There comes a time where we look around, and we say that ‘we just don’t feel like ourselves.’ And so often it has snuck up on us. We didn’t see it coming. We have been so busy taking care of business, being a freelancer, writing, taking care of children, cooking, cleaning, errands… and so on. That what we really needed fell through the cracks. What you need now are some gentle tips that can help you get back on the right path for you.
This one might be super tricky for you if you run your own business, have young children, or need to be contactable. But, if you can start by putting your phone on silent and out of view for ten minutes a day, and then for a few hours in the evening. And then maybe all day if you feel like it. The notifications will still be there, but you don’t need to be available 24/7. So try to unplug once in a while.
If you have been putting off things like getting your glasses tightened or some new lenses. Not going to the doctor for the foot that has been hurting for a while, or the dentist about your teeth or a new hearing aid fitting – then now is the time. You deserve to be in good health. And, like most things on the list, you have to do this one for yourself. No one can do these things for you. And, while you may be worried that it might be something serious, you’ll never know if you don’t go. Besides, isn’t it better to have it dealt with as quickly as possible so you can get on with life?
If you are getting shoddy sleep more often than you are getting the good stuff, then it might be time to rejuvenate your routine. Take a look at the lead up to going to bed. Is it relaxing, or is it a mad dash to get to bed before 2am?
Think about what you wish your evenings looked like. If you would ideally be in bed drifting off before 10.30pm, then you need to start your routine an hour or more before that. Start by taking a hot shower or bath. This will help your muscles relax. Then get on your most comfortable, breathable nightwear. Instead of watching something like an action-thriller, try reading and listening to gentle music. Or, a nighttime yoga routine. Drinking caffeine-free tea or eating a warm oaty porridge is a great way to unwind too. Many people find it therapeutic to write down their day before they go to bed too.
The Calm app has a range of sleep stories, and guided meditation that will help you drift off peacefully to sleep.
Whatever you do, make sure that you start your routine at the same time every day. Eventually, you will find that you begin to get tired at that time naturally.
There are a few things that you can do in this category. One is heading out into the wild once a week for a walk. If you have local woods, a nature reserve, or even a farm, then go and take a stroll around. This is a great opportunity to take photos, use a traditional map, being a hot flask of tea, and just be in the quiet for a while. Walking is not only great for our physical health, but it gives us space to switch off for a while and clear our minds.
Something else that people find relaxing and interesting is watching nature documentaries. Not only do you learn something new, but humans have a natural affinity with animals and the world around us. All of the lush green has a positive impact on us mentally too.
Rather than trying to snatch you time in the week, start block booking it. Make is a date that you will never break. Plan something for an hour or two that involves whatever makes you happy. It might be having coffee in your favourite cafe, or thumbing through books in the library. It might even be a long nap.
Whatever it is that will make you feel good, make it a firm time slot in your diary each week – and never cancel on yourself.
There is no single option for you when it comes to self-care, what really matters is that you do things that benefit you.