5 Self-Care Strategies That Will Change Your Life
Self-care can sometimes seem like a bit of a luxury, especially in this fast-paced world of 2018.
For mums, it can even be the proverbial ‘Elephant in the room’; a taboo topic that no one seems to talk about, yet everyone secretly wishes they had time for.
That’s because as mums (and wives), we are often expected to just keep going — regardless of how we are feeling. The dishwasher isn’t going to empty itself. The toilet isn’t going to scrub itself. And the kids (well mine anyway) aren’t going to feed themselves.
So where does this expectation come from? How have we become so focused on everyone and everything else?
Let’s take a look at the statistics according to the 2016 Census. Here we find out that the ‘typical’ Australian female spends between five and 14 hours a week on domestic work. Compare this to the ‘typical’ Australian male who spends less than five hours a week on domestic work and we might begin to see the problem.
Now I’m not in any way pointing the blame. I for one have an amazing husband who isn’t afraid to whip out the vacuum or cook dinner. He also happens to be a very hands-on dad. For the most part, it was generally me who stopped him from doing housework because he didn’t do it “right”. He didn’t hang the washing out with colour coordinated pegs, in size order with the matching top and bottom sitting nicely together. This was MY issue — not his…and it all stemmed from my upbringing.
As a child of the 80’s, I was never taught the skills needed to take care of myself. Sure, I was taught how to brush my teeth, tie my shoes and not talk to strangers. But self-care…what is that?! So it’s something I have needed to teach myself in my thirties. And I only realised I needed after I had a breakdown.
As women, mums and wives, we are led to believe that if we take time for ourselves, everything else will fall apart. But did you know that if we take care of ourselves first, something amazing happens?
I’ve recently learned that when we prioritise our own health and well-being, everything else just flows. We are happier, have more energy, more patience, and can better serve our family from a place of love and gratitude. Now who doesn’t want that?!
So here are my TOP 5 Life-Changing Self-Care Strategies (in no particular order):
1. Get between 6–8 hours of sleep per night.
You might think that the more sleep you get, the better you will feel. But this isn’t necessarily the case — and can in fact have a negative long-term effect on your cognitive health. A study published in 2011 found that, in women, sleep duration of 7 hours of sleep per night was associated with the highest score for every cognitive measure, followed closely by 6 hours of nightly sleep.
It’s also important to consider the quality of the sleep you are getting. I highly recommend the use of an ultrasonic diffuser with quality essential oils to support a restful night’s sleep.
2. Reduce your toxic load.
By getting back to basics and using 100% natural products, we can begin to reduce the build-up of toxins in our systems. This can then assist with reducing stress and other emotional & physical difficulties.
One way I have begun to reduce the chemicals in my home is by making my own cleaning and body products using natural ingredients and 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils. To find out how to purchase the highest quality essential oils on the planet, click here.
3. Practice regular moments of mindfulness.
This can be in the form of guided meditation, or simply sitting quietly in the garden. The idea is to focus your attention on your breathing (deep, full breaths), and allow yourself to re-align with your true thoughts & feelings.
A great free app I like to use is Calm, which provides you with short daily guided meditations — perfect for beginners.
4. Every day, give yourself a gift.
Now this doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy yourself something every day. It simply allows you to open up your mind and heart to receiving and feeling grateful. You might like to give yourself a warm bath at the end of a long day. Or maybe you like to have your hair done. Whatever you choose, it needs to feel special.
By this, I mean 2 things:
- Declutter your house; and
- Declutter your relationships.
Work through your house room by room and start to remove any items that no longer serve you. When you are trying to decide whether an item should ‘stay’ or ‘go’, ask yourself these questions. “Does this item add value to my life?” and “Do I have a sentimental attachment to it?” If the answer to either of those questions is “Yes”, then it’s most likely an item you should keep.
If, however, you have a wall FULL of books you have been collecting to read “someday”, it might be time they find a new home. Donating items to a local charity, or having a ‘garage sale’ are great ways to offload your unwanted items. Just be careful if you sell your used items for cash that you don’t go and replace them with more unnecessary clutter!
So be conscious of the people who drain you, and those who lift you up. Relationships should be an equal exchange — avoid giving too much (energetically) without receiving back.
Reflecting on this list, can you think of at least ONE self-care activity that you can do for yourself today?
I would love to know what you come up with!
Originally published at www.onewomanrising.com.au.