What does Self-care mean in 2021? 

Well hello there and welcome to 2021…we made it! As we try to shake off some of last year’s energy it’s hard not to be mindful of some of the learning that was forced upon us ….much of it served as a reminder of things we already knew deep down. Funny isn’t it how it takes being forced to address things for us to take serious notice. I’m pretty sure that many of us whilst we are glad to see the back of last year, feel a sense of gratitude for the difference between where we were on our respective journeys in January 2020 and where we are now in 2021.

This year we are compelled to LEAN IN to our self care: it’s about understanding that self care is multifaceted but essential to our ability to find flow. Hopefully we understand that self care is more than a hot bath or a facial….those are just elements of a bigger selfcare picture. Last year definitely pushed many of us to that realisation.

Ultimately selfcare involves knowing what you need to function and thrive whatever the circumstances and if there’s one thing that we can take from last year it’s the need to practice radical self care, because in uncertain times it’s one of the few areas of our lives that we have some control over.

So while self care means different things to each of us, here are some tried and tested practices that you might find helpful….don’t get me wrong …these are not ‘cure all’s’ just simple but conscious choices that might be a helpful part of your wellbeing toolkit….they certainly help me. The key is to start small.

A – sometimes taking some alone time where you sit with your thoughts, write stuff down, talk to yourself or even scream and shout can be very therapeutic….trust me it works. Remind yourself of everything that you’re thankful for, and why you do what you do …[you know your purpose in life]

B- while the idea of developing a regular meditation practice is not everyone’s cup of tea, doing some simple deep breathing for a couple of minutes a few times a day can work wonders… You literally focus on inhaling and exhaling, noticing how the breath feels as you inhale and exhale. Then try making your inhale & exhale last for 4 seconds each, you are guaranteed to feel clearer, calmer and more focused, thanks to the increased oxygen supply to your brain.

C – take a walk or exercise- take a ‘stress walk’ if you can- a brisk walk out in nature that starts out as a response to stress or anxiety will generally end up with you feeling energised and uplifted thanks to the increased oxygen circulating through your body and the beauty of nature.

D- there is something very therapeutic about taking the time to cleanse… cleansing is a simple but powerful age old ritual that when done mindfully, allows us to connect with our bodies. Make a point of allowing yourself the time to have a bath or shower using some beautifully scented shower gel, soap or bath salts. Take time to engage with every step of the process, the feel of the water on your skin, the fragrances and breathe.

 

E – add some sort of structure your day so that you maintain a loose routine even if you are staying at home, it stops you from being annoyed at yourself for not getting things done.

F – Limit your social media & news consumption: don’t start your day by diving straight in….start your day focused on you. Of course we all need to touch base with the outside world but why not try creating 2 or 3 social media timeslots of 10 minutes each per day, allowing you to engage without being swallowed alive.

G – Reach out and connect with friends or family, sharing our highs and lows with our connections can help to boost our wellbeing.

H- Don’t miss any opportunity to have a giggle –  a good laugh can trigger the release of stress busting endorphins.

I- There is a lot to be said for getting a good nights sleep, but for those who struggle, there’s also value in having a good old ‘lie down’. A rest is still beneficial, it’s restorative and maybe, just maybe you’ll fall asleep for a 30 minutes or so.

 

Your self care matters and being intentional about integrating it into your life is the best way to take control for 2021.

Guest Post written by Denise Rabor