What does self care mean to you? 

For me self care means replenishing my spirit by taking care of my own happiness – taking a little time every day and dedicating it just to ME. Let’s get one thing straight; self care is not optional. If you’ve ever travelled by, you’ll understand the importance of putting your own life jacket on before you can take care of anyone else.

Self care is the recognition that only YOU can make yourself happy and that, if you make sure that you dedicate some time EVERY DAY purely for your own enjoyment or wellness, you will have more fun, you will be more fun to be around, and you will have far greater reserves to deal with the stresses of everyday life.

Before you think you have this already taken care of, I challenge you: Have you? Really?

Are you doing AT LEAST three things EVERY DAY just because they make you happy or well? If you aren’t, then you might like to consider upping your self care.

Here’s how:  Self care is a skill and it is a discipline. It is something that can be very easy to do (which is why it is something we often don’t bother to do).

Here’s your challenge: make a list of at least 20 things (even really frivolous things) that you love to do just because they make you happy or they delight you. Just so you know, housework will NEVER be self care, however much you like a nicely pressed sheet.

“But I don’t have the time,” you might be saying to yourself. When you make some extra time for you, suddenly more time appears in the day as if by magic, which can only be explained by way of saying that, when you focus on your own happiness and health (as well as your job, family and so on), you’ll have a much more positive, can-do attitude that gets things done more efficiently.

Below you will find few ideas how you can start cultivating self care . Take small steps if you just realised that you completely forgot about taking care of your self for a while. 

1. START THE DAY WITH HERBAL TEA

… or lemon water. Give your system a break from caffeine. It stresses your body and causes an imbalance in your blood sugar levels, which in turn leads to energy crashes. Lemon water invigorates the body and can help stimulate the digestive system and improve the detoxification process. Green tea and white tea packed with antioxidants. Liquorice tea can help support the body in times of stress, and peppermint is well known for being a good digestive tonic.

2. TREAT YOUR BODY WITH REAL WHOLE FOODS

Be mindful what you put into your body and ask this question every time you eat. Is this food nourishes my body or makes me feel like rubbish? Avoid those foods you know make you feel lethargic or bloated. Many people feel better reducing dairy and gluten, and starchy carbs like potatoes, pasta and rice. Eat real food. 

3. TAKE A LONG, LUXURIOUS BATH

There are few things as relaxing as a bath. Just soaking in peace, feeling weightless, is pure bliss. Try adding Epsom salts or magnesium flakes to your bath to help ease your muscles and relieve stress. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil. I love lavender! Wrap up in your best, fluffy towels when you come out.

4. PAMPER YOURSELF WITH BEAUTY PRODUCTS

Treat your body to gorgeous beauty products – a face mask, maybe, or a luxuriously rich body lotion. Go beyond that you would normally include in your daily routine to feel extra special. Check the ingredients to ensure you’re not loading your body up with toxins – the skin is the body’s biggest organ and will absorb into the bloodstream anything you put on it.

5. READ A LIFE-AFFIRMING BOOK

Taking time out to read is a fantastic form of self care. For a true spa day experience, put down the thriller and switch to a game-changing book that will leave you feeling motivated and inspired. My favourites include Things Will Get as Good as you Can Stand by Laura Doyle, and Thank and Grow Rich by Pam Grout.

6. PLAN ONE DAY A MONTH FOR YOU

Plan one day a month or at least few hours for yourself, so you can recharge, reflect, relax, have fun or anything you need in that particular time. You may enjoy a walk in a park,  go to a spa, yoga meditation class, dancing or connect with an old friend that inspires and motivates you. 

7. BOOK A RETREAT

Everyone needs a retreat so plan your year and give yourself a real treat! Few days away from your life so you can focus only on yourself. Relax, recharge and rejuvenate your body and mind so you have energy to do what you love and support and care for those around you. 

Whatever you do, do because you love yourself ❤️ HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! 

Love, Sylwia