Today is International Self Care Day - stop and take time for yourself. That's an order from us here at RCV UK.
What is Self Care?
Self care is the practice of putting your health and wellbeing first. It usually encompasses five elements; physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual. At first, it will feel selfish and unusual but you need to do it. It’s like that saying you can’t drink from an empty cup! You can’t keep giving everyone else everything if you have nothing left. Ideally, you should be doing something for yourself every single day. It will also be a little overwhelming at the start, but it can be as little as 10 minutes a day that you dedicate to yourself.
Isn't it just self indulgence?
No! Stop that – it really is not. Self care is the ultimate form of self-love (stop giggling) and it’s vital to have a happy healthy body and a happy healthy mind. When you are a busy person, like the majority of our admin team - the first thing you do is cut out self-love and care because you have so many other people, things, or tasks to love and care for. You will empty yourself to allow others to blossom. You could even potentially burn out.
I don't know where to start!
Can you relate? It's hard to think of what you can do to put yourself first when you're so busy helping everyone else around you. Don’t worry if you’re stuck for ideas we have twenty-five ideas to get you started:
Meditate - This is such a simple way to start your self care journey. Taking just 5-10 minutes each morning or night to meditate has wonderful benefits for your health. Being spiritual means so much to different people; meditation is a wonderful form of spirituality that everyone can embrace. Try downloading the Headspace app - it has some great features to help get you started with meditation. They have guided relaxations, breathing exercises and music lists.
Stretch - Ease the aches and pains by doing some gentle stretches. Yoga is amazing for self-care. Stretching always makes us feel so much better. We love Yoga with Adriene who has hundreds of videos, 11 million subscribers and some great 30 day challenges to get stuck into it. All levels welcomed and a wonderful mantra of Find what feels good. There are also some wonderful local yoga classes to try like this new natal yoga class: https://www.facebook.com/CatherineMamaU or Fusion Dance studio also do some lovely classes on a Monday.
Have a lie in - Sometimes it can feel like you are wasting half the day having a long weekend but sometimes it is exactly what you need.
Drink more water - 2 litres a day is recommended. It is great for your physical and mental health to be hydrated. Get yourself a water bottle that reminds you to drink and always have it with you. Challenge yourself to drink enough water for a week and see how you feel.
Exercise - you are just one bike ride away from a good mood! There are lots of free workout apps available or exercises on youtube you can try. If you want to take up cycling contact us about we-cycle we may be able to help you fix your old bike or even get one for a very low-cost price. Or we have our wellness walks talking place all through the summer from our coffee shop, every Wednesday from 10am.
Have a cup of coffee - Shameless plug here but visit We Connect Coffee Shop and Pantry for amazing local coffee and cakes. Come on your own, come with a friend a warm welcome will always await you.
Call a friend - just for a chat. For a rant. Just to catch up or even better to make plans together. Call a friend and brighten up their day and yours.
Volunteer - Yes another shameless plug... we have loads of volunteer vacancies at the moment. Whether you want to drive our VIPs to appointments, help run our toddler sessions or help at our allotment there are plenty of opportunities for you to expand your skills, feel good about giving back and meet new people.
Have a social media detox - This is a lot harder to do than you realise but sometimes disconnecting digitally can do wonders for you. Pulling the plug on your socials for a weekend can be just what is in order.
Learn a new skill - Ever wanted to learn a new language? Or sign up for a course? What are you waiting for? The time is very much now. Go for it! Duolingo is a fantastic free app that helps make learning a language habit. There are also some great digital marketing courses free on the google digital garage website.
Colour - Colouring with kids = stressful nightmare. Colouring on your own with the good pencils = mindfulness bliss.
Read a book - We all have books we want to read but never find the time. Make the time today. RCV UK will be launching a book club in the Autumn - if you want to help us run it then get in touch today.
Have a bath - We're thinking bubbles. We're thinking face mask. We're insisting on a nice glass of wine and some relaxing music. It's so stereotype of self-care but it is so satisfying.
Paint your nails - It's really simple but effective. It's amazing how much better you feel after a new bit of polish. Paint them in your favourite colour and let them brighten your day. If you're feeling extra - get them done at a beauticians. Treat yo-self!
Change your bedding - There is no better feeling than getting into a fresh bed... well except when you get into that fresh bed after a shower and wearing fresh pjs.
Spend time in the garden - Take in the nature of being outside. Enjoy the sun on your face, the sound of the birds. Just sit and do nothing. And enjoy it. Or you can take to being a proper gardener, plant something and watch it grow.
Start the day with an affirmation - You are amazing. Today will be a good day. You are powerful... Do not underestimate the power of your own words. Changing the way you talk to yourself is a great way to take control of your mindset.
Dance - Fusion dance studio has some great dance classes for adults and even has a special over 50's class. Dancing is a great way to stay fit and have fun so sign up for a class today - or just put on your favourite songs and dance at home.
Listen to your favourite song/album - On that subject just putting on your favourite songs can really boost your mood.
Organise something - we know it sounds like a lot of work but decluttering a space can be great for your mental wellbeing. Start with something small that you can achieve quickly - it can even be folding your t-shirts in the drawer and achieve your organisation chi.
Cook/Order your favourite meal - Comfort meals are different for everyone. Whatever meal makes you happy – have it! Want to cook yourself a lovely yummy bowl of curry ramen extra spicy - do it. Does anyone else in the house like it? Nope. They can be basic and have nuggets and chips and then I cook something just for you. Or if you have a favourite takeaway – good food can boost your mood.
Plan a treat day - Whether your treat is something and naughty like some yummy doughnuts or chocolate or whether you want to go out and do something fun. Plan in a treat day. It's lovely to have something to look forward to.
Buy something for yourself - If there is something you've really been wanting maybe a new pair of shoes or a nice outfit - get it and wear it! Get in the habit of buying yourself a just because present.
Say no to something - This one is for the people pleasers. This is us, giving you permission to say no you don't want to do something that someone else has asked of you. Say no, it's fine.
Take a nap - Kids nap whenever they feel like it. This time is usually post 5pm in the car on the way back from somewhere and always 5 minutes from home. As an adult we don't tend to plan in our naps. They can be so restorative and can really set up the rest of your day. Take a guilt-free nap and ignore the chores.
What are you waiting for? Start planning your self care today.
For more ideas visit: https://www.selfcareday.com/