Here are 9 tools and tricks that I use daily/weekly/ to keep me feeling good in mind, body and spirit. When I put this list together what amazed me was how simple and low cost these things are but that I only used to do one (one!) of them a few years ago. Back then I was working like a dog in corporate and got to a point of being seriously ill with Adrenal Fatigue. Go figure. I am willing to bet if I had prioritized this sort of simple stuff that I would never have got sick. Of course that speaks volumes about the difference in my state of mind!
Now I prioritise self-care. I don’t perceive it as selfish. I think it’s my responsibility to take good care of myself so that I am strong and well enough to go out and do my work in the world. Many people, women especially (and mums especially!) equate self–care with being self-ish. Know this. It’s not! You can’t take care of anyone if you are not taking care of yourself.
Agreeing with myself that self-care is a priority and my responsibility to make happen means that I can follow through on all the below WITHOUT GUILT. That’s crucial. Guilt kills self care, and self care ain’t selfish.
I hope these inspire you and would love to hear your recommendations on what you do to take care of your wellbeing. Please share in the comments session at the end. I have listed all my sources and recommendation of practitioners, gadgets etc that I recommend in case you want to integrate some of these into your self care schedule.
1. A Diary system that support self care
I have a google calendar that syncs with my i-phone so I can diarise in self care appointments. I make them and I keep them. If I don’t schedule it, it doesn’t happen. Something “more important” will come up. Scheduling helps me avoid falling into this trap as it makes the choice very clear. Either I can do this thing that has just come up or I can do the self care I decided was an overall priority for me.
2. Consciously creating “white space”
This is structured time when I am not taking in other people’s energy or information. Coaching and teaching are really energy intensive and I find that committing to a minimum of 15 minutes of “white space” to myself each day that I am not talking, reading, online, tv or whatever but just quiet time makes a huge difference to my mental wellbeing. It can be easy meditation, or walking, or even a long hot bath, but the key is creating an energy neutral environment to recharge for 15 minutes a day. It’s a good one to try and see how it works for you.
I self coach ALL THE TIME and a have a coach who I work with to make sure I am keeping on track and not staying stuck in negative energy or in stuck situations in my personal or business life. She’s awesome, and it keeps my mind clear and my soul settled.
1. Eat Gluten Free
When I first found out I was gluten intolerant over a decade ago it was a massive pain in the arse. No-one had heard or it and I felt like a freak. Now it’s SO easy to eat gluten free and it keeps my body working properly. There is a huge gluten free range at I E Produce on Barry’s Point Road, but to be honest even the local Countdown does a good selection these days. There is even bread that tastes like bread which believe me is a major progression in gluten free technology. Hell, you can even get really good GF pizza from Hell Pizza and Burger Fuel also offer a GF bun.
Our bodies are not built to metabolise the enormous volume of processed wheat that we eat these days. Even people that are not gluten intolerant can find a huge benefit to reducing the amount of gluten in their diet. It will do wonders for your energy and it’s nowhere near as hard as you think!
2. Regular massage and physio maintenance
I kind of resisted this form of self care as I thought, huh, that’s a lot of money. It was sporadic at best and I would wait until I was really stiff or in pain to book an appointment. Once I turned the big four-oh last year I revisited this and decided that actually it was an investment in myself I wanted to make and so I have regular scheduled “body work”. A monthy massage with the very awesome Trish at Wellbeing Massage for Women (SO good, 90 minutes of bliss) and a monthly maintenance appointment with my awesome physio Rachael at Flexaclinic who keeps my back, knees and so on all working as they should as we head of any problems early.
3. Move my body
Self care is moving my body daily. I commit to doing what the US Life Coach Brooke Castillo calls a “minimum baseline” of 15 minutes per day of SOMETHING. It can be a yoga class ( I have these diarized, Mon, Thur and Sat) it can be circuit class ( Tue and Wed) it can be a swim or a walk or some personal yoga practice. Most of the time I do more than the 15 minutes of course, but each day no matter how busy I am I make sure I find 15 minutes for my minimum baseline. Having sat on my backside behind a desk for two decades I am now committed to moving my body regularly as part of my self-care priority. You know you can do 15 minutes, even it its walking out of the office at lunchtime to the sushi shop that’s round the block and back. Once you commit to this minimum baseline you will be amazed at how you can build in a commitment to move each day quite easily. Note it’s a commitment to “move my body” not “exercise”. One sounds a bit scary and off putting the other does not.
1.Eating free range
This is really important to me. I was vegetarian for a number of years as per the traditional yogic diet but I found it very hard in terms of balancing my blood sugar and energy levels. A more workable solution for me is ethically sourced meat. It so readily available these days that there really is no excuse for contributing to pigs being reared in cages or other equally horrendous practices. If you haven’t been up to the Birkenhead Butcher on Mokoia Road for a while, go check it out, its changed hands and Grant the new butcher has the most amazing range of quality free range meats. I feel good about supporting a great local business and farmers who are doing the right thing morally and ethically.
2. Move Like Jagger
Do you have an i-phone? If so get the app “Shazam”. It’s free and it is AWESOME. Basically it somehow magically listens to the radio and tells you what song you are listening to and then there is a button to buy it from i-tunes. Tunes you haven’t heard for years you can just get at your fingers tips just like that. I just love it. I like to sing badly but loudly in the car and Shazam means that I always have new (or old, old new, you know what I mean) playlists. Music raises my spirit and lifts my soul almost instantly. I can get in the car in a grump and then put on Moves Like Jagger and I am on top of the world. The amount of pleasure it brings me in self-care is easily worth the twenty buck or so I spend on i-tunes in a month.
3. Date Nights
Nothing makes my soul sign like time with my husband. It’s absolutely essential for my wellbeing. No teaching on a Wednesday night so it’s date night. We take it in turns to organize it and whether its dinner or the comedy club or fish and chips on the beach with a bottle of wine it’s the highlight of my week.
Okay, that’s my nine favourite ways I take care of my mind, body and soul. Nothing on this list is a big financial commitment or takes long to implement but they all keep me feeling great. It’s my list and I am sure yours will look very different. The key is what I talked about at the beginning: the commitment to guilt free self care.
I would love to hear what you prioritise for your self-care. Share your favourites in the comments section below!