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No self care plan to speak of? If the summer has already got you feeling more stressed that serene. You’re not alone. I hear from women everyday that are struggling to fit self care around their ‘to do lists’. And, yet self care can be a lot simpler than you think and can be as easy as a change in mindset. Here are my favourite tips to help you get started and supercharge your self care this summer…
Use the next few months to cultivate more kindness and self compassion. If you find yourself in a stressful situation or begin to feel anxious about something then ask yourself ‘what would I tell a friend in this situation’? This changes your focus and turns down the volume of the inner critic that’s running wild in your head! Do this often and it slowly becomes a habit, letting kindness rather that self criticism naturally take the lead. Here are a few more tips on cultivating kindness and self compassion.
Do your mornings feel rushed, stressed or disorganised? There are too many tasks to fit into the time you have and if you get up any earlier they’d be no point in sleeping at all. Your ideal morning might feel like a million miles away but I promise that there’s something you can do to take a step closer to it this week. It can be as simple as packing bags every night, deciding what everyone’s wearing, creating a family planner so that everyone can take responsibility for what’s going on. Yes, they’re simple and might not all work for you. But, take a second to imagine how much better you’d feel if your morning ran just a little bit smoother.
Spending more time outside lifts your mood, reduces stress levels and encourages better sleep - sound good? Try and get outdoors as often as you can - see it as time spent recharging your batteries. And, while time in the garden and picnics on the weekend sound like heaven don’t forget to use your lunch breaks (or the school run) to top up on even more vitamin D.
Did you hear that multi asking was never even really a thing? Today it’s referred to as task switching and it’s been proven to make us much less productive! Which means that we can happily let it go and learn to focus on one thing at a time. Now, I'll be the first to admit that this took me some convincing but once you give it a go, you’ll love the calm that it creates. And, you’ll find that slowing down and focusing on one thing at a time actually makes you more productive.
Use the warmer months to change your eating habits. Swap heavy winter comfort food for lighter vitamin rich meals. Reduce your intake of processed food and nourish your body with fresh seasonal produce that will naturally boost your energy levels. Try smoothies for breakfast to increase your fruit intake and swap caffeinated drinks for fresh water - try adding the juice of a lemon or lime for a refreshing mid morning drink. This all helps to refuel our minds and bodies and it’s so much easier to do while the weather is warm.
Yes, decluttering is definitely a form of self care; for me anyway! Think about it, letting go of things that we no longer need helps us to release the past and embrace the present moment - which is an essential part of taking care of ourselves. And we can’t do that while we’re surrounded by reminders of our past selves, old relationships and clothes that we’ll never wear again. Of course it’s nice to have a few little things to look back on but let’s be honest most of us hold on to way too much.
Think of it this way, what if there’s a queue of great things waiting to arrive in your life, and all you need to do is make space for it? Whether that’s a new opportunity, creative project or even a new love? Doesn’t that just make you want to grab a few boxes and start? But, don’t make the mistake of simply reorganising the clutter - it HAS to be removed. Donate what you can because there’s often someone who will love the very thing that you no longer need and then recycle the rest - above all enjoy the process. Here’s more about how decluttering help to clear your mind.
So, are you ready to supercharge your self care this summer? Take it one step at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed and once it fits easily into your day then move onto another - you’ll love how good you feel by the end of the season.
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.