the approval, the validation and pats on the back that you know you deserve. Don’t wait around for someone else to tell you you’re doing a good job when you know deep down you are. Tell yourself that you are.
We can’t rely on others to give us the validation we want. We need to give it to ourselves and believe it in our hearts. That is how you nurture your relationship with yourself cultivate self-love and confidence.
Track your mood changes
Track your mood changes, particularly when you’re feeling quite low or having a bad day or you’re feeling emotional or anxious. Doing so allows you to connect the dots, identify patterns between what you do and how you feel.
It helps you understand your triggers and practise self-compassion because you begin to understand yourself more and what’s contributing to your mood changes, whether that’s time of month related or something else.
I personally use app for this and I’ve been doing it for about six months now and the insights I’ve gained have enabled me to make better decisions for myself because I can see patterns between things that make me feel good and things that make me feel bad.
Check in with your goals
Check in with your goals every Sunday and see what step you can tackle in the coming week. What’s one small thing you can do to move forward, to make a little progress with your goals because it’s one thing to write them down but it's another thing to actively scheduling time for it.