Movement, Mindset and Mindfulness
Ideas and tips
In Office Om this month, we’re focussing on self-care. There is a buzz around being resilient at the moment, which is all about our ability to cope with the challenges life throws our way. The good news is that resilience can be learnt. Indeed, self-care is an important part of being resilient and increasing our self-care is said to increase our resilience. So how resilient are you feeling right now? How would you feel if you increased your self-care? We’ll look at some strategies that might help.
First, let’s become aware of our self-care blocks. We all have mind-blocks that prevent us looking after ourselves as much as we perhaps need. For example, ‘I don’t have time to exercise’, ‘I need to devote all my energy to my work/family/other important thing’, ‘Self-Care sounds so selfish’, ‘I’ll eat less chocolate just after I finish this massive bar of….’ etc. Well, there could be some truth in these things. However, sometimes we need to move past these thoughts to prioritise our wellbeing. To do this, we first need to notice our own blocks before employing more helpful thinking when needed. For example, "I haven't got time to exercise" could become "I am really busy but I could go for a walk at lunchtime". If this feels difficult, you might like to talk to someone and ask them to challenge you. If we don’t employ enough self-care, we are not working/caring/creating/coping as well as we might. Only when we feel at our best can we work/care/create/cope at our best.
So, what can we do to boost our self-care and therefore our resilience? Everyone has different things that work for them. You can break these down into mind, body and spirit:
Every-body is different and we all need and enjoy different amounts and types of exercise and food. What exercise helps your body feel fantastic? What foods nourish and keep you at your healthiest? What drinks do your body need to be at its best? Are you giving your body enough time to relax? Keeping our bodies in the best health is the foundation of good self-care.
What do you do that stimulates your mind? We can look after our minds by having an amount of stimulation that is right for us. How happy is your mind right now? What do you think about that helps your mind feel good? Practicing the ability to steer our mind towards thinking helpful thoughts can also increase our self-care.
Spirit means different things to different people and needn’t be anything too weird or ‘woo woo’. For some, it is a religious concept, but it doesn’t have to be. This is about having a connection to a purpose or living in accordance with our values. This also might be about self-love. And I’m not talking about looking in a mirror and getting all narcissistic. Just by showing ourselves that we care about ourselves we can improve our sense of self-care.
So what can you do to increase your self-care this week? Think of three things that would can you do to help yourself feel great.
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Founder of Office Om, BACP registered counsellor, Yoga Alliance 200hr trained yoga teacher, Mental Health First Aid instructor and promoter of making daily life just that little bit better.