Okay, hopefully you read part one of our #loveTCHOself: 30 Days of Self-Care blog, because we’re diving into the details a bit more here with part two. Our mission for the month of September (Self-Care Awareness Month) is to encourage everyone to spend a little more time on themselves; to feel fulfilled and to do what we love, all while listening to our bodies. We can practice self-care in all aspects of life from our environment, to our physical health, to financial management. And we want to share some tips and tools we’ve picked up along our own self-care journeys, but you shouldn’t feel limited to your practice beyond our recommendations!
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that self-care doesn’t need to be complicated, expensive or time-consuming. When we mention self-care, we’re not just referring to bubble baths, spa days, or going on lavish vacations (unless that’s your jam, then no judgement!). We’re starting at the basics by doing some soul searching, because only you know what it takes to care for your mental, emotional, and physical health. So, let’s start with identifying a few of the different ways to ‘self-care’.
Naturally, your mind might think physical self-care means taking care of your body by exercising, stretching, hydrating, and eating well. But, it’s also important to listen to your body when it needs rest; by getting a good night's sleep or finding time to take a power nap. Keep it simple, focus on breathing, stretching your body, and listening to what you need the most in that very moment.
- Use a breathing or meditation app to take a step back. We like Calm or Simple Habit.
- Watch a quick stretching video on YouTube to start your morning.
- Go for a walk before work or at lunch with your favorite coffee to clear your head space and get your blood flowing!
Emotional self-care can mean different things to different people, but setting healthy boundaries is a significant step in supporting yourself emotionally. This might mean making time for relationships that add to your life (rather than take away from it), spending time with others who influence your life in the best way possible, and setting boundaries with those who impact you in a negative way.
Another big one that we’ve heard from lots of people is being kind to yourself. Accept that you’re going to make mistakes, but that doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Spend time teaching yourself new techniques to learn from your “failures,” to move forward, and to grow from them. We know we’re all our own biggest critics, but if we practice a little more self-acceptance and become more present, it will help us start to treat ourselves and others with kindness and compassion.
If you find yourself in a negative mental space, try some of these methods to express, process, or re-frame your emotions.
- Re-center yourself through a creative outlet (like a dance class or cooking) to allow yourself to let out your emotions in a unique way.
- Grab a piece of paper and write down 15 things you are thankful for, you might be surprised by how much longer your list could be.
- If something has been weighing on your mind, work through your feelings with a creative expression like painting or journaling.
- Set boundaries (We can’t stress this enough! It can be hard, but the payout is worth it.). Set aside time to respond to texts, calls, emails; say “no” without needing an explanation; put yourself first by using your time in a way that serves you before others.
Whatever is good for your soul, do that!
This practice is purely about your connection and presence with your loved ones through something you have in common. Maybe that‘s joining a fitness group or a book club, hiking in nature, or meeting at a coffee shop to just chill and catch-up. Depending on if you’re an introvert or extrovert, this type of self-care may look different, but when you are with your loved ones, practice being present and in the moment versus distracted with screen time (again…boundaries).
Receiving unconditional love and support from your crew can inspire you, fill you with joy, and motivate you to be the very best you!
- Put the time and energy into building relationships with others.
- Keep your phone in your bag or in another room so you can engage with your loved ones.
- Ask yourself what you are doing to nurture your relationships with friends and family members.
- Recognize the special gifts that other people have and that there is good to be found in each other.
We’ve all probably worked too much overtime, added our work emails to our smartphones, or have stayed up late to prepare for a big meeting the next morning. Setting boundaries at work can be one of the more challenging sections of self-care to tackle, but can be super beneficial for your well-being. You shouldn’t feel guilty about setting boundaries with colleagues if you need to stay focused to make a deadline. We don’t know about you but, we’ve definitely being guilty of being a little lax with our interruptions every now and again. Defining some boundaries may even inspire your co-workers to do the same and benefit company culture in the long run.
Also, take the time to celebrate the little wins as a team. Make some time for organizing your desk, the supply closet, or the dreaded junk drawer. And if you have a second, give kudos to a co-worker who is crushing it or maybe they just straightened up the conference room without being asked. ;)
- If you took a while to respond to someone, say thank you for your patience instead of apologizing for the delay.
- Your schedule matters too, instead of always being flexible for everyone else, tell your colleagues what time works best for you when a meeting pops up.
- Take a break, walk away, stretch, and refuel yourself with a healthy snack like a piece of fruit.
- Express gratitude by thanking a colleague after they helped you with a task, difficult or not!
Up next in part three of the #loveTCHOself blog series, we’ll chat about psychological, financial, environmental, and spiritual self-care. Stay tuned!