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
Cognitive Hypnotherapist, EFT & Mindset Coach