Health & Wellbeing

Five pillars of self-care

So, it looks like the end is in sight of what has been a strange and trying  time… 

For some it has meant homeschooling the kids, whilst simultaneously trying  to hold down a full-time job, some have found themselves without work and  for others there has been more time for quiet self reflection.  Maybe you’re somewhere in between? 

What I do know to be true is that to counterbalance what we’ve been  through in the last 12 months or so, we need to make an exerted and  consistent effort with our self-care. Which (ironically) is often the first thing to  go awry in times of stress. So I want to share with you my five pillars of self care for 2021 and beyond.

S is for Spirituality  

Research shows that people who consider themselves to be ‘Spiritual’ often  have a healthier lifestyle. But what does spirituality mean to you? When we  think of Spiritual Self-care, we often automatically think of Religion. Actually,  when I talk about Spirituality in this sense, I’m thinking more about  connecting with yourself, and developing a deeper sense of meaning and  gratitude. This could involve meditation, mindfulness or practicing gratitude  as a daily ritual. By ending your day naming 3 things you’re grateful for,  connected to nature or people, you start to become more aligned with the  world around you. This practice can result in feeling much more grounded  and calm. Helping you feel more part of, and connected to, everyone and  everything – whilst also encouraging a positive mindset as your  subconscious looks for thing to be grateful for!

P is for Physical  

Caring for your body is incredibly important for your mind too. The  connection between physical wellbeing and mental health, has long been  understood. And so it stands that, creating time in your week for moving  your body (in a way that makes you happy) will also improve your mental  health. If you find this a struggle, get creative! Moving your body doesn’t  have to simply mean running. Yoga, walking, dancing, swimming (anything  that gets your heart pumping and your endorphins flowing!) Are all ways to 

tap into your mind/body connection. And so it follows that the easier you find  it and the more you enjoy it, the more likely you are to keep it up as a regular  part of your daily life. 

I is for Intellectual  

Studies in Neuro plasticity have proven that if you do something new and  regularly enough you can create new pathways in the brain – meaning you  actually CAN teach an old dog new tricks! Keeping our brain ‘fit’ and ‘active’  is incredibly important to help combat Alzeimer’s and make us more resilient  in tough times. In times of stress and uncertainty it can be easy to just want  to ‘zone out ‘ watching tv or scrolling our phone – and that’s ok! But being  mindful to slot in some time to get the mind really thinking is invaluable. We  can do this in many ways; taking up an on-line course in something you’ve  always found fascinating, reading a book on a new subject or taking up a  new hobby that requires concentration, are all ways we can get our Neurons  firing and creating new Neural pathways to keep our brains growing even into older age. 

R is for Relational 

As humans we’re naturally drawn to be in groups, to connect to others.  When we’re feeling stressed, we can find ourselves withdrawing; retreating  into our shell, at exactly the time when we need connection the most!  Staying connected is key to our mental health and nurturing our friendships  is a part of that. Never feel guilty about planning time with friends. A need to  belong is human nature, and a sense of inclusion within a group can help  build resilience. So whether it’s a phone call, zoom, or a cup of tea over the  fence, be sure to make time for friendships and connection and you’ll feel  better for it! 

E is for Emotional 

As children were often told not to cry and certainly as grown-ups showing  emotion is often seen as weakness. But bottling up our emotions and not  expressing ourselves, is the quick way to poor mental health. Taking time to  feel your feelings, thinking about how something has made you feel and  exploring why, is good mental practice and develops resilience and positivity.  And remember there is learning in all our emotions, processing and  experiencing your feelings is part of a full life. Self compassion is the key to  feeling and processing our emotions the three points of self compassion are:

1. Note the feeling or negative self talk – be aware of how you’re feeling. 

2. Remember that other people have these problems to – you’re not alone  in this experience. 

3. Be kind to yourself! Think about how you talk to a friend if they were  feeling this way. 

S.P.I.R.E the five pillars of self-care and wholeness. Taking time to monitor  and nurture each pillar, dedicating more time on an area that may feel low,  will help you develop resilience and confidence and create a strong solid  foundation for what’s to come.

I hope you found this helpful. If you are struggling and would like some help  with anything from Anxiety to Self-care do get in touch, I am a  Hypnotherapist and Mindset Coach and offer 1 to 1 Zoom sessions 

Becca McLeish 

Cognitive Hypnotherapist, EFT & Mindset Coach 

https://www.instagram.com/becca.mcleish/

hello@beccamcleish.com

www.beccamcleish.com