Some strategies that you can use to support looking after yourself :

Listen to Yourself

Slow down, get quiet and ask yourself what do you need right now (because your intuition knows!) So really listen then take action.

The constant chatter and noise in a busy life hampers our internal signals about what we really want and need, even what we love. It makes us want to shut down instead of open up.

Finding space gives your brain and heart chance to rest quietly and open gently, so your source of inspiration can be inspired and invigorated.

  • find space – appropriate time, quietness, place – so you can expand space in your heart and mind to bring clarity, serenity and calm (Tai Chi & Qigong class)
  • spend time in a place that is restful and nurturing – nature will provide this for free with water as a source of inspiration, fresh clean air at the top of a hill; watch the clouds drift by or the night sky, enjoy the sunrise or sunset
  • within daily life whilst slowly stirring your porridge, in the flicker of a candles light, whilst on a long cycle ride, in the steam of your morning drink.

It just has to be somewhere you can breathe deeply, unplug to reconnect. Choose wherever calls to you and then go to it. Listen carefully to see and hear what your inner being is telling you – then take action.

Check in with Yourself

When you have a decision to make – big or little – Instead of just saying what you think you should say, check in with yourself to see what feels right.

  • first look at the options available to you to make your decision. Imagine the answer is Yes or No then first choose Yes. Now notice how your body feels – how is your breathing? do you feel heavy or light? are your palms sweaty? do you feel happy saying Yes? do you feel tension or expansion? do you feel excited or terrified? Now try the No answer then run through the checklist again. Then decide – what will your answer be – Yes or No.

Value Yourself

Acknowledge that you are a unique person with a warm heart and much to give others. This is a vital part of self care. Only when you value yourself, can others value you too leading to better relationships and much love in your life.

Be aware of filling your mind with negative thoughts – you have the power and strength to change them. Your attitude, mindset and self encouragement can make the necessary changes for you. If you can talk yourself into something, you can also talk yourself out of it too! If you have enough energy to squash your dreams, you also have the energy to make them happen! Just redirect your energy and attention and be kind to yourself. Self confidence comes from telling yourself a different story – it’s up to you now.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • how would a kind friend or colleague describe you?
  • what have you done to receive compliments?
  • what kinds of situations do you feel you have reacted positively to?
  • what challenges do you enjoy?
  • what comes easily to you?
  • what gives you energy?
  • what qualities of yours have helped you deal with fear in the past?
  • what activities do you feel you have really engaged with when you are doing them?

Look at your responses and see if there is a pattern emerging – what strengths stand out? This pattern is your secret weapon to being positive, energetic and valuable.

Be Kind to Yourself

Think about how you would treat a friend who is feeling down, worried or exhausted. How could you show them kindness?

Treat yourself in a similar way – try this

  • Get an empty jar and a couple of pieces of paper. Cut the paper into small pieces and write on each one a way in which you could be kind to yourself. Fold them up and pop into the jar. Next time you are feeling depleted, take a paper from the jar and what it says.

Now, your self care checklist:

  • Eat well
  • drink water
  • exercise
  • pause and rest
  • take time in nature
  • take an active interest in your own health
  • spend time in good company
  • make room to create beauty
  • forgive yourself for whatever you need to forgive
  • give yourself permission to put yourself first
Extract from Beth Kempton 2017.