While reading a book, I was reminded how often self-care is mentioned in my client consultations. Ultimately, a consistent brand requires numerous additional attributes, such as self-love, self-confidence, and self-care. So, I started exploring the concept of self-care and how to incorporate it into our everyday lives. Taking time to focus on yourself may feel strange at first. We tend to connect self-care with selfishness or self-centeredness. It has been bothering me for a while, and I find it very difficult to understand. What is the reason for this negative perception of loving yourself? That is another discussion for another time, but one of the main reasons I value self-care so much and incorporate it into my life is that it has helped me achieve a better balance in my life and has positively impacted my entire emotional, physical, and mental well-being.
If you recognise and prioritise your needs, you will feel less emotionally exhausted and can better control your health and life. Although this is easily said than done and can highly depend on our lifestyle. At first, I struggled with the transition and incorporating self-care since I did not know how to fit it into my life. I had been on autopilot for so long that I forgot to prioritise myself. After researching and taking time off work to focus on what mattered to me. I learned how to find that balance while still respecting myself and my time. In return, this had a positive impact on my image and personal brand. I started feeling lighter, and happier, and my skin naturally glowed. I also began to look at life differently, live more in the moment and value myself as well as my body and image more. I found that the conversations I began to have and the people I met, made my life richer and more rewarding. Even the way I dress, the way I care for my skin, nails or any part of me I did with so much love and care. I will let you in on a little secret. It was hard to see any results at first and I will be honest there were times when I would say to myself - what is the point? However, I was lucky enough to practise mindfulness, meditation and yoga at the same time which allowed me to gain a better perspective of myself and notice the changes in and around me. From the moment I started noticing changes and seeing the importance of developing a daily self-care routine, I decided not to look back (I hope by now you have spotted the secret). The rewards far outweigh any excuse I previously gave for not taking this journey.
So, if you are seeking ideas on where to begin? You have arrived at the right place. I would say firstly, focus on where you are now and where you want to be. Most people look at self-care without undertaking the inner work beyond the physical. Of course, physical self-care is crucial, but it is so much more than that. A well-nourished mental state is equally imperative. When you take care of it everyone around you will notice it too and it will positively impact your life. Whether it's at work, at home or just being in alignment with who you are (that means your brand). Here are some recommendations you can incorporate into your self-care routine:
1. Make time for yourself - This is typically when the excuses begin; I don't have time or I have too much on my plate! However, if you can spare 5 minutes of your day to chat with a friend or make a cup of tea, you can take the same amount of time for yourself! Self-care is best incorporated in small steps and created as a routine that you can enjoy. That is why I suggest starting with 5 minutes. Plus it is far easier to fit into your day than 30 minutes or an hour. So start small and gradually build on it. This way it won't feel so much like a chore on your to-do list. You've got to enjoy the process for it to be impactful.
2. Understand that self-care is not just physical - Some people define self-care as going to the gym, hiring a personal trainer, altering their diet, booking a spa weekend or treating themself. Yes, they are all significant aspects of self-care. However, wellness also emanates from the inside and radiates outwards. Have you ever noticed a glow in a person? A sense of confidence in someone once they start prioritising themselves and equally taking care of their health & mental wellness! That is self-care. One of the advantages of self-care is that it teaches you a lot about yourself and how to be your most authentic self. These are crucial elements when building your brand. Once you know yourself, you can become more independent of others and their opinions. You can protect your self-worth and confidence. So, take "a time out" and get to know yourself, little by little and day by day.
3. Plan for self-care by writing in your planner or scheduling it on your phone - This may sound trivial, yet it is easy to forget to put yourself first. Adding it to your calendar or setting a reminder on your phone can help you remember what and when you need to include self-care into your day; it's a non-negotiable time to prioritise yourself. Once you begin and you are firm with your mind and input healthy boundaries, others around you will begin to notice that you need space and time for yourself. If they don't, then perhaps it's time to evaluate the distractions in your life.
4. Be careful with whom you keep company - We are sociable beings, but that does not imply you should accept every kind of company. We all know that it just takes a few words for someone to destroy your spirit or dim your day, which might affect your mood. It's crucial to take the time to get to know people and to carefully select your circle to ensure that you are connecting with people that resonate with you. I found this part of self-care difficult. However, once I became firm with my mind on what I wanted, and who I wanted in my life. I started to weed out people who did not add anything to my life, which helped me find emotional balance.
5. It is never too late to incorporate self-care - Learning how to add or even start incorporating self-care does not mean having to change everything in your life. It means re-aligning your priorities to ensure that you are one of them. Change is okay and healthy, and there is no such thing as it's too late to start a self-care journey.
6. Incorporating Externally self-care - I know I mentioned that your mental state is important but so is externally self-care. There is absolutely nothing wrong with treating yourself and enjoying the pleasures that life brings. Take for instance buying yourself and nice outfit and dressing up for the day (even if you are just staying at home). Dressing well can serve as a simple reminder that you matter and that you value yourself. Apart from that, it's also a key component of strengthing your image, which I will talk about in another post.
7. Mental and Physical Digest & Detox - Keeping this broad, what we digest, whether physical or mental, is also part of self-care. It is important to drink enough water, consume nutritious foods, talk positive to ourselves and others and take the time to detox digitally. Detoxing digitally is something I like doing regularly. Setting daily reminders on my phone to track how much time I spend on social media, or just taking a week or a month off of digital platforms, has put me in a better frame of mind.
8. Get Enough Rest - As I write this, I can’t help but giggle since I now see the value of getting enough sleep. To be honest, sleep wasn't on my agenda when I began my self-care journey. In other words, I never considered it. I didn't notice how important it was until I started recording days when my mood was low and sleep was a common denominator. So do not underestimate the power of getting enough sleep.
9. Laugh - Life is too short and so is this recommendation. Laugh as often as you can even when you are by yourself. It does wonders to your mental state and health (reduces stress level hormones and improves cardiac health) after all it's one of the best medicines on the market and it's FREE.
10. Finally, be more compassionate with yourself - Instead of speeding up, learn to slow down, and take the time to get to know yourself, your needs, and who you are to interact with the world more effectively. Understand that self-care is not selfish and that saying no, even to yourself, is sometimes necessary.
Before signing off, here are some self-care examples you can start incorporating into your life either at work or at home:
I hope this post has given you ideas on how to incorporate self-care into your everyday routine and emphasises the significance of self-love and self-care, as doing so will positively impact you and your image and brand.