Self care isn't selfish: How to reduce stress and boost your wellbeing
2019 marks 20 years since the launch of National Stress Awareness Day; to celebrate and cherish this powerful concept the first National Stress Awareness Week has launched, running from 5th to 9th of November. As a coach I always focus on helping my clients have a positive mindset to success. Within my work I share self care tips and positivity hacks to help make sure that my clients are focusing on their mind, body and soul as well as their business.
What is stress?
Having spent over 14 years in a high pace, demanding industry, I have learnt over that time how important it is to manage stress.
Stress is excessive pressure. Pressure is good for you but stress isn’t. Living a life that is fast paced, high pressured and feeling like you’re on a treadmill on a consistent basis will not lead to a happy mind, body and soul. “Being stressed out comes from an inability to cope with pressures both large and small” Deepak Chopra. I believe that the word ‘inability’ and ‘cope’ shouldn’t be seen as a judgment on yourself, this is no judgment on how you deal with stress; it is more a way of expressing that you need to have an awareness that the pressure is too much and then you can act on it with a positive mind-set.
What do we do about stress?
When was the last time you took your car for a service or maybe checked your tyre pressure, maybe even just filling the screen wash? Our bodies are like a machine, pretty much similar to a car. Yes we can keep topping our energy level as we top up the petrol in our car. But over time if we don’t check the persistent warning light on the dashboard, we are going to have a problem with the car. It will stop working. But do you know what your own warning light is on your personal dashboard?
We often see warning lights in our own life but we don’t take action. When we are tired but need to get a job done we may take on board more coffee, eat out favourite sweet snack, anything to top the tank up until the task is done. But in the long term we can’t keep working from a point of low energy levels.
Self Care is key
Every week I send my Self Care Survival Kit newsletter out by email, to hit my tribes inbox on a Friday so that they are equipped with a few self care tips to take them into the weekend.
Self Care is such a hot topic at the moment but let's not think it's a fad or just an 'airy-fairy' thing to do. "Habit is a cable; we weave a thread each day, and at last we cannot break it" Horace Mann. I invite my clients and my tribe to weave a thread of the habit of self care with me, so that we can end up with it embedded in our lives and living stronger.
No one else can do it for you, it’s not selfish but it does have to come from the self. We’ve all heard the inflight safety briefing; put your own oxygen mask on before helping others; well that is what self care is. How can you be in your best position to help others if you are not helping yourself?
Self care is about making sure that the best version of your self is out there to achieve what you want to in life and to help others live their best life too. Self care isn’t just a trendy hashtag it’s about being fully present and engaged in life
It's all about taking small steps to impact your well-being, it isn’t something that you do once and tick off the list, it’s the constant repetition of many tiny habits, which together soothe you and make sure you’re at your optimum—emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Self Care tips
The best way to bring about a well-being focus to your life is to implement tiny self-care habits every day. To regularly include in your life a little bit of love and attention for your own body, mind, and soul. Wherever you put your attention and energy, you will get the best results. So taking time to focus your energy and attention on yourself is key to becoming the best version of yourself. If you make well-being a priority you will get the best results
Over the course of the next few blog posts I will be sharing my self care tips to help you focus on your own well-being and improving on it, little by little everyday.
The tips and suggestions in these blog posts are a collective of the Self Care Survival Kit newsletters sent out to date; if you’d like to receive the latest kit to your inbox then you can sign up right here: Self Care Survival Kit signup
Book time in for you
So often we are quick to add dates to the diary to meet friends, have coffee, have that important meeting or playdate for the kids. By clearly marking out in your calendar #metime you are more likely to focus some time for self care. Better still, tell someone you're taking 15 minutes or so for yourself - people are 95% more likely to do something if they have made themselves accountable for it by telling someone else
Let me preface. Meditation, mindfulness, reflection - it all looks different for everyone, and for some people, it's just not what they need. And that's OK! I've used lots of different apps, to varying success, but what's working for me at the moment is Linda Hall's free meditation via You Tube. She has the most calming voice and I have had the pleasure of attending a course with her. Check out the range of meditations you can do and let me know if you try any out! If you don't want to try meditation or it's not for you. Just try sitting being mindful for 5 minutes at the start of each day. No distractions, just you and your mind. Breathe in deeply and assess how you are feeling
Do what resonates with you
I love listening to podcasts and this week there was a tip on one that I had to share with you. Only do what resonates with you - because this gives you energy and a positive focus and you are not draining your time and energy doing what is not right for you. How do you do what resonates.. take this simple body test
Close your eyes and take a deep breath
Think about the thing you are deciding to do/say/act/eat - let's say for example an easy one.. eating Tofu
When you think of the think in your head... what's your initial reaction within your body?
Does your face screw up or light up?
Do your shoulders raise in fear or loosen in appreciation?
Does your heart start racing or are you chilled?
Our bodies are powerful things - only work with what resonates with you and you will have more impact and success
Take time to breathe outside
No matter where you live, if you can enjoy a sunny day take a moment to sit outside, place both feet on the ground, close your eyes and breathe. Breathe in deeply for the count of three and out for the count of six. Repeat this six times. Connecting to your breath is so nourishing and doing so under the suns rays even more so - Enjoy!