Self-care is the practice of being gentle with yourself, however it’s not about being idle and this is where routine comes in.
When you were a child your parents or caregiver would have created a routine for you. You would have had a morning routine, which may have included teeth brushing and breakfast, then you would have stopped for lunch and maybe had some time outdoors to let off steam. The day would have finished with dinner, a bath, a bedtime story and tuck into bed. This routine helped you to feel safe; and because of our need as humans to stay alive, this safety became paramount to your wellbeing and emotional and physical growth.
As we grow older and we take on roles and responsibilities, our routines become so integral to our lives, they are what make us who we are. Yet in a time of uncertainty this pattern that we’ve become so accustomed to, may change. This, to many can feel unsettling, because it inevitably makes us feel like we are in danger.
However, if we are mindful, we can shift and create our routine to not only help to support our mental well-being, but also help us to grow in the direction we want to go. The phrase ‘I just don’t have the time’ is so common, yet I believe we all have the time, we just need to be willing to reinvent our routines in order to make the time.
Going back to the drawing board is a good place to start. Treat yourself like a child, give yourself everything you need to physically and emotionally grow. Reinvent your routine to feel resilient and thrive.
- Find a morning practice that suits you, for some that may be yoga or meditation, for others it may be journaling or free writing. Something that centres you and declutters your mind before you start work.
- Avoid looking at your device before breakfast, give yourself time to wake up.
- If you’re working from home, take regular breaks, give yourself a clear lunch break where you’re not responding to emails or staring into a screen.
- Get some fresh air, take yourself for a walk, pick some flowers, take in the colours of spring.
- Make time for your interests and hobbies that may have fallen by the wayside. If you’ve always wanted to make soap, do it. If you’re enthralled by history, read about it. If you want to know the names of birds or bugs or trees, what’s stopping you? Give yourself time to learn, like you’d give a child the opportunity if they showed an interest.
- Create a bedtime routine, switch off your device an hour before you go to bed, read a book or listen to a story, write a gratitude list, start a breathing practice. Give yourself the time to unwind; the time for your hyperactive thoughts from the day to disperse.
- Do all the above guilt free, this is the time to be kind to yourself.
The 5am Club by Robin Sharma – A story that encourages you to get up early, create positive habits and utilise your time to improve your life
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle – A life changing book, and if you can’t be bothered to read it you can listen to Oprah Winfrey interviewing Tolle about each individual chapter on her podcast Super Soul Conversations.
Yoga with Adriene– Free yoga classes for all abilities led by a lovely kooky lady and her dog.