My advise to anyone that is reading this is start it - self care - young. And if you are a late starter like me, then start now! If you notice that you really struggle to say, 'I love you,' 'I will take care of you,' to yourself then I ask you to embrace self care 100% from this moment onwards. And to start saying every day. I love you. I wish I had looked after my body better from a young age. Sadly, I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin and struggled to share how I felt that I did completely the opposite and I know that there are many people out there who did or do the same. The time has come for it all to stop. Our bodies are amazing so why do we punish them so?!
I guess my issue came from a cry to be heard and yet when someone did listen I was not sure how to make myself heard. The easiest thing to do for those who are very sensitive is to retreat and to go in on oneself and this is neither empowering or clever. Or we can blame the world for everything and become sad and bitter and angry. But hey I am here to say we can just be and be ourselves! Yes, it takes discipline. Yes, it takes courage and yes one has to work hard at finding what works for them. But hey, we are privileged to have so much information at hand that we can connect to so many awesome people sharing so many amazing tools.
So if you hide away, I encourage you to step forward and feel! Yes, feel all the pain. Feel what is getting you down. Share it. Cry it. Scream it. Roar it. Sob it. Sit and breathe. Let your body feel these emotions that you are holding onto and let them move!
Breathe in and in and in and in and then a really long breath out. It is the alternative to the above options.
We can sit and take our attention to the breath. Breathe in, in, in, in, in, in, in, in (lessen it if 8 is too many) and then a long breath out and keep going for at least two minutes.
It is so brilliant that we have the most amazing tool on hand ALL the time. The breath. There are many, many breathing techniques to use that all help us in so many ways.
By feeling all these feelings we are not letting them stagnate deep inside, leading to physical issues, instead we are letting them exist. We are feeling how we are feeling and we can get comfort from others or guidance from others if we need to and then we can let these feelings move on, bringing a sense of peace afterward.
I wish I had really started looking after myself earlier. I do not regret anything, as actually I would not be here today doing what I do. But burning out earlier this year, gave me a really big kick up the backside and I would hope that I can persuade others to take a different path so that they keep themselves strong and healthy so that when life chucks challenging situations, you are in the right place physically, mentally and emotionally.
What I have learnt is that only we can fix ourselves. It is imperative we have the support we need, of course, but ultimately it is only us that can make the change. And really to do this we need to realise that it is not about us, it is about what we are here to do. How are we going to better the world in which we live, what is our contribution?! When we see our journey like this, we step out of our heads and away from our drama and into a space where we see things for what they are.
SO, back to self care....
SLEEP - At least 7- 8 hours a night. Teenagers 8-10 hours a night and younger 9-11 hours night. I am sure that there are different suggestions out there but I am just sharing my suggestion. :)
To make your bedroom restful - no tv's, no screens. Just books and bed.
Lavender oil on your pillow.
Exercise - Walk or run daily. I like walking so do my best to walk 20-35 minutes a day. Clears the head and makes me feel good inside and out.
This is in addition to any other exercise you do.
Time out - At least 30 minutes a day to yourself. Sitting. Breathing. Lying down. Sleeping. Resting. Whatever you want to do but it is YOUR time.
Breathing Give yourself at least 1 minute a day to stretch and sit and breathe. Follow that breath and make the inhales deeper and the exhales longer! Build it up.
Look after your skin - Find products that are natural and good for your skin. Your skin is your third lung so remember what you put on it, goes into your system.
Look after your gut - Eat good foods. Eat honey as a prebiotic for example. take a probiotic supplement if you think it might help you for a bit. Or stick to foods such as Kimchi or Kaffir. Eat lots of herbs such as Cardammon, Fennel seeds, Coriander, Cayenne pepper, cumin... all good for our digestive health.
Water - Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
Start crowding out the junk and the caffeine. Bring in more and more vegetables, Brown rice, quinoa, herbal teas, fruits. Cook fresh as much as possible.
When in the shops, walk past the 'snacks'. Buy an apple or a yoghurt or a bottle of water instead. You will feel so much better!
Recognise all the ingredients on your packaging. If you don't put it back. Our bodies have to work so hard to keep us healthy and balanced, so lets help them by putting nourishing foods in. There are so many chemicals in our foods and they are not helping our mental health.
Supplement if you need a boost.
There are many and again explore what works for you and seek advice if you need to.
Be Kind. Be really super kind to yourself and others.
When you feel low or lost or overwhelmed. Surround yourself with people that make you feel strong and that you an talk to.
Never be too proud or too scared to get help.
Laugh and Love !