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SELF-CARE – by Michelle Arscott – The International Life Coach

Well done MomBoss, you are slaying it! I see you juggling family, friends, and career – putting your heart and soul into everything you do. And it can be so amazing! However, it can also be lonely and exhausting and at times a struggle to keep your head above water, constantly striving to be the best mom, wife, daughter, friend, and career woman you can be! And it can weigh you down. 

Amongst the juggling, amongst the busyness, how can you ensure that you are looking after yourself, protecting your own mental health and most importantly enjoying your life? Quite simply, through prioritizing self-love and self-care on a daily basis. This article will explore briefly the importance of self-love and care, what we mean by it, and practical ways to achieve it on a day-to-day basis.

Self-Love – Why Is It Important?

Self-love lays the foundation for the most important relationship in your life – the one with yourself. If you love and nourish yourself enough, then the world can be your oyster. You will have the strength to face the challenges in your life and overcome them; the spark and the energy to enjoy your life, the patience to accept situations that aren’t always as you want them to be, to trust, and most importantly, the power to be positive. It is a myth that self-love is selfish. When you replenish your own cup with love, then you are able to give wholeheartedly to others. You cannot pour from an empty cup.

What Is Self-Love?

Part of self-love is committing acts of self-kindness. These actions meet your body’s needs, nourish you, and help you to thrive! 

Your body could be craving connection, healthy food, opportunities for creativity, physical and mental rest, intimacy or to be seen and appreciated. When your essential needs are not met, that is when you can feel unhappy and out of sync. If this is left unaddressed for too long, it can have a negative impact on your mental health – your mind, body, and soul. 

To tap into what your body really wants, you have to listen to yourself. It can be hard to hear with the roar of life, yet you must prioritize this and give yourself the space to listen and to connect to your inner voice, as only you have the wisdom to know what can fulfill you.

Self-Connection

Meditation is a powerful way to connect with yourself and to quieten the external world – it doesn’t have to be complicated and can take as little as five minutes.

Try this simple exercise:

Find a quiet spot and sit comfortably, take 3 deep breaths. Imagine following a long, white light beam. As the end of the light beam is a place that makes you happy.

Focus on:

* What are the sights that you can see in your happy place?

* What are the different sounds that you hear?

* What feelings come up for you?

* Spend a few moments savoring being in your happy place!

Reflect upon where your mind took you, does it shine a spotlight on anything currently missing in your life? What need/s of yours are being unmet? Be a detective and look for clues. For example, your happy place could be somewhere green in nature. Maybe the current way you are living, you are missing out on nature.  Or maybe your happy place was somewhere hanging out with friends and you haven’t been connecting with your friends recently. Think about how you can practically re-address the balance. What steps can you commit to in the next week to help restore the balance and meet your unmet needs – remember it doesn’t have to be expensive or time-intensive.

Journaling is another successful daily way to turn inwards and can be approached in a variety of ways. It can be as simple as a free-flow exercise where, for 5-10 minutes, you write down any thoughts or feelings that come up for you. It can reveal unmet needs, things that you may not have been aware of, and deepen the important relationship with yourself – a great way to reflect and find the answers from within.

3 Practical Ways To Practice Self-Care

1. Be Seen And Heard

In our busy lives, it can often feel like we’re invisible. It can seem like we are meeting everyone else’s needs except for our own. Take time out of your day to properly connect with someone. For example, have a proper chat with your friend or family member. Or try this exercise with your partner, by finding 10 minutes in the evening. Each of you spend 10 minutes, without interrupting each other, just sharing what happened in your day. Keep eye contact during the activity and switch off your phone.

2. Self-Appreciate

It can sometimes feel like what you do is a thankless task, however, you don’t have to wait for others to acknowledge you, take the lead, write a ‘brag book,’ just for yourself, keep a record of all your achievements and successes. On days when you feel low and need a mental boost, read your ‘Brag book,’ or add to it. Be creative, you could have photos, pictures from magazines, adverts, symbols, anything that reminds you of your amazing successes and how awesome you are.

3. Talk To Yourself Kindly: Your Subconscious Is Listening

It is important to feel loved, especially in more challenging times. Be your own cheerleader, love yourself, and be kind to you. Your relationship with yourself is the template for all other relationships in your life. Track the negative voice in your head, the little gremlin, and see what he or she is saying – challenge your saboteur!

‘You can’t do this.’ “Yes, I can!”

‘You will fail!’   “I got this; I’m prepared!”

Believe in yourself MomBoss, you possess amazing capability and strength.

Be Kind To Others

Once you have filled your cup with love, then pay it forward, be kind to others, there is no greater feeling than giving back. Stuck for ideas? Why not join the vetted ‘Charity Connect’ on Facebook and find meaningful ways that you can make a difference? One example might be to donate gently used makeup items to the ‘Kamiti prison’ project, which empowers girls by teaching them makeup skills so that they can have a second chance and find employment in the beauty industry. Or the ‘I Afrika’ project, which might be an opportunity for you to share a skill you have with rehabilitated street kids – perhaps a way to meet an unmet creative need or to feel a sense of purpose.

Self-care and self-love should be a part of your lifestyle, a 100% regular commitment to your mental health, and not only thought about on special occasions or sadly as is often the case, when you have already reached rock bottom. It is for your own mental well-being, to enable you to live life fully, to be strong and healthy, and it’s not just for you, it’s also for other people in your life, after all, life is not a dress rehearsal!

What self-care act are you going to do today?

Article written by
Michelle Arscott
The International Life Coach
internationalifecoach@gmail.com
BScEcon Psychology & Sociology
PGCE Primary Education
ICF Accredited Life Coach
Kids Life Studio Certified Coach

 

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