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In the Press - What does self-care mean to me? My article for Balance the Grind Blog

I was interviewed a couple of months ago by Balance the Grind which is an online work-life balance platform. Here's what I shared about my Self-Care Routine.

What does self-care mean to you?

Self care to me means prioritising me and my wellbeing, doing the things I know will help me feel good and having healthy boundaries with myself and other people.

How do you know when you’re feeling stressed or burnt out?

When I don’t feel like doing the things I know will help me. My sleep gets affected when I’m stressed which can be a vicious cycle as I’m a person who needs a decent amount of sleep/rest to function at my best. I get tension in my shoulders and I’m more prone to headaches.

I’m usually good at recognising these early warning signs as I have experienced burnout in the past and now I’m a fierce protector of my mental health and wellbeing! If I don’t up my self-care and put boundaries in place, I can feel quite overwhelmed, I don’t have as much patience, I get snappier with my kids and negative self-talk creeps in.

Do you have a regular self-care routine? If so, what does it look like?

Yes. I have some basic things every day that are non-negotiable like:

  • keeping hydrated

  • nourishing myself (I have a smoothie most days to give myself a boost)

  • trying to get enough sleep (I have a wind down routine to help me with this, turning off screens 60 mins before bed, having a herbal sleep tea and reading)

  • I move my body every day; whether that’s walking, yoga or skipping

  • I get outside in nature every day even if it’s just for 5 minutes

  • taking mindful pauses and noticing the little things that bring my joy

Then I have things I try to do as regularly as I can like having some time alone, hiking, journaling, meditation, listening to podcasts, having a nice bath or going cold water swimming as often as I can. My husband and I work as a team to give each other time to ourselves a few times each week.

When I’m feeling quite stressed or overwhelmed, I have some 60 second self-care activities to soothe/calm myself in the moment and take a mindful pause in my day. These could be: having a mindful drink, giving myself a hand massage, doing some breathing exercises, moving my body, smelling some essential oils or taking a walk in my garden.

What bumps you off your self-care routine and how do you get back on course?

I have two young children so sometimes the busy-ness of parenting, sickness or tantrums can knock me off my routine. I’m the Founder of Solis Coaching (I offer wellbeing coaching, workshops and consultancy) which I set up a year ago.

Trying to build and grow my business sometimes means I don’t have as much time to dedicate to self care and can mean I’m spending more time on screens, but I’m pretty good at noticing this and getting back on course by refocusing myself on the things I know help me feel my best. If I can make sure I’m doing the absolute basics (hydration, sleep and time outside) during busy times I know I’ll be ok.

Where do you go for inspiration, ideas or tools for self-care?

I have a really good support network of friends and family. We all help each other to look after ourselves and prop each other up when needed. I find social media a great place for inspiration and I love to go on workshops or retreats. There’s nothing better than spending time in nature on my own though and using my own intuition for ideas and inspiration.

What do you think you need to improve in terms of your self-care practice?

Making sure I have regular time booked in for myself.

Here's a link to the article, you'll find loads of other self care tips on there too

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