Self Care Is Not An Optional Extra

Self care is not always the priority it should be for a busy person. However, no-one can keep giving out to others constantly in leadership and people-oriented roles. We all know we should look after ourselves. Self care is not just about getting enough sleep, eating well and regular exercise. It includes taking time consistently to do those things that you have learned fill your emotional tank.

If you are super weary after a busy year, then it is vital that you use this Christmas holiday season well. A little resting, eating and relaxing with family and friends will hopefully do you good. However, will it be enough to make sure you have the energy to put in another big year in 2016? Many people are so tired they do not maximise their time off. Holidays with a family can be quite stressful. When we let down we can become tired, lazy and irritable. It is not always a great formula for a refreshing break.

Self care Strategies you can implement over Christmas – New Year

  1. Make Time To Reflect – So many things happen all around our lives every day. It is very difficult to process them. This is often why many people sleep poorly. Their brain is still processing the events of their busy world. If you are enduring a stressful period on your life, you could write out your feelings about what is happening. So often we just think things through and submerge our feelings; only to find them coming out in unhealthy ways like a stiff neck or back; or in levels of anxiety which too easily become normal. A great habit to develop is a gratitude journal. Write down each evening 3 things from your day for which you are grateful. This is an excellent way to focus your brain onto good things.
  2. Make An Effort To Be Active – I don’t mean run a marathon. However, you will benefit from doing physical things. Swim and walk along the beach. Play backyard cricket. Walk your dog. Go for a bush walk. Do some work in your garden. The emotional benefits of physical exercise are huge. If you are tired on the inside it will be therapeutic to get your body tired as well.
  3. Do Things That Replenish You – These are things in which you can become totally absorbed. It varies considerably from person to person. Perhaps gardening, jigsaw puzzles, a gripping novel, bush walking, a certain movie genre, cooking, and so many more. If you do not know or are bored with your usual replenishing activities, then use the holidays to experiment with some new interests.
  4. Go Tech Free – The benefits of a technology detox are worth exploring. It may shock you how difficult it is to switch off your smart phone. We all say we are not addicted; but I’m pretty sure I am. The best test to show you are not addicted to something in your life, is to go without it for a few days, or, if you really want to benefit, a couple of weeks. The fear of being disconnected can be huge. The greater issue is how disconnected from ourselves and our close relationships we have become as we focus huge quantities of time into a little screen.
  5. Plan your holidays for 2016 – We all enjoy holidays more if we anticipate them. At our house we always have our breaks for the year planned 12 months and booked 6 months ahead. We benefit from this at so many levels, conscious and unconsciously. I suggest that while you are planning, you add in some quiet long weekends spaced at about 5 – 6 week intervals in between your holidays. Fun, relaxing, slow weekends, or weekend retreats away with your partner, or with your family will give you the lift you need through the year.

If you implement these 5 self care strategies over the holidays you will relax and replenish more than usual. Better still, if you continue to do these things throughout the year, I guarantee that you will have more energy and a happier life in 2016.



INTEGRATE: Why Work Life Balance is a Myth | John Drury

Integrate: Why Work Life Balance is a Myth and what you really need to create a fulfilling lifestyle

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