How Do You Look After Yourself?
Today is Metal Health Awareness Day and as they say on flights, you should put on your own oxygen mask before anyone else’s. It’s true…. You can’t be the best you want to be unless you feel good and look after yourself. Here are a few things that work for me.
This one has so many benefits: fresh air (I do an outdoor class), space, improving my fitness and the social side. I have been going to my classes for just over a year and the outdoor aspect is always a bit overwhelming, especially if it’s cold/ wet/ muddy/ snowy/ torrential rain etc, but the benefits far out-weigh these. I get a hour to myself, out of the house – allowing me a little breathing space (which is always welcome when the house is slightly chaotic). And I can feel my fitness improving all the time, with more strength and energy – any extra energy is always welcome.
- Mindfulness/ Meditation
Generally, I do this at night-time when I am trying to get to sleep. I think that, sometimes it is hard to switch off from the business or the household and I can easily get carried away with my thoughts. When things get overwhelming during the day, a cuppa at the table, away from a screen often has the same effect. When I have 5 minutes of meditation or stopping what I am doing it just brings me back into kilter.
I wish I had more time for reading, but getting lost in a good book is magical. I have started listening to audiobooks as I can do this when I am walking somewhere or driving. I often find it easier to flick through magazines in the evening rather than sit with a book – perhaps this says more about my attention span, but there is nothing better than getting lost in a world of beautiful photography and inspiring stories.
- Being kinder to my body
I am sure that all the above fall into this category, but I am talking about what I put in and on my body.
I never thought I would see the day, but I have pretty much cut out caffeine and seriously reduced my sugar in take (both were at addiction level). I have upped my water intake (for some reason this doesn’t come naturally to me, I could easily go a whole day without drinking water!) Please do not take this as preachy – I love vino as much as the next person and I am a true believer in everything in moderation, but my ‘moderation’ levels (of sugar and coffee) were a bit skewed!
With being more careful about what I put in my body, I have started to really think about what I put on my body. So now I consciously buy products (skin care/ makeup) that if the answer to the question “would I put this IN my body” is “no” then I don’t buy it. It is possibly sometimes the slightly more expensive option, but if you are buying good quality you will most likely need less and it will last longer.
- Spending time with my family and friends
It’s so easy to get lost in a fog of ‘I am too busy’ and then ‘I am too tired’, but spending proper time with family or friends, for me, rejuvenates my soul! Whether it be a date night with my husband, sitting and watching a film with the kids, holidays with the parents and siblings, or a good old girl’s night out – it all works.
It is interesting that with my girlfriends, the subject often goes to Mental Health. We all recognise that so many of us are affected by it, it’s not something you choose, it’s a result of life. We are so lucky that we can all talk about it together. Every year we make sure we have a girl’s holiday, to spend time together and get away from reality for a few days. This is always a cathartic and wonderful experience! I always come back feeling like I can take on the world again.
- Learning to say NO
We can’t do everything and a lot of my stress is caused by not wanting to let anyone down. I have been reading a lot about design, Japan, minimalism, decluttering and this really links into this. De-cluttering life. I definitely realised that I can’t do everything, I have to pick what I can do and make a good job of it. Much like minimalism, keep the things that matter and they will be of much more value to you as opposed to getting lost amongst the clutter.
PLEASE be good to yourself – it’s a good thing.
credits to @macfit.edinburgh, @freddiemarriage, Douglas Gibb Photography
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