Sigh. Wouldn’t it be nice?
You know, to really look after yourself.
Regular massage to ease your cranky shoulders.
A tropical holiday where someone else does all the cooking.
An hour to snooze on the couch, without a little voice screaming, ‘MUM! WHERE ARE MY SOCCER BOOTS??’
Yup, it certainly does sound nice. And you clearly deserve it. Running around after the family 24/7, making sure they’re all fed, watered, nurtured and suitably entertained…
But when would you even find the time to indulge in a little ‘me time’, anyway?
And surely this self-care malarky you see splashed through glossy magazines is reserved for the rich and famous?
No way, self-care doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune.
With a little digging, I can help you discover the best activities to make your heart sing, and how you (yes, you!) can create deliciously sublime self-care, even on a shoestring budget.
Are you in?
Self-care is any activity we do on purpose to nurture and support our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Ahhhh, sounds lovely, yes?
Think jogging around the block every Thursday to boost your fitness.
Challenging your brain by learning to knit.
Catching up with friends to feel connected.
Contrary to popular belief, effective self-care need not cost the earth. You can achieve sublime self-care that feels amazing easily, and on a shoestring budget.
The trick is to firstly discover WHAT self-care practices float your boat, then identify WHY they float your boat. After that, get creative about HOW to incorporate them into your life, PRONTO!
Making time for authentic self-care is not selfish at all.
In fact it’s quite the opposite.
I know when I feel valued and cared for, I am better able to care of the kids, hubby, (even the dog), with joy, ease and without resentment.
It’s kinda like the oxygen mask spiel on the plane. You know, the advice to fit your own mask before assisting anyone else. The captain’s right – you really can’t help others until your own wellbeing is sorted.
Am I the only one who buys gorgeously plump, healthy berries for the rest of the family – only to forego their juicy goodness?
Yup, the kids get dibs. It’s half-eaten, mushy berries for me.
To want something delicious all to myself, (whether it’s a handful of fresh, un-mushy raspberries or an hour out walking) could seem a little selfish on the surface. But let’s dig a little deeper. I know when I ‘fill my cup’ first with activities and rituals that fuel my wellbeing, I’m of much better service to myself, and subsequently, to those around me.
So it’s time to make self-care a priority.
The best thing about self-care is that’s it’s 100% for you!
No pleasing, no justifying, no compromising.
There’s no right or wrong.
Whatever feels sublime to you, is the perfect self-care practice for you.
That could mean relaxing in a cafe with a piping hot tea after school drop-off, or taking singing lessons.
Your bestie might prefer ocean swims, or rubbing a delicious moisturiser into her hands before bed.
Your choices are completely valid, as are hers. (The all sound fabulous to me!!)
For some of us, a list of potential activities will quickly spring to mind.
But if you feel you’ve lost touch with what really makes your heart sing, try the following activity:
Next, ponder the FEELING behind each of your answers. Why do you want what you want?
Let’s look at a few examples, based on what came up for me when I did this exercise.
‘I would like to … go to Denmark.’
Perhaps a desire to visit Denmark hints at a lust for adventure, cultural stimulation and a penchant for um… delicious Danishes??
‘I would like to … make sourdough bread.’
Wanting to make sourdough may manifest out of a desire to be creative and healthy.
‘I would like to … have a lovely home garden.’
Craving a beautiful, landscaped garden could indicate a thirst for natural beauty.
Interesting to see what lies underneath those quickly scrawled-down desires, isn’t it?
Now let’s see how could I achieve the same feelings without spending much, or any money and turn that into a self-care practice.
That trip to Denmark – sure, I can start saving for the real-deal, but in the meantime I could plan a day trip to somewhere I’ve never been to before. Or borrow a book about ‘Hygee’. (That’s the Danish art of living well, btw)
I could research how to make sourdough and assemble the ingredients.
Landscaping the garden – there’s gotta be a community garden I could join to get some experience and ideas?
These activities are things I can do right now to fuel my well being, with little or no financial outlay. Pretty good, huh?
Take a close look at your responses to what makes your heart sing. How could you get the ball rolling? Remember, this is all about you. Even a tiny step is a step in the right direction.
The thing about sublime self-care is you’ve gotta instigate it, erm, your SELF!
Ain’t no-one else gonna do it for you.
Yes, it will take some time to figure it out. You’ll need to get creative. But it’s oh-so worth it, because it’s looking after YOU.
And really, only YOU can put the U in sublime!!
Only you know what really, truly smacks of delicious self-care for you.
So, my friend, be brave. Be crazy. Be generous.
Give yourself the best gift you could ever give yourself.
PS: Wanna relax with self-care on the regular, but not sure what to do? The ‘Calm Compass’ quiz will help you discover the relaxation technique best suited to YOU!