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Inspired living

Self-care is important for your happiness


Beautiful women relaxing in bathtub

Credit: 123RF

Self-care is not selfish. I often have clients tell me that they feel guilty taking time out for themselves while they run themselves ragged looking after their loved ones and helping out wherever they can. Looking after yourself means that you are making sure you are in shape so that you never have to put your loved ones in the situation you have put yourself in — running yourself ragged. Imagine if you became seriously ill and the people who you love and that depend on you so much lost their support system. Self-care is essential if you love and care for those around you.

When was the last time you took an hour just to perhaps wander around the shops aimlessly or watch a movie in your panamas with a cuppa? Alone, relaxed and just chill-out time for you; time to do something you love. When did you last take time to forget the job stress before you burn out? Are you spending long hours at work, coming Home, cooking dinner, eating dinner, cleaning up and collapsing in front of the TV just to fall asleep and do the whole thing over again the next day? Now that lack of self-care is a recipe for stress, anxiety, depression and burnout, in that order.

No matter how wonderful your family life or relationship is, no two people are alike and what we love to do may not be what your partner loves.

In our fast world, we need to find the time to slow down, relax, have some fun, meditate, journal, take a bubble bath, spend some time with the kids and switch off. Time to empower ourselves and keep those stress levels in check. Having time alone to do what you love to do is an important part of this. No matter how wonderful your family life or relationship is, no two people are alike and what we love to do may not be what your partner loves. So, if he or she wants to go skiing while you shop the whole day, do so. That separateness in your relationship will make for a better relationship, not separate you. It will relax you both and give you time to bring new and exciting experiences and conversations to the table. Also, in that time, turn off the phone, the computer and do something creative. Paint, meditate, cook, read or start a new hobby you have always wanted to try.

Perhaps you’re feeling frustrated and impatient. Take some time out to journal how you feel. No-one will read it but you. An important part of self-care is to be able to express yourself and not be overwhelmed. Get it out of your mind and your heart and onto that paper. You are not writing a novel, so it doesn’t even have to make sense. Just let it spill out and write what you feel — good or bad. Perhaps there’s some things you need to let go of, so start writing  a list starting with “I let go of …” Or, maybe there’s someone you need to forgive. Write them an imaginary letter to forgive them — for your self-care, to make you feel better. They will never see the letter. You can keep it or destroy it but get those emotions out of your system.

Your emotional and mental self-care is just as important as the physical. Take time out to heal those old wounds causing emotional pain.

Maybe your way to take care of yourself is to have a bubble bath, a sauna or a swim. Why not set up a routine with some oil pulling to clear out the toxins in your mouth and follow that with some dry body brushing? Once you get used to doing this, you can make it part of your self-care daily routine. Oil pulling is best done with organic coconut oil. Start with a few minutes, with just two teaspoons until you build up to the required amount. Body brushing improves circulation, exfoliates dead skin, helps with lymph drainage and detoxifies your skin. You can Google both of these to find out how to do them properly.

Your emotional and mental self-care is just as important as the physical. Take time out to heal those old wounds causing emotional pain. Self-care here can take the form of reading an inspirational book, some new input, practising yoga, tai chi or Pilates to move the energy around and undo some of those energy blockages. Focus on your breath and breathe out your frustration and anger. Notice how you breathe during the day and if it is in the top part of your chest, realise that you are stressed. Make your breathing just that little bit deeper. Imagine you are breathing into below your naval. That is where your second energy centre is and the centre of your creativity. It will calm you and sharpen your mind, plus provide many other benefits such as releasing negative emotions and stress. Add to this some stretching and gentle exercises.

Grounding will bring your energy back in balance and the negative ions from the earth and sea will help discharge some of those free radicals that cause inflammation and make us ill.

When you wake up in the mornings, have a good, long stretch in bed. Even if you have aches and pains, you can use the bed to support you while you gently move and stretch out those muscles. If you are suppler, then do some early morning stretches out of bed, before your shower, to wake your body up. Move your energy around by grounding yourself as part of your daily self-care routine. You will find you are more focused and calmer. Get in touch with the earth — walk on some grass in your back Garden in bare feet or go for a walk on the beach if you can, before breakfast. Grounding will bring your energy back in balance and the negative ions from the earth and sea will help discharge some of those free radicals that cause inflammation and make us ill. The earth has the power to heal us if we let it. Grounding can improve all areas of your life.

Even if you implement just a few of these suggestions, your level of self-care will increase. That will take the pressure off your anger, anxiety and stress. It will make you a happier person and that will flow on to the people around you — those you love and care for will notice a difference. So, if you have a lot of responsibility in your life and people that depend on you, it is vital that you practise some self-care, for them and for yourself.



 

Jenetta Haim | WELLBEING COMMUNITY BLOGGER

Jenetta Haim runs Stressfree Management at 36 Gipps Road, Greystanes, and specialises in assisting your health and lifestyle in all areas by developing programs on either a corporate or personal level to suit your needs. Jenetta has just published a book called Stress-Free Health Management, A Natural Solution for Your Health available from your favourite bookstore or online. For more information and to get in touch, visit her website.